Layla S. Diba
LAYLA S. DIBA is an independent scholar and art advisor. She has held positions as the director and chief curator of the Negarestan Museum in Tehran (1975?79) and as an art advisor for the Private Secretariat of Her Majesty Queen Farah of Iran. She was formerly Hagop Kevorkian Curator of Islamic Art at the Brooklyn Museum and adjunct professor at the Bard Graduate Center. She has curated exhibitions at the Lehmann-Maupin and Leila Taghinia Milani Heller Galleries in New York and served on the advisory panel of the Islamic World Arts Initiative of the Doris Duke Foundation. In 2013 she co-curated IranModern, the first major exhibition devoted to Iranian Modern Art for the Asia Society Museum, New York (Sept. 5, 2013- January 5, 2015) and coedited the accompanying publication. She holds a B.A. from Wellesley College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.
An artists late works provide easy targets for criticism because they often do not correspond to the accepted readings of the artists earlier, iconic work. That late works often mark a new beginning can be seen in the careers of long-lived artists such as Picasso, or more recently, Alex Katz. A retrospective of the thirty-odd year career of Iranian-American Shirin Neshat (b. 1957, Iran) currently on view at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., Shirin Neshat: Facing History, affords a welcome opportunity to address this question.