Woman Life Freedom: Art by Iranian Women

ON VIEW: May 6–June 3, 2023

OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, May 6, 2023, 4–7 PM CST


CHICAGO—Woman Made Gallery (WMG) is pleased to present “Woman Life Freedom,” an exhibition featuring works by Iranian women artists. This curated project is part of the “Woman Life Freedom” juried group exhibition on view from May 6 to June 3, 2023, at WMG, 2150 S. Canalport Ave, 4A–3, Chicago, IL 60608. An opening reception will be held Saturday, May 6 from 4 to 7 PM. The gallery is open Thursdays through Sundays from noon to 5 PM.

Since the 1979 Iranian revolution and the deposition of former Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Islamic Republic has subjected its citizens to inhumane conditions. Gender apartheid, the unlawful seizure of people and goods, and mass state surveillance have been carried out by the violent Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The murder of Mahsa Zhina Amini, for disobeying morality laws, reignited global coverage of the oppression of Iranian women.

Illinois-based artist, activist, and curator Shahrbanoo Hamzeh, has brought together the work of 18 Iranian women artists expressing the oppression they and others have felt from the Iranian regime. Through art they reclaim a sense of narrative autonomy. Their stories can help topple the Iranian regime’s efforts to police and smother counter-narratives. Woman Made Gallery condemns acts of violence directed toward vulnerable populations and stands with the women of Iran. Amplifying the chants of protestors, “Woman Life Freedom” continues the fight for Iranian women’s freedom.

About the Juror: Shahrbanoo Hamzeh is an Illinois-based artist and curator who earned her MFA from Illinois State University (ISU). Prior to this, she received a master’s degree in Painting from Alzahra University in Tehran, Iran. She earned her undergraduate degree, focused on Iranian Art and Culture, from Kashan University in Kashan, Iran.

Hamzeh’s practice focuses on human rights violations in her home country of Iran, especially toward women. She believes it is not easy to be an Iranian woman, in Iran or anywhere else. Her homeland is facing a lot of problems and conflicts, which is why her works center around ideas of home, home countries, leaving, loss, safety, longing, and, recently, Iranian women-led revolution. For more information, visit https://www.shahrbanoohamzeh.com/.

Exhibiting Artists: Elham Sadati, Foruq Kazemi, Homa Fathollahi, Khadijeh Bagherzadeh, Aban Etminan, Leili Babashahi, Mahsa Azar Nivar, Maral Jahan, Maryam Taherazizi, Mina Behkar, Mina Safavi, Nastaran Fallah, Pendar Vakilzadeh, Roohangiz Safarinezhad, Samira Dadashi, Samira Naraghi, Setareh Nazmi Afshar, and Shahrzad Hamzeh.

(Banner Image: artwork by Maral Jahan—”No Place”)

Woman Life Freedom: Art by Iranian Women Press Release

Gallery Hours: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 12–5 PM CST | WMG is closed between exhibitions. 

Woman Made Gallery is supported in part by grants from The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special EventsThe Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley FoundationThe Illinois Arts Council Agency; the Arts Midwest GIG Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. the Puffin Foundation, a major anonymous donor; and the generosity of its members and contributors.