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Taha Heydari - Artists - GAVLAK

b. 1986 in Tehran, Iran

Born to a religious family in Tehran, Iran during a time of war and upheaval, Taha Heydari makes paintings that engage with the ways in which ideology manifests in lived experience. A member of the generation that emerged following the 1978 Islamic Revolution, Heydari deploys various modes of mark-making as a way to reveal and deconstruct the binaries which shaped his identity: East and West, body and soul, past and future. Troubling the stability of the systems which produce and uphold these oppositions, his large-scale paintings are composed of a chaotic dance between machine-like grids and bodily gestures. Drawing from Iranian history and modern pop culture, his extensive digital archive serves as a point of departure for Heydari’s imaginative environments in which contradictory forces collide.

After spending the first twenty-eight years of his life in Iran and then moving to the United States, Heydari has closely observed the correlation of everyday mundanities and more palpably oppressive forces in the omnipresence of ideological order on both sides of the globe. As a way to perform a kind of autopsy on his own place within those systems, and on the larger social fabric itself, Heydari engages with the representation of rupture and conflict. 

Taha Heydari received a BFA in Painting from the Art University of Tehran in 2010 and a diploma in painting from the School of Visual Arts in Tehran, Iran. He then received an MFA from LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2016. Heydari has participated in international solo exhibitions at Haines Gallery in San Francisco, CA; Ethan Cohen Fine Arts in New York, NY; and Ab-Anbar Gallery in Tehran, Iran. He received his first solo museum show at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His work has also been featured in several group exhibitions including The Armory Show and New York shows at Patrick Parrish Gallery and Kravets Wehby Gallery, and at Ab-Anbar Gallery in London. His work is currently on view in the permanent collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art. Heydari’s work will be presented at Art Basel Miami Beach 2022, and he will have a solo exhibition at GAVLAK Palm Beach in January 2023.  




MFA, 2016, LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting at the Maryland Institute

College of Art, Baltimore, MD

BFA, 2010, Art University of Tehran, Painting, Tehran, Iran

Diploma, School of the Visual Arts, Painting, Tehran, Iran




Backscatter: Haines Gallery, San Francisco, CA


Impact Crater: Ab-anbar Gallery, Tehran, Iran


Dual-Use Baltimore to Samarra: School 33, Baltimore, MD

Running Rabbits: Haines Gallery, San Francisco, CA


Untitled Miami Art Fair: Booth A26, Sophia Contemporary Gallery, Miami, FL

Subliminal: Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC


Corrupted: Haines Gallery, San Francisco, CA


See Something Say Something: Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, New York, NY


The Maps: Azad Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran


Last Night: Azad Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran




Visual Unpredictability: Patrick Parrish Gallery, New York, NY

Frieze Viewing Room Los Angeles Edition: Haines Gallery, virtual

The Joy of Painting: Dastan’s Basement, Tehran, Iran

Performance Anxiety: Allegheny art Galleries, Allegheny, PA


On The Verge: Creative Alliance, Baltimore, MD

Vortex: Wehby gallery, New York, NY


Likeness: Haines Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Fears of Art: Ethan Cohen Gallery, New York, NY


The Armory Show: New York, NY


Echo Chamber: Gallery CA, Baltimore, MD

The Edge: Ballroom Gallery, Baltimore, MD

Surface Tension: Current Space, Baltimore, MD

The Simurgh: Creative Alliance, Baltimore, MD

Young Blood: Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD


In the Cloud: Ethan Cohen Gallery, New York, NY

Tracing Fiction: Chicken Box, Baltimore, MD


Painting Wall: Touch Gallery, Cambridge, MA


Speaking from the Heart: Castrum Peregrini, Amsterdam, Netherlands


Post Pop: Mah Mehr Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran

Fresh Air De: Winkelhaak Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium

No Subject: 1 x 1 Gallery, Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Breakfast in Tehran: Frameless Gallery, London, UK

Recycled Art: FA Gallery, Kuwait

Weltanschauung: Freies Museum, Berlin, Germany

Persbook Festival: Sin Art Gallery, Tehran




Individual Artist Award in Painting from the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) Maryland,US

Semi-Finalist, 14th annual Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize. Baltimore, MD

Finalist Bethesda Painting Awards, Bethesda, MD


Meyerhoff Graduate Fellowship, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD

Diversity Grant, Maryland Institute College of Art


First Fadjr International Festival of Visual Arts, Tehran, Ira




Cara Ober, “Artist Archivists,” Bmore Art Issue #8, Fall

Interview  with  Alexandra Chaves, “Artists VS. Nations,” Canvas Magazine, Summer

Farley, Michael Anthony, “US-Based Iranian Artist Taha Heydari Censors His Own Work to Talk About State Control,” Observer


Interview with Kate Mothes, “Young Space,” April


Patterson, Tom, “Review of Subliminal at SECCA,” Winston-Salem Journal, Summer


“A Conversation with Taha Heydari,” Commotion Magazine, Issue 3, Fall

Shamsaei, Mahsa, “Can We See a Tree in the Forest of TV Zapping, GIFs, Pixels, Hashtags, Posts, Links,” September 4

Johnson, Paddy and Farley, Michael Anthony, “We Went to Artscape: Weird Futures on Saratoga Street, July 21

Press Release, Corrupted

Interview, “A Conversation with Taha Heydari,” July 7

Juliette, Rebecca, Bmore Art, April 4

Farley, Michael Anthony, “PMF VII Weekend Highlights: Exhibitions,” Art City, April 15


Press Release, “See Something Say Something,” ECFA

Chan, Michele, “Taha Heydari Decodes Radical Propaganda in the Middle East, In Pictures,” Art Radar, April 24

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