Shahram Karimi


Born in Shiraz, Iran

Painter, Production Designer, Filmmaker

Lives and has worked since 1988 in Germany


‘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

Selected Events


  • 2019    I lost myself  somewhere, Gallery Etemad Tehran ‘Iran
  • 2019    PINK Dreams in a Land with no Name, Gallery Elga Wimmer New York
  • 2017    The Garden is My Skin, Kunsthaus Troisdorf, Germany
  • 2016    The Cold Earth Sleeps Below (in Collaboration with Shoja Azari), Leila Heller Gallery, New          York, United States
  • 2015    Remembrance , Syra Arts, Washington
  • 2015    Remembrance , Gallery Syra, Washington D.C., United States
  • 2015    Longing for Myself, Brigitte Schenk Gallery, Germany
  • 2015    Open the Door, Kunsthaus Troisdorf, Germany
  • 2014    The Rose Garden of Remembrance, Mah Art Gallery, Tehran
  • 2013    Magic of Light, Mana Contemporary, Jersey city, NJ USA
  • 2011    The Rose Garden of Remembrance, Leila Hella Gallery, New York
  • 2010    Museum Siegburg, Germany
  • 2008    Brigitte Schenk Gallery, Cologne, Germany
  • 2008    Gallery Leo Castelli, New York, USA
  • 2006    Gallery II Gabbiano, Rome, Italy
  • 2006    Art Basel Galerie Marco Noire, San Sebastiano / Turin, Italy
  • 2005    Kölner Stadt Anzeiger, Cologne, Germany
  • 2004    Studio Shirin Neshat in New York, USA
  • 2001    Pumpwerk, Siegburg, Germany
  • 1998    Museum Siegburg, Germany
  • 1987    Gallery Taehr, Shiraz, Iran
  • 1986    Gallery Wesal, Shiraz, Iran
  • 1981    Gallery Wesal, Shiraz, Iran



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



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

  • 2012    “Desert Dancer” Richard Raymond
  • 2010    “To Be and Not To Be” Filmmaker Nederland/Frank Schaffer
  • 2008    “The White Meadow” Iran/Mohammad Rasoulof
  • 2007    “Women Without Men”
  • 2003/05 Feature length film “Women Without Men”, shot in Morocco
  • 2002/04 “Logic of the Birds”, a multi-­‐media performance, USA 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

Special Jury Prize Award Dubai Film Festival

The White Meadows, Mohammad Rasoulof

  • 1997 First Prize “Art Price” Rhein-­‐Siege V, Germany



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