Born in 1948, with nearly five decades of lively presence on the scene of visual arts, Parvaneh Etemadi is one of the most successful and popular Iranian artists both in the eyes of art virtuosos and laymen. Her relaxed recusant work style, whether in the early periods of her artistic activity – that is in her still lives, termeh-s (roughly meaning cashmeres) and pomegranates – or in her later periods – that is in her collages and installations –put her amongst the prominent figures in Iranian art. It is in the light of her working style and methodology, her attentive interest in creation of beauty – while heeding both exotic and mundane zeal and taste – her passion for figurative art, her sundry coloring and creation of beauty by virtue of heeding intelligent and pleasing proportions and rhythms that turns every exhibition she holds into an event in the field of contemporary Iranian visual art.

Even though she was born in Tehran, she spent her early childhood in the city of Birjand (in south of Khorasan close to the vast barren eastern Iranian plateau). After finishing both her primary and secondary education in Tehran she began to study at the Fine Art College of Tehran University (1967). This coincided with the foundation of Ta’la’r-e Iran (Hall of Iran, later changed to Talar Ghandriz) by a group of visual arts activists; a significant event attracting many young artists including Parvaneh who not only participated in more than 10 group exhibitions displayed there from 1967 to 1977, but also held her first solo exhibition at the same hall (Ghandriz) in 1969.

During the first period of her artistic activity, probably due to her collaboration and mental sympathy with the same group of artists who founded Ta’la’r-e Iran and under the influence of her academic teachings, she appeared as an abstract painter. Her abstract works were free compositions of forms appearing in pleasing proportions with extensive touches of cold opaque colors, nevertheless designed and worked out candidly and resolutely. The teachings of her first serious painting teacher Bahman Mohases, already known as an innovative painter of the sixties also had a great influence on her in this early period of her artistic activity. Although Mohases introduced her to ancient art, including Etruscan civilization and ancient Greek and attracted her attention to the essence of art, i.e. to something much more deeper in art, but Parvaneh’s adherence to the young group of progressive innovative painters of Ghandriz gallery who believed that the real vocation of art lies in abstraction and thus evaded figure, figurative art and narrative painting drove Parvaneh for a little while away from figurative art and toward abstraction. However, she finally chose a middle way and expanded the scope of her plastic experience which marked the second period of her artistic activity.

This second period of her artistic activity which took shape in seventies was a synthesis of constructivism of her first period with a return to figurative art. The works of this period with their rough sketchy textures of oil color on a cement infrastructure and their modern minimal structure, together with the least application of line and color as well as design and figure emerged as plain agreeable charming still lives.