"Before that time, Iranian art was based on the Kamalolmolk school of painting," MNA quoted him as saying during the opening ceremony of the 70 Years of Persian Modern Art Exhibition at Tehran's Ovissi Gallery on Friday.
"In the early 1920s, some modern works emerged in various forms of art and literature, which had never been seen before," Mojabi noted.
Moshfeq Kazemi's novel "The Terrible Tehran," Nima Yushij's poem "The Legend," Hassan Moqaddam's comic play "Jafar Khan Has Returned from Europe," and the emergence of Qamarolmoluk Vaziri in the area of Iranian music were referred to by Mojabi as examples of "fundamental changes that occurred during the early years of the 1920s."
"Some people believe that modern art commenced in Iran with the establishing of the College of Fine Arts in 1945. However, publication of a book on Sediqi proved that he is one of the pioneers of modern art in Iran (in the early years of 1920s)," he explained.
"During those years, Iran's Constitutional Movement had just begun and cultural and intellectual efforts were starting to be fruitful," he added.
Mojabi said that Mahmud Javadipur, Ahmad Esfandiari, and Iran Darudi are some of contemporary Iranian modern artists who were students of the masters teaching modern art at the College of Fine Arts. The artists' efforts broke new ground so their works were labeled non-Iranian.
"Iranian modern painting flourished in the 1970s when they began seeking the genre without fear," he stated.
"In addition, a major event occurred in Iranian calligraphy art and a number of masters such Mohammad Ehsaii, Faramarz Pilaram, and Hossein Zenderudi merged the art of calligraphy with painting, portraying the potential of Iranian calligraphy by their creativities," he added.
"All Iranian artists, who have had a lot of success in their career, need to acknowledge their debt to the artists who struggled during hard times to popularize modern art," Mojabi said in conclusion.
The exhibit runs until December 6 at the Ovissi Gallery located on No. 20 Azar Alley off Nateq-Nuri St., near Gol-Nabi St. and Pasdaran Ave.