Marcos Grigorian (Armenian-Iranian, born Russia, 1925–2007)
Straw on mixed-media compound on canvas
20 x 24 in. (50.8 x 61 cm)
Purchase, 2011 NoRuz at the Met Benefit, 2012 (2012.356)
Marcos Grigorian falls within Iran's art lineage, having grown up in the country and spent much of his life expanding its art scene, locally and abroad. After earning a degree from the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Rome, Grigorian returned to Iran in 1954 to establish a leading art gallery and later the country's first biennial in 1958. At the same time, he began exploring more abstract sensibilities, beginning his "earthworks" series using Iranian parched earth, kahgel (a mixture of clay used for the adobelike village dwellings), straw, and hay, all of which he adhered to supports. These pieces celebrated the purity and simplicity of Iranian village life.