NEW YORK, October 22, 2013 - Former Interview magazine editor Bob Colacello, Iran Modern cocurator Layla S. Diba, and artist Nicky Nodjoumi revisit Iran's contemporary art scene of the 1960s and '70s. Asia Society Museum Director Melissa Chiu moderates the panel discussion.
Dr. Melissa Chiu
Dr. Melissa Chiu is Museum Director and Senior Vice President, Global Arts and Cultural Programs, Asia Society in New York responsible for overseeing the programming for museums in New York, Houston and Hong Kong. She was previously Founding Director of the Asia-Australia Arts Centre in Sydney (1996-2001).
As a leading authority on Asian contemporary art, she has organized nearly 30 exhibitions of artists from across Asia including a retrospective by Zhang Huan, a survey of Yoshitomo Nara, and an exhibition of art from China’s Cultural Revolution.
She earned a M.A. in Arts Administration (1994) and a PhD (2005) in Art History and is the author of numerous articles and books including Breakout: Chinese Art Outside China (2007), Chinese Contemporary Art: 7 Things You Should Know (2008), Asian Art Now (Monacelli Press, 2010, co-authored with Benjamin Genocchio) and an anthology Contemporary Art in Asia: A Critical Reader (MIT Press, 2011, co-edited with Benjamin Genocchio). She has served on numerous panels including Pew, Institute of Museum and Library Services and New York State Council on the Arts and currently serves on the board American Association of Museums, and Museums Association of New York.
Bob Colacello was editor of Interview from 1971 to 1983, where he was involved in all aspects of business and life at The Factory, Warhol's studio. In 1976 Colacello travelled to Iran with Warhol, at which time the artist photographed the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and Queen Farah Pahlavi. After his tenure with Interview, Colacello began writing for Vanity Fair magazine, and has been a regular contributor since, writing extended profiles on a wide range of public personalities, including Balthus, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, Doris Duke, Estée Lauder, Rudolf Nureyev, and Liza Minnelli. Colacello has also established himself as one of the most prolific biographical writers in the United States. He is the author of Ronnie and Nancy: Their Path to the White House, 1911-1980, and a memoir of working with Andy Warhol in the 1970s and early 1980s, Holy Terror: Andy Warhol Close Up.
Layla S. Diba
Layla S. Diba is an independent scholar, art advisor, and curator. She has been director and chief curator of the Negarestan Museum in Tehran (1975-79), art advisor for the Private Secretariat of Queen Farah Pahlavi, and Hagop Kevorkian Curator of Islamic Art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art (BMA). While at the BMA, Diba curated and organized the first major international exhibition on 18th- and 19th-century Persian art and culture, Royal Persian Paintings: The Qajar Epoch (1785-1925). In 2006, she was invited to develop programming and strategy for the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum and subsequently continues to advise the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum on cultural policy issues. Her current publications include Turkmen Silver: Jewelry and Ornaments from the Marshall and Marilyn Wolf Collection (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011). Diba holds a B.A. from Wellesley College and a M.A. and Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Diba is the cocurator of Asia Society's exhibition Iran Modern.
Nicky Nodjoumi was born in Kermanshah, Iran in 1942. He earned a Bachelor's degree in art from Tehran University of Fine Arts before relocating to the United States in the late 1960s. Nodjoumi received his Master's degree in Fine Arts from The City College of New York in 1974. The artist briefly returned to Tehran to join the faculty of Tehran University but returned to New York in the wake of the 1979 Revolution. Nodjoumi has exhibited internationally and his work is included in prominent collections including the British Museum, London; the Salsali Private Museum, Dubai; and the National Museum of Cuba. The artist lives and works in Brooklyn.