Soheila Sokhanvari: Rebel Rebel
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Soheila Sokhanvari: Rebel Rebel


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This hardcover book has been published to accompany the Barbican exhibition of the same name.

Rebel Rebel is the first major UK commission by Iranian artist Soheila Sokhanvari, in which she celebrates and commemorates feminist icons from pre-revolutionary Iran. For the project, Sokhanvari transforms the Curve into a devotional space, populated with 28 miniature portraits of glamorous women – from the poet Forough Farrokhzad to the singer Googoosh. Each is a labour of love, painted in the ancient technique of egg tempera with a squirrel-hair brush.

The accompanying exhibition catalogue features a new text by the curator and writer Dr Jordan Amirkhani, exploring the contradictions of Iranian women’s lives during the Pahlavi era between 1925 and the 1979 revolution, and an interview with the artist by Barbican curator Eleanor Nairne. The book is richly illustrated with Sokhanvari’s exquisite paintings, as well as the 90-metre hand-painted mural and mirrored sculptures that honour their lives in a dazzling installation. Sokhanvari shines a spotlight on the rarely-told histories of these women, who pursued creative careers in a culture enamoured with Western style but not its freedoms.

By: Jordan Amirkhani, Soheila Sokhanvari, (artist), edited by Eleanor Nairne and Hilary Floe.

Hardback: 48 pages.