Shahram Karimi

Born in 1957, Iran, Shahram Karimi grew up in Shiraz. He is a self made artist who has been successful both in his own country and in the West. Karimi’s works have been exhibited in numerous countries ranging from Iran, Turkey, Germany, US, and Switzerland to name a few.

Shahram Karimi’s paintings portray the dilemma of the contemporary bicultural Iranian who seeks his historical and personal identity by wedding his personal past with contemporary form. Each one of Karimi’s paintings relates a fragment of his memories and national history, each a piece of his personal past. People, flowers, the ambience of an Iranian village stranded on his canvas bespeak of the past simplicity of Iran and yet in the remote corners of the same piece we often come across the depiction of a real historical event blended into the weaves of the artist’s canvas. Thus does the painter strive to unfold the dust of oblivion from his own memory and unveil the identity of the contemporary Iranian lost in a world of a much loved simple past and a fast tracking contemporary present that bears no relationship with the world of his childhood. This is where Karimi realizes the need for elements from his Iranian background and this is where he turns to Iranian poetry to thread it through his works and thereby to leave its mark.

The writings in his works are hard to read and are in fact only threads that rise out of the painting to join its various corners together and to leave the reader with the unforgettable remembrance of where it all stemmed from: the Persian poem that Iranians take such pride in and which to them is the single indivisible cultural element they all embrace. And yet the painter goes even further: the separate frames of memory he leaves in various corners of his work rise from his personal conscious and unconscious.

Karimi’s misty background greys and blues force the viewer to witness how what we see as memory still lives on in us to control, influence and shape our present. Shahram Karimi is presently living and working in Germany and the United States.


  1. Actionhaus.Tehran
  2. Fillings
  3. Actionhaus Dorotheum
  4. Self- reflection.Neu York

2020   Actionhaus.Tehran

2019   I lost myself somewhere, Gallery Etemad Tehran ‘Iran

2019   PINKDreams in a Land with no Name, Gallery Elga Wimmer New York

2019   Actionhaus.Tehran

2017  The Garden is My Skin, Kunsthaus Troisdorf, Germany

2017  The Garden is My Skin, Kunsthaus Troisdorf, Germany

2016  The Cold Earth Sleeps Below (in Collaboration with Shoja Azari),

Leila Heller Gallery, New York, United States

2015   Remembrance , Syra Arts, Washington

2015   Remembrance , Gallery Syra, Washington D.C., United States

2015   Longing for Myself, Brigitte Schenk Gallery, Germany

2015  Open the Door, Kunsthaus Troisdorf, Germany

2014  The Rose Garden of Remembrance, Mah Art Gallery, Tehran

2013  Magic of Light, Mana Contemporary, Jersey city, NJUSA

2011  The Rose Garden of Remembrance, Leila Hella Gallery, New York

2010  Museum Siegburg, Germany

2008 Brigitte Schenk Gallery, Cologne, Germany Gallery Leo Castelli, New York, USA

2006  Gallery II Gabbiano, Rome, Italy

Art Basel Galerie Marco Noire, San Sebastiano / Turin, Italy

2005  Kölner Stadt Anzeiger, Cologne, Germany

2004  Studio Shirin Neshat in New York, USA

2001  Pumpwerk, Siegburg, Germany

1998  Museum Siegburg, Germany

1987  Gallery Taehr, Shiraz, Iran

1981/ 86 Gallery Wesal, Shiraz, Iran


2018                  Azad Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran

2018                  The World is My Home, ADVOCARTSY, LA. USA

2018                  Art Cologne, Brigitte Schenk Gallery, Cologne, Germany

2016                  Art Cologne, Brigitte Schenk Gallery, Cologne, Germany

2015                  Abu Dhabi Art, Brigitte Schenk Gallery, Cologne, Germany

2014                  Look at Me, Leila Heller Gallery

2014                 Art Fair Dubai, UAE

2012                  The Elephant in the Dark, Devi Art Foundation, India

Magic of Persia, Dubai, UAE

2011                 The Mask & The Mirror, curated by Shirin Neshat, Leila Heller Gallery

Art Dubai, Brigitte Schenk Gallery

Art Cologne, Brigitte Schenk Gallery Germany

2010                    Art Dubai, Dubai, UAE

Art Cologne, Germany

2009                 Chelsea Art Museum, New York, USA

Art Cologne, Germany

Art Dubai, Dubai, UAE

2008 ArtParis, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Art Cologne, Germany

Gallery Taginia, New York, USA

Art Fair Miami, USA

Art Fair Bologna, Italy

2007                 Art Fair Bologna, Italy

Museum Las Palma (CAAM), Spain

2006                  ART20 The International Art Fair New York, USA

2003                  "Poetic Justice", the 8th International Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey

Gallery of Contemporary Arts in Pancevo, Yugoslavia

"25 Years of Separation", Iranian Cultural Center, Los Angeles, USA

2000                    Kunstverein Aschaffenburg, Germany

1997/ 2000/ 2001 Grosse Kunstausstellung NRW, Düsseldorf, Germany

1994                  Kunstforum Bonn, Germany

1979                  Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran, Iran

1976                  Gallery Takhte Jamshid, Tehran, Iran


Shahram Karimi has collaborated with the visual artist/ filmmaker, Shirin Neshat as the key
production designer for the following films:

2012                  "Desert Dancer" Richard Raymond

2010                  To Be and Not To Be” Filmmaker Nederland/ Frank Schaffer

2008                  "The White Meadow" Iran/ Mohammad Rasoulof

2007                  "Women Without Men"

2003--05 Feature length film "Women Without Men", shot in Morocco

2002--04 Logic of the Birds”, a multi--media performance, USA and European tour

2003                  The Last Word”, Shot in New York

2002                  Tooba”, Shot in Mexico

2001                  Passage", "Possessed", "Pulse", Shot in Morocco, Film “K” in the US

2000                  Fervor", shot in Morocco

1999                  "Soliloquy", shot in Turkey

"Under the Sun" Pasoulini film production, shot in Egypt

Shahram Karimi has also been the production designer for American filmmaker Shoja Azari

in several of his productions, including his feature length film "K" (2002) and "Windows"



2009                  Golden Lion for Women without Men

Special Jury Prize Award Dubai Film Festival

The White Meadows, Mohammad Rasoulof

1997                  First Prize “Art Price” Rhein--Siege V, Germany