Exhibitions of progressive new Iranian art have flourished over the last several years, in commercial galleries in the Middle East and in diasporic centers like New York and London. The most recent major contribution to this ongoing introduction is Iranian Arts Now at Cité International des Arts in Paris until July 24. Though the emergent profile of contemporary Iranian art has been supported by dealers like Leila Heller in New York and the Silk Road Gallery in Tehran, broader public exposure is being facilitated by museum exhibitions, and notable ones include Iran Inside Out at the Chelsea Art Museum in 2009 and a current exhibition, Contemporary Iranian Art from the Permanent Collection, at the Metropolitan Art Museum.
Art is a hungry master, often demanding no less than all. Chekhov’s Nina, at the end of “The Seagull,” found this to be a drudgery, but there are many of the un-famous out there who render homage to the quest. Few professions require the level of perseverance that a life in the arts demands. Yet those who do persist, many unsung, make rare things every day and enjoy the inestimable privilege of hearing Shakespeare and Mozart come out of their mouths. Being an artist is making the trip to Baudelaire’s island. Once you have heard that performance or two which cannot be forgotten, which showed you what was really in the piece, which made you feel that this was the performance you always knew but hadn’t heard – there is no going back.
Launched in 1998, shortly after its sister site, Drawing Materials and Techniques, The Drawing Site, originally the Web presence of Michael Miller Lucy Vivante Fine Arts, Inc., also received About.com’s “Best of the Net” Award for September 1999. The site has been altered little since then and looks its age. It will retire, perhaps to reemerge in some new form, but its original purpose as a center for knowledge on master drawings of all periods and as a source for collectors will pass on to Michael Miller Old Master Drawings [http://oldmasterdrawings.net], which is still under construction.