Massoud Arabshahi (b. Tehran, 1935) draws inspiration from Achaemenid and Assyrian art as well as Babylonian carvings and inscriptions. From his early work from the early 1960s to the present day, he combines tradition and modernity, often with hints of futurism. Arabshahi held his first solo exhibition at the Iran-India Centre, Tehran, in 1964, a year before graduating with a BA in Sculpture and Painting from the College of Decorative Arts, Tehran, where he completed his education in 1967 with an MA in Interior Design. Architectural reliefs have long been a major part of his work, both in his Iran and later in the United States, including large-scale commissions for the Conference Centre in Tehran’s Arg Square (1969) and at the Office for Industry and Mining, Tehran (1971), and the California Insurance Building in Santa Rosa (1985). His paintings have always had a dialogue with reliefs, pushing the boundaries between the 2D and the 3D.
His work has been shown in a number of solo and group exhibitions in Iran, Europe and the United States, including Two Modernist Iranian Pioneers, at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, 2001; and Iranian Contemporary Art, Barbican Centre, London, 2001 and Iran Modern at The Asia Society, New York, 2013. This is the first gallery exhibition of his work in the Arab Middle East.