Biography

Shirin Neshat was born in Qazvin, Iran, a small city two hours from Tehran in 1957. In 1974, at the age of seventeen, she was sent to the United States to complete her education; the Islamic Revolution in 1979 would prevent her from returning to her country of origin for close to twenty years. After receiving a BA from the University of California at Berkeley in 1983, Neshat moved to New York, where she soon began working at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, an interdisciplinary alternative space in Manhattan. Though Neshat had studied art in college, her arrival in New York commenced a hiatus from art-making until 1993, when she made her first trip back to Iran.
Since her first solo exhibition, at Franklin Furnace in New York in 1993, Neshat has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1998), the Art Institute of Chicago (1999), Dallas Museum of Art (2000), Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna (2000), National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens (2001), Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (2002), Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum Für Gengewart in Berlin (2005), Stedelijk Museum (2006), and National Gallery of Iceland in Reykjevik (2008). She has also participated in the Venice Biennale (1995 and 1999), Austrian Triennial on Photography in Graz (1996), Biennale of Sydney (1996 and 2000), Johannesburg Biennale (1997), Istanbul Biennial (1998), Carnegie International (1999), Whitney Biennial (2000), Moving Pictures at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (2002), Documenta 11 (2002), ICP Triennial of Photography and Video at the International Center of Photography in New York (2003), Lights Camera Action at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (2007), National Gallery of Iceland in Reykjavik (2008), National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens (2009), Palazzo Reale in Milan (2010), National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul; Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha; Mücsarnok Kunsthalle in Budapest (2014), Yarat Art Center in Baku (2015).