Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian was born in Qazvin, Iran in 1923. She studied at the Fine Arts College at Tehran University (1944-46), Parsons School of Design, New York (1946-49) and Cornell University, Ithaca (1950-51).
She is internationally celebrated for producing modern masterpieces in the traditional art of mirror-mosaic and reverse-glass painting. Her reputation peaked in the 1970s, with major exhibitions in Paris and New York. After the Islamic Revolution of 1979 she moved to New York and in 2000 launched herself on the international art scene once again to huge critical acclaim.
Her work is in several public collections, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; the Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane, Australia; the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Niyavaran Palace & Cultural Centre and Saadabad Museum, all in Iran; The Metropolitan Museum and the Grey Art Gallery, both in New York; and the Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.
She is also the subject of several monographs, including Monir by Hans Ulrich Obrist (Damani, 2011); A Mirror Garden: A Memoir by Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian and Zara Houshmand (Knopf, 2007); Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian: Heartaches, by Rose Issa (Nazar Research and Cultural Institute, 2007); Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian: Mosaic of Mirrors by Rose Issa, with a foreword by Frank Stella (Nazar Research and Cultural Institute, 2006); and also the compendium, Iranian Contemporary Art by Rose Issa (Booth-Clibborn Editions, 2001).
Her recent solo shows include "Infinite Possibilities", Guggenheim Foundation, New York, USA (2015) and Serralves Foundation, Porto, Portugal (2014-15); “Hejleh”, Rose Issa Projects, London (2013); “Convertibles and Polygons”, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, USA (2012-13); “Recent Works”, Rose Issa Projects, London (2010); “Geometry of Hope”, curated by Rose Issa at Leighton House Museum, London (2008); “Recollections”, Third Line Gallery, Dubai (2008); and “Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian: Mirror Mosaics” at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2007).
Group shows include "Future Light", Vienna Biennale at the MAK, Vienna (2015); "Abstract Drawing", The Drawing Room, London (2014); "Route Bleue" at the Boghossian Foundation, Brussels (2013-14); “Jef Geys/Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian”, Wiels, Brussels (2013); the Jameel Prize 2011 exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, touring to the Institute du Monde Arab, Paris (2011-12), the Casa Arabe, Madrid (2012), the Cantor Arts Centre, Stanford, (2012-13) and the San Antonio Museum of Art (2013); "Zendegi: Twelve Contemporary Iranian Artists", Rose Issa Projects at the Beirut Exhibition Center (2011); “Diwan East West”, Venice Biennale (2009); “Die Macht dest Ornaments”, Belvedere Museum, Vienna (2008-9); “Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian”, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Switzerland (2008); and “Iranian Contemporary Art”, curated by Rose Issa, The Curve Gallery, Barbican, London (2001).