The first edition of the biennial Behnam Bakhtiar Award, an art prize focusing on timely issues relating to Iran, is now open to entries. Unusual in its specific geographical focus on Iran, the award was started by artist Sassan Behnam Bakhtiar, an ardent champion of Iran's art scene, and supports the aim of Fondation Behnam Bakhtiar in exploring the country’s creativity. The theme for the first year is FUTURE. IRAN, and the hope is that artists will create works that explore the idea of a brighter future for the country and its people, and counter negative ideas of the country and its people.
The aim of the award is to provide a global platform for the winners to promote Iranian art. The winner will receive a cash prize of €10,000, a solo exhibition at Galerie Behnam Bakhtiar in Monaco along with a publication, and two works from their portfolio will enter the Behnam Bakhtiar Permanent Collection. Two runners-up will also receive a group exhibition at the Monaco gallery and one of their works will be acquired for the Fondation Behnam Bakhtiar Permanent Collection. The award is open to every artist of Iranian descent living in or outside of Iran and entries are open until 24 August 2017. Submissions can be in any medium and should contain a minimum of eight and a maximum of 12 works focusing on the theme.
The jury consists of the critic and founder of ReOrient, Joobin Bekhrad; the writer and journalist Tim Cornwell; arts writer Anna Wallace Thompson; Alistair Hicks, curator and author of the Global Art Compass; curator Janet Rady, art advisor and curator Nina Moaddel, and the art historian and Artnet senior specialist in Middle Eastern art, Bibi Naz Zavieh. The committee will choose eight finalists by end of October 2017, and the winner and runners-up will be announced by the end of November.
For more information see fondationbehnambakhtiar.com/behnam-bakhtiar-award