Sara Rahbar

Born 1976 in Tehran, Iran
Lives and works in New York, USA

Sara Rahbar pursued an interdisciplinary study program in New York and also studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art and design in London.

She fled her birthplace during the period of immense upheaval that followed the revolution in Iran and the start of the Iran-Iraq war.  These experiences deeply influenced and shaped her understanding of the world. The absurdity of organized religion, deception of political regulations, inhumane cruelty toward mankind and animals, molded her into an artist and an activist.

As a contemporary mixed media artist, her work ranges from photography to sculpture to installation, all of which reveal and transform the artist’s personal experiences and are intimately autobiographical.  While her initial practice explored more autobiographical ideas of national belonging originating from her Iranian/American history, her current practice has evolved to address issues of the human condition on a broader-scale.

Rahbar has exhibited widely in art institutions including but not limited to Queensland Museum, Sharjah Art foundation, Venice Biennial, The Centre Pompidou and
Mannheimer Kunstverein, and her works are included in the permanent collections of the British Museum, The Centre Pompidou, Queensland Art Gallery, The Davis Museum at Wellesley College, and the Sharjah Art Foundation amongst others.


2004-2005, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London
1996-2000, The Fashion Institute of Technology, New York

Solo Exhibitions (selected)

“Carry me home”, Dallas Contemporary, Texas
“Salvation”, Carbon 12, Dubai
“Swarming”, Carbon 12, Dubai
“Restless Violence”, Carbon 12, Dubai
“I have no faith left for the devil to take”, Hilger Contemporary, Vienna
“Whatever we had to lose we lost, and in a moonless sky we marched”, Carbon 12, Dubai
“Contradicting Realities: Recent works by Sara Rahbar”, Tyler Art Gallery, Suny Oswego, New York

Group Exhibitions (selected)

“Surface/Depth – The Decorative After Miriam Schapiro”, MAD – Museum of Arts and Design, New York
“ART NOT JAIL 2018”, 107 Norfolk Street, New York
“Motherland in Art”, Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, Poland
“2050. A Brief History of the Future”, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung
“Letters – Curated by ATHR”, Warehouse 421, Abu Dhabi
“Design for the displaced”, MAD (Museum of Arts and Design), New York
“Alles oder Immer”, Shau Fenster (Raum für Kunst), Berlin
“Colgate Alumni Collect”, Colgate University, Hamilton
“Beautiful Stranger”, De Wieger Museum, Deurne
“Versus Rodin”, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
“The Davis. ReDiscovered”, Davis Museum at Wellesley College, USA
“A History: Contemporary Art from the Centre Pompidou”, Haus der Kunst, Munich
“2050. A Brief History of the Future.”, Palazzo Reale, Milan
“The Great Game”, The National Pavilion of Iran, Venice Biennale
“I lost an arm on my last trip home”, Ryan Lee Gallery, New York
“2050. A Brief History of the Future”, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels
“The shade of the moon”, Changwon Sculpture Biennial, South Korea
“A History, Art, Architecture, Design from the 80’s to now”, Musee National D’Art Moderne, Paris
SAF: Sharjah Art Foundation Art Spaces, UAE

Bischoff/Weiss, London
“Tales of Another Identity”, Larm Galleri, Copenhagen
11th Sharjah Biennial, UAE
“7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art”, Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane, Queensland
“Global Warming”, Mannheimer Kunstverein, Mannheim
“Come Invest in Us You’ll Strike Gold”, Hilger BROT Kunsthalle, Vienna
The 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Australia
“Forward”, Q Contemporary, Beirut
“Sex, DUI’s and Videotape II”, Brot-Kunsthalle, Vienna
“Life is too short”, Salsali Private Museum, Dubai
“Der arge Weg der Erkenntnis”, Gloria, Berlin
“Nose Bleed”, Fuse Gallery, New York
“Sex, DUI’s and Videotape”, New York
“The elephant in the dark”, The Devi Art Foundation, India
“Show off”, Salsali Private Museum, Dubai
“It ain’t fair: Materialism”, OH WOW, Miami
“Activating Medi(t)ation, Examining Asian Cultural Perspectives in the M-shaped Age”, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan
“Freedom to create”, National Gallery of Bosnia + Herzegovina, Sarajevo
Sanat Limani-Antrepo 5, Istanbul, Turkey
“West end, Museum on the Seam”, Jerusalem
“Art as witness”, New Delhi, Siddhartha Hall, Goethe-Institute/ Max Muller
“Freedom to create”, Ana Tzarev Gallery, New York
“Freedom to create”, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai
“Freedom to create”, Cairo Opera House, Egypt
“The silk road”, Lille3000, Tri Postal, France
“The state”, Traffic Gallery, Dubai
“The unbearable lightness of being”, Carbon 12, Dubai
“Die obscure objects of my desire”, Hilger Contemporary, Vienna
“Hope”, Palais des arts et du festival, Dinard, France
“Iran inside out”, The Farjam Collection, Dubai
“Elles@centrepompidou”, The Center Pompidou”, Paris
“Never run away”, Stux gallery, New York
“The promise of loss, a contemporary index of Iran”, Arario Gallery, New York
“Eye of the beholder”, Nassau County Museum of Fine Arts, New York
“The edible woman, Kravets + Wehby Gallery, New York
”The promise of loss, a contemporary index of Iran”, Brot-kunsthalle, Vienna
”Iran inside out: Influences of homeland and disaporic realities”, DePaul University Museum, Chicago
“The seen and the hidden: (Dis)covering the veil”, The Austrian Cultural Forum, New York
Iran Inside out: Influences of Homeland and Disaporic realities”, Chelsea Art Museum, New York
“Collective de five artistes Iranians”, Galerie Hussenot, Paris
“Love arrived and how red”, Hilger Contemporary, Vienna
“Unveiled: New art from the Middle East”, The Saatchi Gallery, London
“Artist in exile”, Arario Gallery, New York
“Indian popular culture, and beyond: The untold (the rise of) Schisms”, Sala Alcalá 31, Madrid, Spain
“What was the word I want”, Galerie Hussenot, Paris
“Look what love did to us once again”, Cramer Contemporary, Geneve, Switzerland
“In transition Russia”, National Centre of Contemporary Art, Moscow
“In transition Russia”, Museum of Fine Arts, Ekaterinburg
“Everywhere is war (and rumors of war), Bodhi Art”, Mumbai, India
“On a clear day you can see forever”, Hilger Contemporary, Vienna
“Emerging discourse: Multiple and overlapping contemplations from the diaspora”, Bodhi Art, New York
“Raid Projects”, Los Angeles
“This case of conscience – Spiritual flushing and the remonstrance”, Queens Museum of Art, New York
“Regional delicacies”, XVA Gallery, Dubai
“Persian Arts Festival: Weaving the common thread”, Queens Museum of Art, New York
“Continuity and change: Islamic tradition in contemporary art”, The Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, New York
“Hyphenation exhibition”, University of Maryland, USA
“Iranian Literary Arts Festival”, Theater Artaud, San Francisco
“Inclusion exclusion”, Bronco, Cal Poly Pomona, Los Angeles
“Celluloid”, Gallery One, San Francisco
“Emergency room”, PS1 MoMA, New York
“Emergence”, Current Gallery, Baltimore
“Beyond Persia”, Gallery One, San Francisco
“Changing climate, changing colors”, Henry Street Settlement, New York
“Everything, all at once”, QMA Biennial, Queens Museum of Art, New York
“Nobody’s Enemy”, Queens Museum of Art, New York
“See Williamsburg”, Lunar Base Gallery, New York


2018, Grant, Dean Collection 20 St(art)ups

Collections (selected)

Centre Pompidou, Musée National d´Art Moderne, Paris
The Saatchi Collection, UK
Burger Collection, Hong Kong
The Devi Art Foundation, India
Collection Nadour, Rüdiger K. Weng, Krefeld, Paris
Salsali Private Museum, Dubai
National Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan
The Farook Collection, Dubai
The Farjam Collection, Dubai
QAGOMA: Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, Australia
Sharjah Art Foundation
British Museum, UK
Davis Museum at Wellesley College, USA