Mohammadreza Mirzaei

Mohammadreza Mirzaei
Graduate Student


Areas of Concentration: Global postwar art, Iranian modernism and contemporary art, history of photography
Faculty Advisors: Laurie Monahan, Sven Spieker (Germanic & Slavic Studies, UCSB)
Committee Members: Janet Afary (Religious Studies, UCSB), Emily Braun (Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY)
Dissertation: "'The Maximum Out of the Minimum Freedom of Speech': Bahman Mohassess’s Painting in the Context of Iranian Art During the 1960s"


Mohammadreza Mirzaei is a Ph.D. Candidate in the History of Art and Architecture Department at UC Santa Barbara. He specializes in global postwar art with an emphasis on Iran. Mirzaei's dissertation examines the significance of the figurative practice of Iranian painter Bahman Mohassess in the 1960s through the utilization of unprecedented archival research. In this project, Mirzaei provides an intellectual history of Iran contextualizing the reliance and opposition of its primary protagonists to Western modernism. His work recognizes the linkages between Iranian art and the postwar social context locally and globally.

Mirzaei's writings have appeared in numerous publications, including ARTMargins, Italian Modern Art, Herfeh: Honarmand and Kaarnamaa. Recently, Mirzaei published a book chapter titled "Where Is My Photo? A Study of the Representation of Tehran in the Work of Contemporary Iranian Photographers" in Ubiquity: Photography's Multitudes (Leuven University Press, 2021). Also, his translation work has received recognition, including the Persian translation of Stefano Benni's La Grammatica di Dio (Herfeh Honarmand Publications, 2012).