Hamid Keshmirshekan


Research Associate of the Khalili Research Centre; Barakat Senior Scholar

Faculty / College Address:

The Khalili Research Centre
3 St John Street

Tel. 01865 278196



Research Interests:

  • Twentieth and twentieth-first century art from Iran and the Middle East, with particular attention to the recent developments in art practice and its relation to the context

Current Projects:

  • Sole authored book on Discourses on 20th and 21st Century Art of Iran
  • Chapter on “Humorous Art Practices in the Contemporary Middle East: Reacting to Cultural Stereotyping”, in Humor, Globalization, and Culture-specificity in Contemporary Art, eds. Mette Gieskes and Anneke Schulenberg (London, Oxford: Bloomsbury)

Recent Publications:


  • Contemporary Visual and Performing Arts: An Anthology of Hamid Dabashi's Essays, edited with an Introduction by Hamid Keshmirshekan  (London, New York: Anthem Press, 2019).
  • Kankashi dar Hunar-i mu’asir-i iran (An Introduction into Contemporary Iranian Art), 2nd edition (Tehran: Nazar Publication, 2017).
  • Dar-amadi bar nazariyyeh va andisheh-i intiqadi dar tarikh-i hunar (An Introduction to Theory and Critical Thinking in Art History) (Tehran: Cheshmeh Publication, 2017).
  • Koorosh Shishegaran: The Art of Altruism (London: Saqi Books, 2017).
  • Hunar-i mu’asir-i iran, risheh-ha va nazar-gah-hay-i nuvin (Contemporary Iranian Art, Roots and New Perspectives), (Nazar Publication, Tehran: 2015).
  • Contemporary Art from the Middle East: Regional Interactions with Global Art Discourses (London, New York: I.B.Tauris, 2015).
  • Contemporary Iranian Art: New Perspectives (London: Saqi Books, 2013).
  • Amidst Shadow and Light: Contemporary Iranian Art and Artists (Liaoning Creative Press, Hong Kong: 2011).
  • Essays on Curating Contemporary Art (Iranian Art Exhibitions) (Markaz Publication, Tehran: 2011), (English-Persian).
  • Theory, Methodology and History of Art (Tehran: Iranian Academy of Arts Press, 2010) (Persian).
  • Parviz Tanavoli’s Small-Scale Sculptures (Tehran: Bon-gah Publication, 2008) (English-Persian).

Chapters and Articles

  • “Cultural Essentialism in the Context of Neo-Orientalism: The Exposure of Contemporary Art Practices from the Middle East”, kunst und kirche, no. 3 (2019): 34-41.
  • “Parameters of ‘Modern’ and ‘Contemporary’ Art from the Middle East: An Alternative Art Historical Account,” in Global Art History, eds. Julia Allerstorfer, and Monika Leisch-Kiesl (Bielefeld: transcript, 2017): 126-150.
  • “Showcasing Contemporary Iranian Photo-based Art: A Critical Account”, in Contemporary Iranian Photography, Five Perspectives, ed. Abbas Daneshvari (California: Mazda Publication, 2017): 71-82.
  • “Neo-Traditionalismus im Diskurs. Die Saqqakhaneh-Bewegung und ihr Revival in den 1990er Jahren”, in The Tehran Modern, A Reader about Art in Iran since 1960 (Berlin: Neue Nationalgalerie, 2017): 138-153.
  • “The Trajectory of Koorosh Shishegaran’s Artistic Phases: From Utopianism to Aestheticism”, in Koorosh Shishegaran: Life and Work (London: Saqi Books, 2016): 23-42.
  • “Standardisation and the Question of Identity: On the Dominant Discourses on Contemporary Iranian Art,” Kimia-ye-Honar Quarterly, The Advanced Research Institute of Arts, Iranian Academy of Arts, no. 11 (2015): 110-127.
  • “The Crisis of Belonging: On the Politics of Art Practice in Contemporary Iran”, in Contemporary Art from the Middle East: Regional and Global Dialogue, ed. Hamid Keshmirshekan (London, New York: I.B. Tauris, 2015): 109-133.
  • “The Contemporary Art Scene of Iran: Cultural Policy, Infrastructure, Dissemination and Exchange”, in Didgah, New Perspectives on UK-Iran Cultural Relations, (London: Penguin, 2015).
  • “Reclaiming Cultural Space: Artist’s Performativity versus State’s Expectations in Contemporary Iran,” in Performing the Iranian State: Cultural Representations of Identity and Nation, ed. Staci Gem Scheiwiller (Anthem, London, New York: 2013).
  • “Historiography of Modern Iranian Art,” in Iran Modern, eds. by Fereshteh Daftari and Layla Diba (New York: Asia Society, Yale, 2013): 17-24.
  • “Beauty versus reality: Nosratollah Moslemian’s Art in different stages”, Art Tomorrow, (English-Persian), no.7 (2012): 26-37.
  • “Amidst Shadow and Light: Challenges and New Waves in Iranian Art”, Journal of The Iran Society, vol. 2, no. 11 (2012): 32-44.
  • “Neo-calligraphism and Its Different Varieties in Modern and Contemporary Iranian Art,” in Metalwork and Material Culture in the Islamic World: Art, Craft and Text, eds. Mariam Rosser-Owen and Venetia Porter (I.B. Tauris, London, New York: 2012), pp. 441-460.
  • “Textual Element in Modern and Contemporary Iranian Art,” Art Tomorrow, (English-Persian), no.5, (2011): 112-125.
  • “Contemporary or Specific: the Dichotomous Desires in Art of Early 21st Century Iran”, Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, vol. 4, no. 1 (2011): 44-71.
  • “Curatorial History and Curating Art Exhibition: An Iranian Account,” in Essays on Curating Contemporary Art (Iranian Art Exhibitions), ed. Hamid Keshmirshekan (Tehran: Markaz Publication, 2011): 48-63.
  • “Seeing Twofold: Locality and Trans-locality in the Art of Contemporary Iran”, Art Tomorrow, (English-Persian), no. 3 (2011): 144-151.
    “Globalisation and the Question of Identity: Discourses on Contemporary Iranian Art during Past Two Decades,” in Amidst Shadow and Light: Contemporary Iranian Art and Artists, edited by Hamid Keshmirshekan, (Liaoning Creative Press Ltd, Hong Kong: 2011): 64-81.
  • “Reproducing Modernity: The Art of Post-revolutionary Iran since the Late 1990s,” in Amidst Shadow and Light: Contemporary Iranian Art and Artists, edited by Hamid Keshmirshekan, (Liaoning Creative Press Ltd, Hong Kong: 2011): 44-63.
  • “The Paradigms for Contemporaneity in Iranian art,” Art Tomorrow, (English-Persian), no.1 (2010): 112-125.
  • “The New Wave of Iranian Art: Tendencies and Origins,” Art Press (bilingual (French/ English), no.17 (2010): 22-35.
  • “The Question of Identity vis-à-vis Exoticism in Contemporary Iranian Art,” Journal of Iranian Studies, vol. 43, no.4 (2010): 489-512.
  • “Dislocation, Images of Dream and Social Commentary: Mostafa Darrebaghi's Paintings and Installations,” Nuktaart, Biannual, Contemporary Art Magazine of Pakistan, vol.4, no. 2 (2009): 21-24.
  • “Modern and Contemporary Iranian Art: Developments and Challenges,” in Different Sames: New Perspectives in Contemporary Iranian Art (London: Thames and Hudson, 2009): 10-37.
  • “Phenomenology and Art: a Method or an Approach?,” Pazhuhish-nameh-i Farhangistan-i hunar (Journal of the Iranian Academy of Arts), no. 5, Azar-Dey 1386 (Dec.-Jan 2007/2008): 117-133.
  • “Hybridism: Contextualization of Contemporary Middle Eastern Art in the Early 21st Century,” Nukta Art, Biannual, Contemporary Art Magazine of Pakistan, vol.3, no. 2 (2008): 49-61.
  • “Contemporary Iranian Art: The Emergence of New Artistic Discourses,” Journal of Iranian Studies, vol. 40, no. 3 (2007): 335-366.
  • “Discourses on Post-Revolutionary Iranian Art: Neo-traditionalism during the 1990s,” Muqarnas, An Annual on the Visual Culture of the Islamic World, vol. 23 (2006): 131-157.
  • “Neo-traditionalism and Modern Iranian Painting: the Saqqā-khāneh School in the 1960s”, Journal of Iranian Studies, vol. 38, no. 4 (2005): 607-630.

Encyclopaedia Entries:

Exhibition Catalogues:

  • “Reflecting the Past into the Present versus Constructive Specificity in Modern and Contemporary Art in Iran”, in In the Fields of Empty Days: The Intersection of Past and Present in Iranian Art, ed. Linda Komaroff (LA: LACMA Museum, 2018).
  • “Re-interpretation of The Classic and The Contemporary”, in Bizhan Bassiri: Noor, ed. Bruno Corà (Milan: Silvana Editoriale, 2017)  
  • “Globalisierung und die Frage der Identität: Diskurse über die neuere Geschichte der iranischen Kunst”, in Geben Gestern morgen, Iran Architektur und Kunst war (Berlin: IFA Foundation, 2016).
  • “De-contextualisation of Forms and Concepts: Wim Delvoye, an Originator”, in Wim Delvoye in Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (Tehran: TMoCA, 2015).

Further Info:

  • Senior Teaching Fellow at the Department of History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts, SOAS, University of London
  • Research Associate, London Middle East Institute, SOAS (2013-2019)
  • Senior Lecturer at the Advanced Research Institute of Art (ARIA), Iranian Academy of Arts (2013-17)
  • Research Associate, History of Art Department, Oxford University, 2011-12