Born in Tehran, Iran in 1937 and immigrating to Vancouver in 1989, Parviz Tanavoli is the pioneer of modern sculpture in Iran. His art career began in the early 1950’s and spans to the present.
Crucial to understanding Tanavoli’s achievements is the realization that he has explored, analyzed and absorbed the rich visual, literary and craftsmanly traditions of Iran. It is virtually impossible to separate his work as an artist from his passionate engagement as a researcher, teacher, collector and author. These complex relationships are perhaps most richly and most succinctly represented by the artist’s life-long preoccupation with the lock. Dismantling and repairing locks was a favourite pastime from early childhood, and that has no doubt offered important “sculptural” lessons about formal interrelationships, including those of positve and negative space.