Shahpour Pouyan was born in Isfahan (Iran) in 1979. He lives and works in London (United Kingdom).


He graduated from the Art University of Tehran (Iran, 2004-2007) where he studied painting, the Iranian Institute of Philosophy in Tehran (Iran, 2005) where is studied Neoplatonism, the Pratt Institute in New York (United States, 2012) in Integrated Practices and New Forms. He also holds a degree in mathematics and physics from the Elmieh School in Tehran (Iran). From 2007 to 2009, he taught art history and the history of Persian architecture at the University of Science and Culture in Tehran.


Pouyan benefited from a solo show at the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Ghent, in 2021. In 2019, his sculptures were on display at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Canada, as part of the exhibition The Moon: A Voyage Through Time and his miniatures are also on view at the British Museum in the Middle East Department, as part of the permanent collection. He took part in many major international group shows: Home Land Security at the Fort Winfield Scott in San Fransisco (USA, 2016), Jameel Prize at the Pera Museum in Istanbul (Turkey, 2016), Memory and Continuity at the Pera Museum in Istanbul (Turkey, 2016), Global/Local at the Grey Art Gallery NYU in New York (USA, 2016), Punk Orientalism at Mackenzie Gallery (Canada, 2018), Chambres à Part VII: Dark to Light at the Tower of London (UK, 2013).


The artist also participated in many biennials: For an image, faster than light for the Yinchuan Biennale (China, 2016), Whorled Explorations for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (India, 2014), the Mykonos Biennale (Greece, 2013), and the Beijing Biennale (China, 2017) entitled The Silk Road and World's Civilizations.


Shahpour Pouyan's works feature in many prestigious public collections: the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA), the Victoria and Albert Museum (London, United Kingdom), the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (Tehran, Iran), the British Museum (London, UK), the MFA, Houston (Houston, United States), the Cornell University Museum (New York, USA) and the Abby Weed Grey Collection of Modern Asian and Middle Eastern Art (New York, USA).


Shahpour Pouyan was awarded several fellowships and residencies: the Kenneth Armitage Foundation in London (United Kingdom, 2020) the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbertide (Italy, 2016), the Residency program of the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts in New York (USA, 2014), the Pegasus Art Foundation residency in Hyderabad, India, 2011), the International Cité des Arts in Paris (France 2007).


Shahpour Pouyan has been represented by Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/Brussels, since 2017.


Shahpour Pouyan was born in Isfahan in 1979, a year marked by the Islamic Revolution in Iran, and grew up in Tehran in the midst of the Iran-Iraq War.


Shahpour Pouyan's practice reflects on the workings of political power, domination and possession through the language of cultural material and forms. Through his drawings, installations and sculptures, he tackles a bifurcated experience of life in Iran and in the U.S., creating a large and significant body of work that draws on a wide range of influences, from traditions of Persian art and Iranian culture to the work of visionary architects such as Etienne Louis Boullée or Claude Nicolas Ledoux.


Shahpour Pouyan's work is a commentary on power, domination and possession through the force of culture. His artwork seeks to transform historical or political issues into a monument of poetic and visual form. The repetition of mistakes and errors is one of his main concerns, and he reflects this by bringing historical aesthetics and mediums to his contemporary art practice, for example, reinventing chainmail, helmets and Persian miniatures. His work does not announce a political agenda; instead, he grapples with materials provided from the political world and historic documents; the poetic qualities of power and the human condition inspire him. His recent works and projects are influenced by science, archeology, and the poetry of architectural forms that bridge past and present.