Shahram Karimi


Lives and has worked since 1988 in Germany.


Born in 1957, Iran, Shahram Karimi grew up in Shiraz. He is a self made artist who has been successful both in his own country and in the West. Karimi’s works have been exhibited in numerous countries ranging from Iran, Turkey, Germany, UK, US, and Switzerland to name a few.

‘In an era when Globalism has become an integral aspect of the post modern man’s experience, the Iranian born artist, Shahram Karimi, living in Germany, truly represents such trans-cultural currents and realties in the context of contemporary art. His aspirations are at once rooted in his personal cultural history such as the traditional Persian Miniature paintings, his subsequent life in exile and exposure to the history of abstract, minimal and conceptual art of the West. Karimi has arrived at a unique form which combines both aspects of seemingly diverse cultures in an artistic language which transcends the boundaries of such localities.
Karimi’s paintings follow the same principals as those of classical Persian Miniature paintings, mainly in respect to the absence of perspective. The use of narrative elements and inscription of text over imagery and his minimal abstractions of visual iconography bind him to Western art.



Poetry plays a major role in Karimi’s creative vocabulary. He expands on the rich tradition of poetry which has been recognized as the most vital aspect of Iranian culture. As a poet, in an unprecedented way, he incorporates verbal and visual metaphors in parallel forms to provoke and express distinct emotions.

In his exploration into the realm of media, Karimi makes a video which in my view becomes an extension of his paintings and poetry. In this video, shot in Egypt, the artist offers a new experience for the viewer. One senses an obscure travel through Karimi’s paintings. The strength lies in the ultra simplicity, raw and casual use of camera to capture the aura of the spaces that he encounters. There is an immediate emotional response to these spaces that suggests the notion of ‘absence’ of human body and the presence of a ‘place’ which remains.

Karimi’s most recent adventure into installation art is yet another poetic gesture with deeply humanistic and political edge, treated with the same level of abstraction and modesty. Here portraits of ‘shoes’ become reminiscent of the ‘absence’ of the physical body. This work suggests a new direction for a ‘ global’ artist who is seeking a delicate balance between Persian aesthetics and Western expression to arrive at an art which becomes truly universal.’

Shirin Neshat



  • Yellow Comfort
  • Signed, titled and dated ‘Shahram Karimi Yellow Comfort 2020’ on the reverse
  • Video projection and acrylic on canvas, in 2 parts
  • Canvas 126.7 x 226 cm (49 7/8 x 88 7/8 in.)
  • Executed in 2020





Selected Events

Solo Exhibitions: 

  • 2019     “I Lost Myself  Somewhere” – Gallery Etemad, Tehran, Iran.
  • 2019     “PINK Dreams in a Land With No Name” – Gallery Elga Wimmer, New York, US.
  • 2017     “The Garden is My Skin” – Kunsthaus Troisdorf, Troisdorf, Germany.
  • 2016     “The Cold Earth Sleeps Below / in Collaboration with Shoja Azari” – Leila Heller Gallery, New York, US.
  • 2015     “Remembrance” – Syra Arts Gallery, Washington D.C., US.
  • 2015     “Remembrance” – Syra Arts Gallery, Washington D.C., US.
  • 2015     “Longing For Myself” – Brigitte Schenk Gallery, Cologne, Germany.
  • 2015     “Open the Door” – Kunsthaus Troisdorf, Troisdorf, Germany.
  • 2014     “The Rose Garden of Remembrance” – Mah Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran.
  • 2013     “Magic of Light” – Mana Contemporary, New Jersey, US.
  • 2011     “The Rose Garden of Remembrance” – Leila Hella Gallery, New York, US.
  • 2010     Siegburg Stadtmuseum, Siegburg, Germany.
  • 2010     “Blazing Grace” – East Central Gallery, London, England.
  • 2008     Brigitte Schenk Gallery, Cologne, Germany.
  • 2008     Gallery Leo Castelli, New York, US.
  • 2006     Gallery II Gabbiano, Rome, Italy.
  • 2006     Art Basel Galerie Marco Noire, Turin, Italy.
  • 2005     Kölner Stadt Anzeiger, Cologne, Germany.
  • 2004     Studio Shirin Neshat, New York, US.
  • 2001     Pumpwerk, Siegburg, Germany.
  • 1998     Siegburg Stadtmuseum, Siegburg, Germany.
  • 1987     Gallery Taehr, Shiraz, Iran.
  • 1986     Gallery Wesal, Shiraz, Iran.
  • 1981     Gallery Wesal, Shiraz, Iran.


Group Exhibitions: 

  • 2018     Azad Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran.
  • 2018     “The World is My Home” – ADVOCARTSY, LA, US.
  • 2018     “Art Cologne” – Brigitte Schenk Gallery, Cologne, Germany.
  • 2016     “Art Cologne” – Brigitte Schenk Gallery, Cologne, Germany.
  • 2015     “Abu Dhabi Art” – Brigitte Schenk Gallery, Cologne, Germany.
  • 2014     “Look At Me” – Leila Heller Gallery, Dubai, UAE.
  • 2014     Art Fair Dubai, UAE.
  • 2012     “The Elephant in the Dark” – Devi Art Foundation, Gurugram, India.
  • 2012     “Magic of Persia” – Dubai, UAE.
  • 2011     “The Mask & The Mirror / curated by Shirin Neshat”
  • 2011     “Art Dubai” – Leila Heller Gallery, Dubai, UAE.
  • 2011     “Art Cologne” – Brigitte Schenk Gallery, Cologne, Germany.
  • 2010     “Art Dubai” – Leila Heller Gallery, Dubai, UAE.
  • 2010     “Art Cologne” – Brigitte Schenk Gallery, Cologne, Germany.
  • 2009     “Art Cologne” – Chelsea Art Museum, New York, US.
  • 2008     “Art Dubai” – Dubai, UAE.
  • 2008     “Art Paris” – Abu Dhabi, UAE.
  • 2008     “Art Cologne” – Cologne, Germany.
  • 2008     “USA Art Fair” – Gallery Taginia, New York, US.
  • 2008     “USA Art Fair” – Miami, US.
  • 2008     “Art Fair Bologna” – Bologna, Italy.
  • 2007     “Art Fair Bologna” – Bologna, Italy.
  • 2007     CAAM / Atlantic Centre of Modern Art, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.
  • 2006     ART20 / International Art Fair – New York, US.
  • 2003     “Poetic Justice / 8th International Istanbul Biennial” – Istanbul, Turkey.
  • 2000     “25 Years of Separation” – Iranian Cultural Centre, Los Angeles, US.
  • 2000     Kunstverein Aschaffenburg, Aschaffenburg, Germany
  • 2000     Grosse Kunstausstellung NRW, Düsseldorf, Germany.
  • 2001     Grosse Kunstausstellung NRW, Düsseldorf, Germany.
  • 1997     Grosse Kunstausstellung NRW, Düsseldorf, Germany.
  • 1994     Kunstforum Bonn, Bonn, Germany.
  • 1979     Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran, Iran.
  • 1975     Gallery Takhte Jamshid, Tehran, Iran.


Film Productions: 

Shahram Karimi has collaborated with the visual artist/filmmaker, Shirin Neshat as the key production designer for the following films:

  • 2014     “Desert Dancer” – Director Richard Raymond.
  • 2012     “The Passing”-  Director Shoja Azari.
  • 2010     “To Be and Not To Be” – Filmmaker Nederland/Frank Schaffer.
  • 2009     “The White Meadows” – Director Mohammad Rasoulof.
  • 2009     “Women Without Men” – Director Shirin Neshat.
  • 2005     “Women Without Men” – Feature length film shot in Morocco.
  • 2004     “Logic of the Birds” – a multi­‐media performance, US and European tour.
  • 2003     “The Last Word” – shot in New York.
  • 2002     “Tooba” – shot in Mexico.
  • 2001     “Passage / Possessed / Pulse” shot in Morocco, Film “K” in the US.
  • 2000     “Fervor” – shot in Morocco.
  • 1999     “Soliloquy” – shot in Turkey.
  • 1999     “Under the Sun” – Pasoulini film production, shot in Egypt.

Shahram Karimi has also been the production designer for American filmmaker Shoja Azari in several of his productions, including his feature length film “K” (2002) and “Windows” (2006)



  • 2009     Golden Lion for “Women without Men”
  • 2009     Special Jury Prize Award Dubai Film Festival.
  • 2009     “The White Meadows” – Mohammad Rasoulof.
  • 1997     “Art Price / 1st Place” – Rhein-­‐Siege V, Germany.


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