Charles Hossein Zenderoudi, who began his career as a young artist in the late 1950s, swiftly emerged as one of the main figures of what would become known as the Saqqakhana movement. French critic Pierre Restany took notice on a trip to Iran in 1960 and introduced Zenderoudi to the Paris Biennale in 1961, igniting a love affair between artist and city that has lasted nearly half a century.
Barely 23 years old when he first arrived, Zenderoudi found the French capital “fabulous” and soon struck up friendships with Alberto Giacometti, Eugène Ionesco, and Serge Poliakoff. “The artistic and literary scene in Paris was extraordinary, without borders, and I was part of this world,” recalls Zenderoudi. Nearly 50 years later, Zenderoudi’s works—rich tapestries often filled with beautiful calligraphy—can be found in prestigious collections worldwide: at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, at MOMA in New York, in the British Museum in London. Restany has described his oeuvre as typifying a “synthesis between East and West.” In 2008, Zenderoudi’s Tchaar Bagh was sold at Christie’s in Dubai for $1.6 million.