Ardeshir Mohassess Iranian, 1938-2008

Ardeshir Mohassess (Rasht, 1938-2008) was a prolific, influential, and internationally renowned Iranian artist. Born in the Caspian city of Rasht, Ardeshir Mohassess belonged to an educated and influential family. Although he was a top candidate for the School of Fine Arts, he studied Political Science and Law at the University of Tehran. He was a librarian while publishing political drawings in Iranian newspapers.

Ardeshir Mohassess is known for his critical and humorous approach to his subject matter. His cartoons incorporated elements from the media, photography, film, Qajar-era lithography, and coffeehouse paintings. Using colored pencils, watercolor, and oil paints, he created both professional and amateurish works, employing pen and ink in many of his works. His work bridges the gap between traditional and modern Iranian art. He has influenced many Iranian cartoonists and illustrators, making it possible to refer to the tradition of drawing and figurative painting in Iran with him. His career spanned over half a century, with decisive turns in Iran’s socio-political environment.

Best known for his drawings, his cartoons and illustrations have appeared in various publications, including Keyhan-e Hafteh (Weekly Book), Tamasha (Watch), and Tehran Journal. As Mohassess's talent gained recognition, his drawings were featured in international publications such as "Jeune Afrique," "The New York Times," and "The Nation." Works of Ardeshir Mohassess have been shown in notable venues such as the Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris, and the Asia Society, New York. They have been acquired by prestigious collections such as the Library of Congress and the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, and they have adorned the pages of more than ten books.