Ahmad Esfandiari

Ahmad Esfandiari

He was born in Tehran, 1922 and died on March 19th, 2012. He was one of the pioneers of the modern painting in Iran and one of the few remained Iranian painters of the first modernist generation.

His parents were from Kerman but originally from Mazandaran and relatives of Nima Yooshij (Ali Esfandiari). They were artistic people. His father had a good singing voice and nice handwriting. His mother played violin and was a student of Abolhasan Saba. Ahmad learned painting from a student of Kamal-ol-Molk and then went to Faculty of Fine Arts (Tehran University) and finally graduated with BA degree in 1947. His thesis was a painting called ‘Club of Officers’.

He was one of the founders of Apadana Gallery (the first private gallery in Iran). Also, he taught painting and literature in some high schools. In 1975, he retired from the Ministry of Education and started sketching plants in Higher College.

According to art experts, Ahmad Esfandiari is one of the pioneers of modernism in Iran. He is remembered as the pioneer artist of modern art in Iran. He held dozens of local and foreign exhibitions and won many awards. He was particularly interested in painting nature and used cool colours especially blue. He is called ‘the painter of blues’.


  • Group exhibition, First Iranian Authors Congress, Iran-Russia cultural relationships (1946)
  • Group exhibition, Cultural Society of Iran and France, Tehran (1949)
  • First Biennale, a work called ‘Still life’, Iran, Tehran (1958)
  • Second Biennale, a work called ‘Figure of objects’, Iran, Tehran (1960)
  • Third Biennale, a work called ‘The crowd’, Iran, Tehran (1962)
  • Fourth Biennale, Iran, Tehran (1964)
  • Fifth Biennale, Iran, Tehran (1966)
  • Group exhibition, Central Palace of The Young (1969)
  • Group exhibition, ‘Iran contemporary Arts, from the beginning to now’, Iran-American Society (1975)
  • Group exhibition, Khaneye Aftab (1978)
  • Group exhibition, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Arts (1987)
  • Exhibition of ‘Visual arts of the country’ (1988)
  • Group exhibition, Museum of Contemporary Arts’, for the benefit of earthquake victims of Gilan and Zanjan Provinces (1990)
  • Second Biennale exhibition of Iran Paintings, Iran (1993)
  • Group exhibition, Keyhan Art Gallery (1995)
  • Solo exhibition, Bamdad Art Gallery (1996)
  • Group exhibition, with Mansoureh Hosseini and Reza Hosseini, Darya Beygi Art Gallery (1996)
  • Solo exhibition, Barg Art Gallery (1997)
  • Solo exhibition, Fereshteh Art Gallery (1999)
  • Solo exhibition under the title of ‘A review of works’, Niyazi Art Gallery (2001)
  • Solo exhibition, Haft Samar Art Gallery (2002)
  • Group exhibition, with Mansoureh Hosseini and Hasan Ali Zabehi, Daya Beygi Art Gallery (2002)
  • Solo exhibition, Atashzad Art Gallery (2003)
  • Group exhibition, First Quran Art Festival, Bangladesh (2004)
  • Group exhibition, ‘Modernists of Iran Painting’, Saad Abad Art Gallery (2004)
  • Group exhibition, on the occasion of Cultural Heritage Week, Niyazi Art Gallery (2004)
  • Exhibition under the title of ‘Nature in Eastern Art’, Saba Art Gallery (2005)
  • Group exhibition, ‘Classmates, in honour of Modernists of Iran Contemporary Painting’, on the occasion of Cultural Heritage Week, accompanied by some works of Mahmood Javadi Pour and Abdollah Ameri, Shiva Art Gallery (2005)
  • Solo exhibition, Homa Art Gallery (2006)
  • Group exhibition, ‘Contemporary painting and sculpture of Iran, 1960s-70s, Artists Forum (2006)
  • Group exhibition, ‘Nature in realistic paintings’, Gita and Shams Art Galleries (2006)
  • Fourth International Biennale of Islamic Contemporary Paintings, Art Academy (2006)
  • First National Festival of Resistance Visual Arts, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Arts (2006)
  • Group exhibition, with Hossein Ali Zabehi and Manouchehr Niyazi, Darya beygi Art Gallery (2006)
  • Group exhibition, Nina Art Gallery (2007)
  • Group exhibition, ‘Presence’, Haft Honar Art Gallery (2007)
  • Group exhibition, ‘Asre Tamasha’, Rasooli Art Gallery (2007)
  • Major sale of Iran Painters Association, Saad Abad Complex (2007)
  • Seventh National Biennale of Iran Contemporary Painting (2007)
  • Group exhibition of ‘Modernist Painters’, Oveisi Art Gallery (2008)
  • Group exhibition, contemporary painters, Boys’ Fine Arts School (2008)
  • Group exhibition, ‘Three generations’, Khane Honar (2009)
  • Group exhibition, Darya Beygi Art Gallery (2009)
  • Group exhibition, Mellat Cinema Pardis Art Gallery (2009)
  • Group exhibition, Nowruz Honar Art Gallery (2009)
  • Exhibition and special sale of works of contemporary artists under the title of ‘Nature Layers’, Mellat Cinema Pardis Art Gallery (2010)

His works are kept in:

  • Tehran Museum of Contemporary Arts
  • Ben and Abby Garry Association, The United States
  • Pasargad Bank Museum of Contemporary Visual Arts

Ahmad Esfandiari (b. 1922) Untitled

Signed Gouache on cardboard 37 x 26 cm

No exhibition at CAMA Gallery.

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