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:

2020. The Space Between Us, Carbon 12, Dubai, UAE
2019. Nada House, Governors Island, New York, USA
2018. Carry Me Home, Dallas Contemporary, Texas, USA
2017. Salvation, Carbon 12, Dubai, UAE
2014. Swarming, Carbon 12, Dubai, UAE
2012. Restless Violence, carbon 12, Dubai, UAE
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:

2021. The Hilger Collection, Institute of Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana (MGML), Slovenia
2021. Arrivals. Katonah Museum of Art, New York, USA
2021. A Bout de Souffle, Carbon 12, Dubai, UAE
2021. NADA x Foreland, Catskill, New York, USA
2020. I want to feel alive again, Lyles and King, New York, USA
2020. Never Done: 100 Years of Women in Politics and Beyond, Tang Teaching Museum, New York, USA
2019. Oh say can you see?, Fraction Art Projects, New York, USA
2019. Gazeli art house Baku, Azerbaijan
2019. Fragile Frontiers, Yarat Contemporary Art Space, Baku, Azerbaijan
2019. Burk Prize, Museum of art and Design, New York, USA
2019. Perilous Bodies, Ford Foundation Gallery, Center for Social Justice, New York, USA
2018. Loud Silence Activism Through Art, Sordoni Art Gallery, Wilkes University, Pennsylvania, USA
2018. We Too, Salsali Private Museum, Dubai, UAE
2018. Motherland in Art, Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, Poland
2018. Art not jail, 107 Norfolk Street, New York, USA
2018. 2050 A Brief History of the Future,National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung
2018. Letters,Warehouse 421, Abu Dhabi, UAE
2018. Museum of Art and Design,Surface/Depth /The Decorative after Miriam Schapiro, New York, USA
2017. Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE
2017. Letters, ATHR Gallery, Saudi Arabia
2017. Alles oder Immer, Schau Fenster (Raum für Kunst), Berlin, Germany
2017. Colgate Alumni Collect, Colgate University, Hamilton, New York, USA
2017. Beautiful Stranger,De Wieger Museum, Netherlands
2017. Sculpture, Salsali Private Museum, Dubai, UAE


2017. Versus Rodin, Art Gallery of South Australia,  Australia
2016. The Davis ReDiscovered,TheDavis Museum at Wellesley College, USA
2016.  A History: Contemporary Art from the Centre Pompidou,Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany 
2016. 2050 A Brief History of the Future, Palazzo Reale, Milano, Italy
2016. 2050 A brief history of the Future, The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Belgium
2016. A History, Art, Architecture, Design from the 80's to now, Musee National D'Art Moderne, Paris, France
2015. 2050 A Brief History of the Future,The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium
2015. 51st Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
2015. I lost an arm on my last trip home, Ryan Lee Gallery, New York, USA
2015. A History, Art, Architecture,Design from the 80's to now, Musee National D'Art Moderne, Paris, France
2014. The Shade of the moon, Changwon Sculpture Biennial, South Korea
2014. A History, Art, Architecture, Design from the 80's to now, Musee National D'Art Moderne, Paris, France
2014. Sharja Art Foundation, SAF Art Spaces, Sharja, UAE
2013. Aya Haidar, Huda Lutfi, Sara Rahbar, bischoff/weiss, London, UK
2013. Cut Teeth, The Great Jones Space, New York, USA
2013. Global Warming, MannheiMer Kunstverein, Germany
2013. Tales of Another Identity, LARM galleri, Copenhagen, Denmark
2013. Sharjah Biennial 11, Re:emerge Towards a New Cultural Cartography, Sharjah, UAE
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, Austria
2012. SPM, (Salsali Private Museum) Life is too short, Dubai, UAE
2012. Nose Bleed, Fuse Gallery, New York, USA
2012. Gloria Berlin, Der arge Weg der Erkenntnis, Berlin, Germany
2012. Sex, Dui's and Videotape, New York, USA
2012. The elephant in the dark, The Devi Art Foundation, Gurgaon, India
2011. SPM, (Salsali Private Museum) Show Off, Dubai, UAE
2011. It ain’t fair: Materialism, Ohwow, Miami, USA
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, Israel
2011. Art As Witness, Siddhartha Hall, Goethe-Institute/ Max Muller, New Delhi, India
2011. Freedom to Create, Ana Tzarev Gallery, New York, USA
2011. Freedom to Create, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbia, India
2010. Freedom to Create, Cairo Opera House, Egypt
2010. The Silk Road, Lille3000/Tri Postal, France
2010. The State, Traffic Gallery I, Dubai, UAE
2010. The Unbearable Lightness of being, Carbon 12 Dubai, Dubai, UAE
2010. Die obscure objects of my desire, Hilger Contemporary, Vienna, Austria
2010. Hope!, At the palais des arts et du festival Dinard, France
2010. Iran Inside Out, The Farjam Collection, Dubai, UAE
2010. Elles@centrepompidou,The Center Pompidou, Paris, France
2010. Never Run Away, Reena Kallat and Sara Rahbar, Stux gallery, New York, USA
2010. The Promise of Loss, A Contemporary Index of Iran, Arario Gallery New York, USA
2010. Eye of the Beholder, Nassau County Museum of Fine Art, New York, USA
2009. The Edible Woman, Kravets /Wehby Gallery, New York, USA
2009. The Promise of Loss, A Contemporary Index of Iran, Brot-Kunsthalle, Vienna, Austria
2009. Iran Inside out: Influences of Homeland and Disaporic realities, Artists, DePaul University Museum, Chicago, USA
2009. The Seen and the Hidden: (Dis)covering the Veil, The Austrian Cultural Forum, New York, USA
2009. Iran Inside out: Influences of Homeland and Disaporic realities, Chelsea Art Museum, New York
2009. Collective de 5 artistes Iranians, Galerie Hussenot, Paris, France
2009. Sara Rahbar-Love arrived and how red, Recent works, Hilger Contemporary, Vienna, Austria
2009. Unveiled: New art from the Middle East, The Saatchi Gallery, London, UK
2009. Artist in Exile, Arario Gallery, New York, USA
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, France
2008. Look what love did to us once again, Cramer Contemporary, Geneve Switzerland
2008. In Transition Russia, National Centre of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia
2008. In Transition Russia, Museum of Fine Arts, Ekaterinburg, Russia
2008. Everywhere is War (and rumors of war). Bodhi Art, Mumbai, India
2008. On a clear day you can see forever, Hilger Contemporary, Vienna, Austria
2008. Emerging Discourse: Multiple and Overlapping Contemplations from the Diaspora, Bodhi Art, New York, USA
2008. Raid Projects, Los Angeles, USA
2008. This Case of Conscience - Spiritual Flushing and the Remonstrance, Queens Museum of Art, New York, USA
2008. Regional Delicacies, XVA gallery, Bastakiya, Dubai, UAE
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, USA
2007. Continuity and Change: Islamic Tradition in Contemporary Art, The Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA
2007. Hyphenation Exhibition, University of Maryland, Union Gallery, Maryland, USA
2007. Iranian Literary Arts Festival, Theater Artaud, San Francisco, USA
2007. Inclusion Exclusion, Bronco exhibit gallery Cal Poly Pomona, Los Angeles, USA
2007. Celluloid, Gallery One, San Francisco, USA
2007. Emergency Room, PS1 MoMA New York, USA
2007. Emergence, Current Gallery, Baltimore MD
2007. Beyond Persia, Gallery One, San Francisco, USA
2007. Changing Climate, Changing Colors, Henry Street Settlement, New York, USA
2006. Everything, All at Once, QMA Biennial, Queens Museum of Art, New York, USA
2006. Nobodys Enemy, Queens Museum of Art, New York, USA
2006. See Williamsburg, Lunar Base Gallery, Brooklyn, New York, USA


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, USA
2007. Teaching Artist in collaboration with the Queens Museum of Art, The New Americans Program, New York, USA
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, USA
2006. Teaching Artist Residency, Queens Museum of Art, New York, USA
2005. Freelance Photographer, Tehran, Iran (2005-Present)
2005. Photographer for short film Nobody has a name Nobody, Tehran, Iran