This year we are celebrating the 5th anniversary of Haleh Gallery. We are looking back on what we have accomplished with pride and joy and we would like to thank everybody who has collaborated with the gallery and supported our diverse exhibition programs, with a special thanks to our audience, our guests and artists. In the last five years we have been able to present international and national artists, as well as expanding the curatorial program of Haleh Gallery. With more than 20 successfully realized exhibitions in Berg, on the Starnberger Lake, the participation at Artfair Cologne in 2013 and the art fair Unpainted in Munich in 2014, as well as the exhibition 7 SEEN in Munich, we have been able to introduce our program to a greater audience.

Our program comprises a wide selection of contemporary artists who address, in their artistic works, questions of identity and cultural heritage. We show the works of global artists with a focus on the Middle East and Iran. Art from Iran is one of the most exciting and fascinating productions of the region, and is poorly represented on the European art market. We can grant our audience and clients a very special access to Tehran’s sensational art scene. With our curatorial program we intend to bridge the gap between the local and the global. We want to establish a dialogue between different cultures with the aim of showing that seemingly opposed cultures rely on the same contemporary visual language.

We look forward to the next 5 years!

To celebrate the 5th anniversary of Haleh Gallery, we would like to open the new autumn season with the group exhibition MIRAGE with the artists Afsoon, Macay and Maryam Rastghalam. The term “Mirage“ comes from French and has become common usage in the English language. Mirages simulate and pretend far distant objects and possible scenarios and make it increasingly difficult to distinguish between illusion and reality. The famous hotel “The Mirage” in Las Vegas is one of the best-known mirages. Waterfalls, palm trees, white tigers, dolphins, an artificial volcano and countless restaurants create the perfect illusion of a tropical oasis in the desert city. Las Vegas is a capitalist business and gambling city. Especially in the urban planning it becomes clear that utopian designs have been replaced though realistic pragmatism.

Andy Warhol and other Pop Art representatives ensured a fusion of popular and high culture. Since the opening in 2001 of a branch of the Guggenheim Museum in Las Vegas, gambling and art were merged in a museum designed by the famous architect Rem Koolhaas.

In our exhibition, alliances between popular culture and art can be observed in the artistic works of Afsoon, Macay and Maryam Rastghalam. On the visual level these displayed works appear, aesthetically, very pleasant. However, as for any mirage, we have to distinguish as a viewer between reality and illusion. What is reality and what is illusion? What is truth? For the viewer it is simple to be satisfied with the displayed image of reality, but it is worth looking deeper into the artworks and leaving the surface of the perfect illusion far behind us, to find hidden knowledge and some truth.

Afsoon deals in her artistic works with Iranian culture. With the collages “Persian Expressions“ exhibited in the gallery, the viewer can glimpse authentic Persian culture transcending historical, cultural or political events and occurrences. In a playful manner Afsoon analyses the questions of the possibility of visual representation of other cultures without the risk of generalization and stereotyping. Language is a key to understand cultures, Afsoon illustrates this in her series „Persian Expressions“ where we can see idioms expressed in cheerful collages.  Persian is a very flowery language comprising phrases and metaphors. A typical everyday Persian conversation is marked through verbal wit and wordplays. This lingual access is often not possible from an outsider’s perspective.  The collage “Horses“, which is part of the collection of the British Museum in London, shows in a visual imagery the equivalent expression of  “Never look a gift horse in the mouth”, which exists also in English and German language. This strategy produces a new perspective on the culture of Iran. The artist creates an innovative image, which is refreshingly marked through wit and humour.

For the first time we present works by the artist Macay. Macay was born in Santiago, Chile, graduated from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts in London and travels around the world. In her artistic works she deals with urban life conditions in the jungle of metropolises. With the artistic mean of collage she demonstrates that the modern city dweller has lost connections with nature. With fictional characters of bygone times Macay creates surreal worlds. She is placing iconic figures in natural settings and reminding the viewer nostalgically of pre-modern times.

Maryam Rastghalam also draws in her visual language on the tradition of her Iranian cultural heritage. Miniature painting, which came to new heights under the dynasty of the Safavids, was an inspiration for her artworks. Maryam Rastghalams Safavid figures are covered with black colour spots. The colour black signifies the symbolic meaning of mourning, death and end. This is not a glorification of old cultures, but it shows that the classical aesthetic has come to an end. For the installation Maryam has drawn 33 angels fallen in black paint and locked them in preserve jars. The number 33 symbolizes the Allah-Verdi Khan Bridge in Isfahan, which is known in Iran as the 33 Bridge because it consists of 33 arches. This architectural work is an example of Safavid bridge construction. The city of Isfahan is world-famous because of its Safavid architecture and art treasures and has been acknowledged by UNESCO as a cultural and world heritage site. But it is hardly known that Isfahan is suffering from a draught and the river Zayandeh has sometimes no water. Maryam Rastghalam shows within her works how the idea of heritage of ancient culture is favoured over current environmental issues.


Afsoon (*1961, Iran) lives and works in London.

Numerous solo and group exhibitions (selection): Marrakech Biennales, Morocco  (2014); “The Wise Men of the East”, The British Museum, London (2013-2014); “Icons of the 4 corners”, Xerxes Gallery, London (2011); “I Ran with Iran”, Galerie Nicolas Hugo, Paris, (2012); AYYAM Auction, Dubai, UAE, (2012); Christies Auction, Dubai, UAE, (2012).

Collections: The British Museum, London, (Department: Middle East) ; La Fondation Pierre Berge, Paris, France
; Sabanci Collection, Istanbul, Turkey; SPM.Salsali Private Museum, UAE; Farjam Collection, UAE

Macay (*1982 Santiago, Chile) graduated from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London. Macay is travelling around the world with stopovers between San Francisco and Taipei.

Numerous solo and group exhibitions (selection): “Bucalemu“, Galeria abierta Costanera Center, Santiago, Chile (2014); “11,677,595 km“ , Red Gallery, London (2013); Toronto Art Crawl, Toronto (2013); “Summer(time)“, Galerie Ligne 13 Paris (2010).

Maryam Rastghalam (*1981 Isfahan, Iran) lives and works in Milan, Italy. Studied art at the universities of Isfahan, Teheran, Florence and Milan.

Numerous solo and group exhibitions (selection): “Who art you“, La fabbrica del vapore, Mailand (2015), Isola isole insulae, Assab one exposition space, Mailand (2012),

Daryabeigi Gallery, Teheran (2004).

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