Passions Evoked and the Summer Show

The works presented were by:  Siah Armajani, Monir Farmanfarmian, Hengameh Fouladvand, Nahid Hagigat and Nicky Nodjoumi The opening reception for "Passions Evoked", on Sat. evening , April 24th, the first exhibit organized  by CIMA (Center for Iranian Modern Arts), was an extraordinarily successful  event, evident by the overwhelming number of supporters and enthusiasts of  modern Iranian art that flocked to the reception. 
The viewers leisurely mingled and viewed the art work hanging all around them on every wall, contributing to lively conversation and celebration of Iranian American arts. Directors from Grey Art Center and New York University, curators from Museum of Modern Arts, Brooklyn Museum, Macy Gallery at Columbia University , Gallery Pierogi 2000, Lindenberg Gallery, many Iranian filmakers , scholors and critics visited the show; as well as friends of the artists, including Shirin Neshat the prominent Iranian artist who has won the Venice Biennial prize for 1999, and prominent American painter Frank Stella.
The works of art displayed were quite different from each other, in terms of the materials the artists chose to work with, (everything from paint to paper). The statements the artists were conveying  also had quite a variation, ranging from political satire to works of refined traditional rendering with a contemporary hint. The exhibited artists, were at hand to talk with the viewers and offer the occassional insight into a piece of work. The loft space at 24 E.20th St. became more and more packed and seemed to never stop doing so as the hours went by.
With "Passions Evoked", CIMA has successfully begun its mission of exposing Iranian-American artists to a large viewing public and is exceedingly  making us aware of a significant  modern world of creativity unknown to most of us.
The next opportunuty to view contemporary Iranian-American artists was at CIMA's "Summer Show". The turnout was over 400 people and needless to say the exhibit was lively and the crowd high spirited. Now with the second major CIMA event successfully realized, CIMA is seemingly establishing itself as a hip place to see cutting-edge contemporary Iranian art. Twelve Iranian artists including Assurbanipal Babilla, Ardeshir Mohassess, Behrouz Nournia, Hadieh Shafie, Hadi Hazavei, Sudabeh Sharafshahi, Marjan Karim ,and Naser Vaziri were exhibited at the summer show, each showing anywhere from one to three of their works and similar to the first exhibit, "Passions Evoked", quite a few works were purchased. Finally, the opportunity is here for us to embrace contemporary Iranian  artists and as the first two CIMA events showed, we the public are ready to do so enthusiastically.
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