The virus of collecting which ailed me since childhood, became a full-fledged disease when I turned into an adult. The virus that I caught, however, was different than what most affluent collectors contract.
Some of these collectors insist on having a bit of everything, and some only go after masterworks. Others look at it as an investment and calculate profits.
But my virus had me chase after the unknown. Although I was mostly concerned with Iranian handicrafts, I wasn't unaware of the fine arts either. But I was never able to acquire whatever I desired in fine arts, and my collection never grew larger than what is included in this book.
Dastan presents "Virus of Collecting", a selection of works from Parviz Tanavoli's Iranian modern/contemporary art collection at Dastan+2. The exhibition will open on Friday, 4 September, 2020, and will be on display for public viewing until September 25. This exhibition brings together a number of works from across a diverse range of media, including paintings and sculptures, ceramics and works on paper, mostly dating from 1955-1975. Featuring an impressive array of names like Ardeshir Mohassess, Marco Grigorian, Karl Schlamminger, Abbas Kiarostami, Sohrab Sepehri, Charles Hossein Zenderoudi, and Bahman Mohassess, Parviz Tanavoli's collection contains an eclectic range of works which reflects the artist-collector's personal acquaintance with these artists.
Parviz Tanavoli's collection is accompanied by a memoir titled Virus of Collecting (Nazar Publication, 2020). In this book, the artist and art collector, adopting the personal tone of a first person narrator, records the events leading up to the acquisition and formation of his collection, revealing much about his personal acquaintance and friendship with the creators of the artworks. Tinged with his natural gift for storytelling and containing the letters he received from these artists, Parviz Tanavoli's recollections provide a unique source of knowledge about the spirit of the age as well as the early stages of the artists' careers. Given the intimate atmosphere of the memories invoked in this book, the temptation is to spin some biographical scenes out of each and every piece in this collection. Considering the major role the artist, art collector, and teacher played in the formation of modern art in Iran, the biographical nuances are indicative of the standards of taste disseminated among a young generation of artists sharing a passion for developing the newly formed art scene.
This exhibition is an attempt to create a semblance of Parviz Tanavoli's private house at Northern Tehran, which he intended to turn into a museum at some point. Highlighting the personal taste of the collector as an artist, the pieces have been placed within a reconstructed space of his living room.