Sara Rahbar

Sara Rahbar

Born in Tehran, Iran in 1976
Lives and works in New York.

Rahbar pursued an interdisciplinary study program in New York from 1996-2000 and also studied at London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art and design from 2004-2005. Her work ranges from photography to sculpture to installation and always stems from her personal experiences and is largely autobiographical. The first body of work that created international recognition for the artist was the flag series (2005-2011), in which traditional fabrics and objects are reworked as collages that form various incarnations of the American and Iranian flag, exploring ideas of national belonging, as well as the conflicting role of flags as symbols of ideological and nationalistic violence. Rahbar’s work has been widely shown internationally, including Cairo, Mumbai, Dubai, Madrid, Vienna, Moscow, New York, London and Paris and is held in multiple collections worldwide, including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Saatchi Collection in London, The Burger Collection in Hong Kong , the Devi Art Foundation in Gurgaon, India and The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts .



  • 2004-2005 Central Saint Martins Collage of Art and Design, London (Fine Art)
  • 1996-2000 The Fashion Institute of Technology, New York (Design)

Selected solo exhibitions:

  • 2012. Restless Violence, carbon 12, Dubai
  • 2011. I have no faith left for the devil to take, Sara Rahbar, Hilger Contemporary, Vienna
  • 2010. Whatever we had to lose we lost, and in a moonless sky we marched, Sara Rahbar, Carbon 12, Dubai
  • 2009. Contradicting Realities: Recent works by Sara Rahbar, Tyler Art Gallery, Suny Oswego, New York

Selected group exhibitions:

  • 2012. The 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Gallery of Modern Art & Queensland Art Gallery Queensland, Australia
  • 2012. Sex, Dui's and Videotape II, Brot-Kunsthalle, Vienna
  • 2012. SPM, (Salsali Private Museum) Life is too short, Dubai
  • 2012. Nose Bleed, Fuse Gallery, New York
  • 2012. Gloria Berlin, Der arge Weg der Erkenntnis, Berlin
  • 2012. Sex, Dui's and Videotape, New York
  • 2012. The elephant in the dark, The Devi Art Foundation, Gurgaon, India
  • 2011. SPM, (Salsali Private Museum) Show Off, Dubai
  • 2011. It ain’t fair: Materialism, Ohwow, Miami
  • 2011. Activating Medi(t)ation, Examining Asian Cultural Perspectives in the M-shaped Age, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan
  • 2011. Freedom to Create, National Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo Bosnia
  • 2011. The Istanbul Summer Exhibition, Sanat Limani-Antrepo 5, Istanbul Turkey
  • 2011. WestEnd, Museum on the Seam, Jerusalam
  • 2011. Art As Witness, Siddhartha Hall, Goethe-Institute/ Max Muller, New Delhi,
  • 2011. Freedom to Create, Ana Tzarev Gallery, New York
  • 2011. Freedom to Create, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbia
  • 2010. Freedom to Create, Cairo Opera House, Egypt
  • 2010. The Silk Road, Lille3000/Tri Postal, France
  • 2010. The State, Traffic Gallery I, Dubai
  • 2010. The Unbearable Lightness of being, Carbon 12 Dubai, Dubai
  • 2010. Die obscure objects of my desire, Hilger Contemporary, Vienna
  • 2010. Hope!, At the palais des arts et du festival Dinard, France
  • 2010. Iran Inside Out, The Farjam Collection, Dubai
  • 2010. Elles@centrepompidou,The Center Pompidou, Paris
  • 2010. Never Run Away, Reena Kallat and Sara Rahbar, Stux gallery, New York
  • 2010. The Promise of Loss, A Contemporary Index of Iran, Arario Gallery New York
  • 2010. Eye of the Beholder, Nassau County Museum of Fine Art, New York
  • 2009. The Edible Woman, Kravets /Wehby Gallery, New York
  • 2009. The Promise of Loss, A Contemporary Index of Iran, Brot-Kunsthalle, Vienna
  • 2009. Iran Inside out: Influences of Homeland and Disaporic realities, Artists, DePaul University Museum, Chicago
  • 2009. The Seen and the Hidden: (Dis)covering the Veil, The Austrian Cultural Forum, New York
  • 2009. Iran Inside out: Influences of Homeland and Disaporic realities, Chelsea Art Museum, New York
  • 2009. Collective de 5 artistes Iranians, Galerie Hussenot, Paris
  • 2009. Sara Rahbar-Love arrived and how red, Recent works, Hilger Contemporary, Vienna
  • 2009. Unveiled: New art from the Middle East, The Saatchi Gallery, London
  • 2009. Artist in Exile, Arario Gallery, New York
  • 2009. Indian Popular Culture, and beyond: The Untold (the rise of) Schisms, Sala Alcalá 31 Madrid, Spain
  • 2008. What was the word I want, Galerie Hussenot, Paris
  • 2008. Look what love did to us once again, Cramer Contemporary, Geneve Switzerland
  • 2008. In Transition Russia, National Centre of Contemporary Art, Moscow
  • 2008. In Transition Russia, Museum of Fine Arts, Ekaterinburg
  • 2008. Everywhere is War (and rumors of war). Bodhi Art, Mumbai, India
  • 2008. On a clear day you can see forever, Hilger Contemporary, Vienna
  • 2008. Emerging Discourse: Multiple and Overlapping Contemplations from the Diaspora, Bodhi Art, New York
  • 2008. Raid Projects, Los Angeles
  • 2008. This Case of Conscience - Spiritual Flushing and the Remonstrance, Queens Museum of Art, New York
  • 2008. Regional Delicacies, XVA gallery, Bastakiya, Dubai
  • 2008. Human Rights Awareness Tour, a traveling exhibition,
  • 2008. The Veil: Visible and invisible spaces, a traveling exhibition, Persian Arts Festival: Weaving the Common Thread, Queens Museum of Art, New York
  • 2007. Continuity and Change: Islamic Tradition in Contemporary Art, The Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, Brooklyn, New York
  • 2007. Hyphenation Exhibition, University of Maryland, Union Gallery, Maryland
  • 2007. Iranian Literary Arts Festival, Theater Artaud, San Francisco
  • 2007. Inclusion Exclusion, Bronco exhibit gallery Cal Poly Pomona, Los Angeles
  • 2007. Celluloid, Gallery One, San Francisco
  • 2007. Emergency Room, PS1 MoMA New York
  • 2007. Emergence, Current Gallery, Baltimore MD
  • 2007. Beyond Persia, Gallery One, San Francisco
  • 2007. Changing Climate, Changing Colors, Henry Street Settlement, New York
  • 2006. Everything, All at Once, QMA Biennial, Queens Museum of Art, New York
  • 2006. Nobodys Enemy, Queens Museum of Art, New York
  • 2006. See Williamsburg, Lunar Base Gallery, Brooklyn, New York


The Center Pompidou, Paris
Queensland Art Gallery Queensland, Australia
The Saatchi Collection, London
The Devi Art Foundation, India
The Burger Collection, Hong Kong
Salsali Private Museum, Dubai
National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan
The Farook Collection, Dubai
The Farjam Collection, Dubai
Collection Nadour, Rüdiger K. Weng, Krefeld, Paris


  • 2012. “Restless Violence“, Sara Rahbar by Carbon 12
  • 2012. “Tehran Art, A Popular Revolution”, By Ehsan Lajevardi, Contemporary art publications
  • 2011. “I have no faith left for the devil to take“, Sara Rahbar, Art Asia Pacific publishing LLC
  • 2011. “Despite moments of clarity, there is no "ism" in this book“, 100 New Artists, by Francesca Gavin, Laurance King Publishing
  • 2010. “Art As Witness“, published by Tulika Books and edited by Parthiv Shah and Sana Das
  • 2009. “Unveiled: New art from the Middle East“ The Saatchi Gallery, London
  • 2009. “Different sames: New perspectives on contemporary Iranian art“, by Hossain Amirsadeghi, TransGlobe Publishing Ltd
  • 2009. “Contemporary art in the Middle East“, by ARTWORLD, Black Dog Publishing, Suzanne Cotter, Lindsey Moore, Nat Muller
  • 2007. “War on Error“, By Melody Moezzi, The University of Arkansas Press

Selected Articles and reviews:

  • 2012. Canvas Magazine, (cover & profile) Blood and Tears, July/August 2012
  • 2012. The National, Iranian artist Sara Rahbar featured at Dubai's Carbon 12 gallery, By Christopher Lord, April 2012
  • 2012. Gulf News, Perpetually at war, By Jyoti Kalsi, March 2012
  • 2012. Harper’s Bazzar Art, Issue #2, By Arsalan Mohammmad, March 2012
  • 2012. Diva, A conversation & collaboration with Nadine Knotzer & Sara Rahbar, March 2012
  • 2012. What’s On, Confessions of an artistic mind, March 2012
  • 2012. Issue#48-49, February 2012
  • 2011. BLACK INK, The Art Issue, What to buy now, Fall/Winter 2011
  • 2011. Berlin Art Link, On the road series: Sara Rahbar, November 2011
  • 2011. Flash Art, Top 100 Artists, November/December 2011
  • 2011. Free People, The November catalog, through the decades, November/December 2011
  • 2011. L’Agenda, Art Dubai, Three works in the spotlight, Sulaf Zakharia, March 2011
  • 2011. Open Magazine, Nowhere Girl, By Avantika Bhuyan, January 2011
  • 2010. Art Asia Pacific, A Faded Utopia By Thorsten Albertz, November 2010
  • 2010. Masionneuve, Iranian Artist Sara Rahbar’s Textile Revolution By Madeline Coleman, November 2010
  • 2010. BBc Persian, Sara Rahbar, AVideo Diary By Amir Haqiqat, June 2010
  • 2010. Guernica, Fighting Flags, by Tamzin Baker, June 2010
  • 2010. Telematin , France 2, Hope with Sarah Doraghi
  • 2010. Time out Dubai, Behind the artwork, May 2010
  • 2010. Flash Art, Sara Rahbar & Shaheen Merali, May-June 2010
  • 2010. M / The New York Art World, Never Run Away, Stux, New York, March 2010, By Megan Marie Garwood
  • 2010. The National, Weird and wonderful: latest art in Dubai, By Ed Lake, April 2010
  • 2010. Contemporary practice, Beyond Prisms: In search of Alternatives in Critique By Jyoti Dhar, March 2010
  • 2010. Whats On Dubai, Flying the Flag, By Cathrine Jarvie , April 2010
  • 2010. The Financial Times, Capital pains, By Georgina Adams, March 2010
  • 2010. L’Agenda, what ever we had to lose we lost, and in a moonless sky we marched, recent works by Sara Rahbar, By Shaheen Merali, March 2010
  • 2010. brown book magazine, Sara Rahbar, March-April 2010
  • 2009. Yo Dona, Memorias De Iran, by Angela Aldama, May 2009
  • 2009. Eikon Issue#68, Sara Rahbar,The Lady Doth Protest Too Much … Methinks, By Shaheen Merali, 2009
  • 2009. Woman, Die Kunstist Weiblich, October 2009
  • 2009. Art Asia Pacific, Sara Rahbar: Love arrived and How Red, By Sara Raza, Issue# 65 Sept/Oct 2009
  • 2009. The New York Times, Multilayered and Multicultural…By Karen Rosenburg, August 14, 2009
  • 2009. Art Asia Pacific, Artists in Exile, By Meenakshi Thirukode, Issue#64 July/August 2009
  • 2009. KunstKompakt, Sara Rahbar: Kunst als politisches sprachrohr, By Eva Komarek, March 2009
  • 2009. The Independent, Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East, Saatchi Gallery, By Charles Darwent
  • 2009. Sleek Magazine, Local/Global Issue, Middle East, 2009
  • 2008. Sara Rahbar In Conversation With Ana Finel Honigman, Saatchi Online Daily Magazine, November 24 2008
  • 2008. V magazine, New Art, by Ana Finel Honigman Winter 2008
  • 2008. Ninja Lab Magazine Issue#4, Stand Alone, by Pierre Cialdella, September 2008
  • 2008. Coloring outside the Lines Issue#4, by Melanie Madison, July 2008
  • 2008. WestEast Magazine, Persian Art, by Ren Wan 2008
  • 2008. Alef Magazine, A Woman of Substance, by Ana Finel Honigman, March/April 2008
  • 2008. Art Asia Pacific, Issue# 57, Sara Rahbar: Weaving the Flag, by Jaishri Abichandani, March/April 2008
  • 2008. The Kuwait Review, Hello Dubai” by Ana Finel Honigman, April 2008
  • 2008. Art Daily, Precursor to bill of rights makes its return, March 21st 2008
  • 2008. Voice of America, January 25, 2008
  • 2007. Yen, The Art of War, by Rebecca Couche, issue# 30, 2007
  • 2007. Iran Times, The Iranian American Artist be- gifts her work for the sake of Human Rights, Dec 14th 2007
  • 2007. Oziran, Art for the Sake of Humanity by Sanaz Fotouhi, October 2007
  • 2007. Payvand, An Interview with Human Rights Artist Sara Rahbar, by Ali Moayedian, August 2007
  • 2007. Shrug Magazine, My Iran, I am not Ahmadine nejad, I am an Iranian, I am not President Bush,
  • 2007. I am an American, by Oliver Shamlou, August 2007
  • 2007. Abort Magazine, Abort Magazine’s NA talks with Controversial IranianAmerican Artist Sara Rahbar 6/25/07
  • 2007. Payvand, Profile: Sara Rahbar, Iranian-American Human Rights Artist, by Ali Moayedian, July 18 2007
  • 2007. Pars Arts, Iranian Artists at the Queens Museum (II), by Sepideh Saremi, January 17th 2007
  • 2007. Pars Arts, Sara Rahbar at the Queens Museum, by Sepideh Saremi, January 5th 2007
  • 2007. PS1 MoMA, Emergency Room, by Debora Gilbert
  • 2007. Namak, Contradicting Realities, by Monique Soltani, March 2007
  • 2007. Payvand, The Axis of Art & Culture? by Ali Moayedian,February 28 2007
  • 2007. Venus Zine, Sara Rahbar: The Activist-Artist, by Sheba White, January 2007
  • 2007. Time Out New York, Queens International: Everything All At Once, by Kate Loenstein, Issue 589, January
  • 2006. New York Times, Art From Everywhere, All From Queens, by Martha Schwendener December 15, 2006
  • 2006. BBC Persian, Rozeh Haftome, by Nazanin Mazhari , November 2006


  • 2008. Speaking engagement at The Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York
  • 2008. Teaching Artist, Queens Museum of Art, New York
  • 2008. Speaking engagement at The Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York
  • 2008. Sandarbh U.S. International Artist residency, Moultrie Georgia
  • 2008. Teaching Artist Flushing Library, in collaboration with the Queens Museum of Art, New York
  • 2007. Speaking engagement at, El Museo del barrio, forum on immigration and museum education, New York
  • 2007. Teaching Artist in collaboration with the Queens Museum of Art, The New Americans Program, New York
  • 2007. Speaking engagement at The School of Visual Arts, New York
  • 2007. Teaching Artist, Woman for Afghan Woman, New York
  • 2007. Artist and Art Director of the Persian Arts Festival, New York (2005-2007)
  • 2007. Film Photographer and Production Coordinator, Nobodys Enemy, Tehran Iran, New York (2005-2007)
  • 2006. Teaching Artist, Professional Development Program for Correctional Educators, Queens Museum of Art, New York
  • 2006. Teaching Artist Residency, Queens Museum of Art, New York
  • 2005. Freelance Photographer, Tehran, Iran (2005-Present)
  • 2005. Photographer for short film Nobody has a name Nobody, Tehran, Iran