Artchart in a Short Conversation with Sunny Rahbar

3 March 2024
Artchart had a short conversation with Sunny Rahbar, one of the three founders of The Third Line Gallery in Dubai on the sidelines of Abu Dhabi Art, and talked about the gallery's long-term collaboration with the well-known Iranian artist Farhad Moshiri. You will read this conversation further.
Sunny Rahbar - Photo by Kristina Sergeeva

About the Third Line Gallery

The establishment of the Third Line Gallery dates back to 2005 when Claudia Cellini, Omar Ghobash, and Sunny Rahbar joined forces. Pioneering as one of the initial art venues in the Middle East, this gallery showcases contemporary art originating from the MENASA region. In addition to curating exhibitions, Third Line actively publishes art materials in both English and Arabic and sponsors various non-profit initiatives encompassing art, film, music, and literature.

About Farhad Moshiri

Farhad Moshiri

Farhad Moshiri, born in Shiraz, Iran in 1963, pursued his education up to the postgraduate level at the California Institute of Arts in 1984. Six years later, in 2000, he unveiled his inaugural "Jars" collection at the "No. 13 Vanak Street" gallery, owned by Fereydoun Ave. His artistic journey reached new heights when his works were showcased at the British Museum in London in May 2006 as part of the exhibition "Word in Art: Artists from the Middle East," marking a significant milestone in his career. This museum-level exposure became a recurring theme in Moshiri's professional trajectory, with notable instances such as his solo exhibition "Go West" at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pennsylvania in 2018. Moshiri's foray into international museums also paved the way for collaborations, including his partnership with the Third Line Gallery in Dubai in 2006. The latest manifestation of this collaboration unfolded at the Third Line Gallery booth, in Art Abu Dhabi in 2023, which showcased a solo exhibition featuring Moshiri's newly crafted "Collection of Jars."

Installation View of the Third Line Gallery in Abu Dhabi Art, 2024
Installation View of the Third Line Gallery in Abu Dhabi Art, 2024
As Long as You Are, I AM (2023), Farhad Moshiri
As Long as You Are, I AM (2023), Farhad Moshiri

Below is an excerpt from Artchart's interview with Sunny Rahbar regarding their collaboration with Farhad Moshiri.

  • Farhad Moshiri was one of the first artists that Third Line Gallery started to work with. When and how did this start?

We had our first show with Farhad Moshiri back in 2006 titled ‘New Paintings by Farhad Moshiri’ this was at our very first space in UAE behind Alserkal Avenue opposite Courtyard Theatre.

  • Farhad Moshiri has had 6 solo exhibitions with Third Line Gallery since 2006. How do you describe this long-lasting cooperation, and what were the factors leading to such lasting and successful cooperation?

It has been wonderful working with Moshiri for all these years. The artists we represent become a part of the gallery's family. In terms of a successful cooperation, I don’t believe there is a secret formula to this but for us it has been about mutual understanding and shared vision which has been pivotal to sustaining this successful relationship over the years.

  • Third Line has presented 5 works by Moshiri in the Abu Dhabi 2023 art fair, all of them to be blue jars. How did you come up with the idea, and what is the audience feedback so far?

We invited Moshiri to produce new works for the fair, marking his return to the jar series for the first time since the early 2000s. The booth showcased his latest creations, which were very well received. There was interest in the artist's nostalgic jar series and the technique used to achieve the crackled appearance. People were intrigued not only by the technical aspects of how the works were made but also by the beautiful and nostalgic phrases written on each piece in Farsi. The overall blue color palette of each artwork was reminiscent of Picasso's blue period, a return to a time passed.


Marzieh Eftekhari
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