Introduction: Bettina Richter, curator of the exhibition and the poster collection, Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
A relatively recent development, Iranian graphic design arose as a discipline in its own right in the 1960s. After the founding of the Islamic Republic in 1979 and the Iran-Iraq War, designers began building on the legacy of the pre-war period, producing works that combine an unorthodox interpretation of their Persian heritage with contemporary trends in international graphic design. Presented here is a new donation to the museum’s unparalleled collection of Iranian poster art with works from the past twenty years. While some of these affirm Western preconceptions of Islamic aesthetics, others radically undermine them in ways that take us by surprise. With their poetic, often symbolically coded visuals that cut through the cultural and political restrictions of the regime, the posters reflect the creative license that comes into play in times of political turmoil.
Today, Iran is at a historical turning point. Our poster exhibition will be flanked by a program that reflects on the current political situation and visualizes the uprising spearheaded by countless courageous women against a deeply repressive regime.