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Iran Darrudi, pioneer surrealist, dies at 85

Iran Darrudi, pioneer surrealist, dies at 85

Top Iranian surrealist painter Iran Darrudi passed away on Friday at a Tehran hospital after a prolonged battle with cancer, something that she had once called the miracle of her life.

Iranart: Her death was announced in a post on her Instagram account, now being handled by the Iran Darrudi Foundation.

“A free, patriot and sparring woman, a lady to whom the contemporary Iranian art will be indebted forever has been joined to the light,” the foundation wrote in the post on Friday.

Earlier in September, Darrudi was hospitalized after she tested positive for COVID-19, however, she left the hospital soon after recovering from the disease.

Born in 1936 in the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad, she left Iran with her family for Germany. However, they returned to Mashhad after World War II broke out. They then chose to live in Tehran.

In 1954, she moved to Paris to study painting at École des Beaux-Arts. She also attended courses in several other French and American academic centers.

She organized her first professional solo exhibit at Tehran’s Farhang Auditorium in 1960 following her return to Iran.

In the 1960s, she took her collection to Europe and then to the United States, where she met Parviz Moqaddasi, an Iranian filmmaker who married Darrudi.

This marriage soon came to an end with Moqaddasi’s premature death. Darrudi never married again.
Darrudi shot to fame following the showcase of her 1968 work “Iranian Petroleum” commissioned by the ITT Corporation to celebrate the launch of a pipeline from Abadan to Mahshar. The painting was published by several international magazines, including Time, Newsweek and Life Magazine.

Numerous major art centers in Iran works showcased her artworks her works in over 60 solo and 250 group exhibitions. 

In his visit to Tehran in 1964, Spanish painter Salvador Dali met Darrudi, calling her an Oriental artist with infinite taste and talent.

World-renowned art critic Frank Elgar wrote about Darrudi, “If painting is a poetic and abstract interpretation of reality, Iran Dorrudi is a true poet. Her surrealism does not possess worn-out elements. She needs nothing but taking advantage of the treasures of Iran’s symbolic traditions, an Iran where Sadi and Behzad lived.”

In late 2000s, Darrudi returned to her motherland from France, dreaming of finding a place to showcase her large collection permanently, a dream that never came to fruition.

Ney Publications released her autobiography “In the Distance between Two Points…!” in 1995.

“In this book, what I said was the whole truth,” she once said. However, she said she had declined to say something that may cause her problems. 

One of these problematic things was her cancer, for which she had undergone surgery 23 times over the past 20 years.

In an interview published in 2019, Darrudi called cancer the miracle of her life.

“I never took it seriously; cancer was the miracle of my life, a miracle that forced me to remember life, filling every moment of my life with love, something that helped me stay alive after 23 surgeries,” she had said.    

“Cancer raised my resistance so that I created my major works after I was diagnosed with the illness,” she said. 

source: Tehran Times

Iran Darrudi
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