In works of art astonishing for their beauty, sophistication, and virtuosity, Shahpour Pouyan (b. 1979) expresses a poetic melancholy about the human condition. Winter in Paradise will be this internationally renowned Iranian artist’s largest solo museum exhibition to date. Three major projects from the past decade will show Pouyan’s extraordinary mastery of a range of traditional and new media and his engagement with history and contemporary events.

Conceived as a triptych in three galleries, the exhibition explores the architecture of power, its fragmentation and destruction, and feelings of nostalgia for a lost presence. Works on view will include examples of the drawings and ceramic sculptures of architecture for which Pouyan is well known, plus his first virtual reality installation, which is making its debut at the Frist. Accompanied by a haunting musical score set in a chilled room, the VR installation is an immersive multisensory experience that allows guests to explore the interior of an uncharacteristically gloomy Persian mosque in which snow mysteriously falls.

This project is supported by an Ellsworth Kelly Award. Granted by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, it is given to one American museum each year toward the realization of a pivotal exhibition in an artist’s career.

Shahpour Pouyan: Winter in Paradise is organized by the Frist Art Museum.

Presented in part by

Frist Foundation, Metro Arts, Tennessee Arts Commission, and National Endowment for the Arts logos

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