Tala Madani

Born 1981 in Tehran, Iran

Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA

Tala Madani makes paintings and animations whose indelible images bring together wide-ranging modes of critique, prompting reflection on gender, political authority, and questions of who and what gets represented in art. Her work is populated by mostly naked, bald, middle-aged men engaged in acts that push their bodies to their limits. Bodily fluids and beams of light emerge from their orifices, generating metaphors for the tactile expressivity of paint. In Madani’s work, slapstick humor is inseparable from violence and creation is synonymous with destruction, reflecting a complex and gut-level vision of contemporary power imbalances of all kinds. Her approach to figuration combines the radical morphology of a modernist with a contemporary sense of sequencing, movement, and speed. Thus, her work finds some of its most powerful echoes in cartoons, cinema, and other popular durational forms.


Works on Paper on Fridges

Aug 12 - Sept 6, 2022

Speech Sounds

Feb 6 - Mar 13, 2021

Made in Space

July 11 - Aug 10, 2013

Made in Space

Mar 16 - Apr 15, 2013

Exhibited Works


Masters of Fine Arts, Painting
Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT
Bachelors of Fine Arts, Visual Arts & Bachelor of Arts, Political Science
Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR


Tala Madani
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Skid Mark
Pilar Corrias, London, England
Chalk Mark
Pilar Corrias, London, England
It Was as if the Shadows Were Lit Up
Longlati Foundation, Shanghai, China
Genealogy Study of Artists #6: Tala Madani Animation - Chit Chat
Start Museum, Shanghai, China
Winter Light
Southbank Centre, London, England
MAM Project 027
Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
Shit Moms
David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Shit Moms
Vienna Secessions, Vienna, Austria
Oven Light
Portikus, Frankfurt, Germany
Corner Projections
303 Gallery, New York, NY
Tala Madani
La Panacée, Montpellier, France
Shitty Disco
Pilar Corrias, London, England
First Light
Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, St. Louis, US & MIT Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA
Smiley has no nose
David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Rear Projection
Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville, Spain
Tala Madani: Abstract Pussy
Pillar Corrias, London, England
Tala Madani
Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, England
Tala Madani: Rip Image
Moderna Museet, Malmö; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
Tala Madani: Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting
Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City, US
Tala Madani: The Jinn
Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Manual Man
Pilar Corrias, London, England
Lombard-Freid Projects, New York, NY
Dazzle Men
Pilar Corrias, London, England
ASS•AS•SIN: hashish anyone?
Lombard-Freid Projects, New York, NY
Smoke and Mirrors
Lombard-Freid Projects, New York, NY
Cake Men
Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR


One Escape at a Time, 11th Seoul Mediacity Biennale
Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea
On the Basis of Art: 150 Years of Women at Yale
The Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
Above Us Only Sky
Nitja Center for Contemporary Art, Lillistrøm, Norway
Unsettled Objects
Sharjar Art Museum, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
L’invitation au voyage
Esther Schipper, Berlin, Germany
NEON, Athens, Greece
Epic Iran
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark
Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
Radical Figures: painting in the new millennium
Whitechapel Gallery, London, England
Some mysterious process, 50 years of collecting international art
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Spiral, Tokyo, Japan
Dallas Biennial 2020
PRP Gallery, Dallas, Texas
Feminism Against Family
mumok cinema, Vienna, Austria
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan
The Renaissance Society, Online
16th Istanbul Biennial
Istanbul, Turkey
On Vulnerability and Doubt
Australian Center for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, Australia
Dirty Protest: Selections from the Hammer Contemporary Collection
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Young Congo Biennial
Various Locations, Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Ural Industrial Biennial
Ural Optical and Mechanical Plant, Ekaterinburg, Russia
33rd Biennial of Graphic Arts Ljubljana
Ljubljana, Slovenia
303 Gallery: 35 Years
303 Gallery, New York, NY
Personal Private Public
Hauser & Wirth, New York, NY
Lewben Art Foundation Playlist for Mo Museum “Lewben Playlist for Mo”
MO Museum, Vilnius, Lithuania
ARKIPEL Homoludens
6th Jakarta International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival, Jakarta, Indonesia
Remote Castration
Laxart, Los Angeles, CA
Within Genres
Pérez Art Museum, Miami, FL
Centre Regional d’Art Contemporaine Occitane, Sète, France
First Person Plural: Empathy, Intimacy, Irony and Anger
BAK, Utrecht, Netherlands
Desire: A show about sex, love and lust
Museo de Arte Moderno, Medellin, Colombia
Selections from the Hammer Contemporary Collection
The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA
(X) A Fantasy
David Roberts Art Foundation, London, England
Prospect 2017
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, CA
Black & Brown People / White Problems
Samsøñ, Boston
Adult Swim
Pilar Corrias, London, England
I Plan to Stay a Believer
Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, NY
Whitney Biennial
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Hope and Hazard: A Comedy of Eros
Hall Art Foundation, New York, NY
Made Masculine
Museum of Art at the University go New Hampshire, Durham, NH
National Gallery of Victoria Triennial
Melbourne, Australia
Please fasten Your Seatbelt as We Are Experiencing Some Turbulence
Leo Xu Projects, Shanghai, China
Los Angeles - A Fiction
Musée d’art Contemporain de Lyon, Lyon, France
In Between: Contemporary Iranian Art (Part 1)
Mana Contemporary, Jersey City, NJ
Musée d’art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland
Omul Negru
Nicodim Gallery at Cantacuzino Palace, Bucharest, Romania
Malerei als Film
Kunsthalle Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany
Colliding Alien Cargo
Marlborough Chelsea, New York, NY
Invisible Adversaries
The Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Human Condition
Los Angeles Metropolitan Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
We Dance, We Smoke, We Kiss
Fahrenheit, Los Angeles, CA
On Space and Place: Contemporary Art From Chicago,Los Angeles, Mexico City and Vancouver
DePaul Art Museum, Chicago, IL
The Distance of a Day
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
"A Modest Proposal
Hauser & Wirth, New York, NY
Inside Out
Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, Switzerland
Mixtape 2016
Pilar Corrias, London, England
"Black & White Mike
Center for the Arts Eagle Rock, Eagle Rock, CA
Alfred Jarry Archipelago: La Valse Des Pantins - Acte II
La Ferme du Buisson, Noisiel, France
Get Rid of Yourself: America is Hard to See
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
The Great Acceleration: Art in the Anthropocene, Taipei Biennial
Taipei, Taiwan
Made in L.A. 2014
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Everything falls faster than an anvil
Pace, London, England
Forth Worth Contemporary Arts, Fort Worth, TX
Where are we Now?, 5th Marrakech Biennial, Marrakech, Morocco
Tala Madani & Nathaniel Mellors
PKM Gallery, Seoul, South Korea
In the Near Future
The Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, Poland
Made in Space
Gavin Brown Enterprise, New York, NY
PLAY! Recapturing the Radical Imagination
Göteborg Biennial, Göteburg, Sweden
Future Generation Prize
Pinchuck Art Prize, Venice, Italy
New works 13.1: Tala Madani, Adam Putnam, and J. Parker Valentine
Artpace, San Antonio, TX
NO BORDERS: Contemporary art in a globalized world
Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Bristol, England
21 Artists Shortlisted for the Future Generation Art Prize 2012
Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev, Ukraine
UNREST: Revolt against Reason
Apexart, New York, NY
De Volkskrant Prijs (De Volkskrant Art Award)
Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
He disappeared into complete silence
Museum De Hallen, Haarlem, Netherlands
Speech Matters
Danish Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
Open House
Singapore Biennale, Singapore
Between my Head and my hand, There is Always the Face of Death
Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, OR
Framed, Drawings in Motion
The Drawing Center, Smartspaces, New York, NY
Greater New York, MoMa P.S. 1, New York, NY
The Future of Tradition, The Tradition of Future
Haus Der Kunst, Munich, Germany
The 6 th Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, England
The Symbolic Efficiency of the Frame, 4 thTirana International
Contemporary Art Biennial, Tirana, Albania
The Generational: Younger Than Jesus
The New Museum , New York, NY
Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East
Saatchi Gallery, London, England
Lombard-Fried Projects, New York, NY
The Girl Effect
Lombard-Fried Projects, New York, NY
Works on Paper
La Maison Jaune, Patricia Low Contemporary, Gstaad, Switzerland
Size Matters: XXL-Recent Large-Scale Paintings
Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY
Size Matters: XS- Recent Small-Scale Paintings
Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY
Open Ateliers
Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Awards, Grants, Residencies

Smithsonian American Art Museum’s James Dicke Contemporary Artist Prize
Tiffany Foundation 2013 Biennial Grant
Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting, Spring Artist-in-Residence
Artpace, San Antonio, TX
2012 Video Commission
Creative Time/MoMAPS1/ MTV
New York, NY
Shortlisted for the Future Generation Art Prize
Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev
Kiev, Ukraine
De Volkskrant Beeldende Kunst Prijs (De Volkskrant Art Award)
Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Abbey Painting Fellowship
British School of Rome, Rome, Italy
Tirana Facades Project
Collaboration with Tirana Town Hall and T.I.C.A.B. Facade design of communist living blocks
Tirana, Albania
Van den Berch van Heemstede Stichting Fellowship
The Netherlands
Stichting Kees Verwey Fellowship
The Netherlands
Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten/Dutch Ministry of Education Residency
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Fine Arts Work Center Residency
Provincetown, US
Barry Schactman prize for excellence in painting, drawing and printmaking
Yale University, New Haven, CT
Schickle-Collingwood Prize
Yale University, New Haven, CT
President's Award for Excellence in Art
Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon
'Plinkiewisch Scholarship', full tuition, 1999-2003
Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon
'Undergraduate Research, Innovation, Scholarship, Creativity', grant for painting residency in Berlin
Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon


Greater Woman Painters
Phaidon Press
On The Basis of Art: 150 Years of Women at Yale
New Haven: The Yale University Art Gallery
Babies and Buffoons, Paul McCarthy and Tala Madani
Ursula, Winter 2019, pp. 34-47
Shit Moms, with text by John C. Welchman
Vienna: Secession, 2019
On Vulnerability and Doubt, with texts by Max Delany, Justin Clemens, Julie Ewington, Amelia Winata, Annika Kristensen and Miriam Kelly
Melbourne: Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, 2019
The Artists Who Will Change the World, written by Omar Kholeif with a foreword by Douglas Coupland
London: Thames & Hudson
Tala Madani, with texts by Nicolas Bourriaud and Kelly Shindler
Montpellier: La Panacée
Whitney Biennial 2017, with texts by Scott Rothkopf, Mia Locks, Christopher Y. Lew, Gean Moreno, Negar Azimi and Aily Nash
New York: Whitney Museum of American Art
First Light: Tala Madani, texts by Kelley Shindler, Henriette Huldisch, and Tala Madani with A.L. Steiner
Prestel, 2016
Tala Madani: Rear Projection, texts by Noura Wedell, Kathy Noble, Negar Azimi, and Chris Wiley
Nottingham: Nottingham Contemporary
Tala Madani: Rip Image, texts by Nam Le, Joa Ljungberg, Andreas Nilson, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Tala Madani
London: Moderna Museet and Koenig Books
He Disappeared Into Complete Silence: rereading a single work by Louise Bourgeois, ed. Laura Cluitmans and Arnisa Zeqo,
Netherlands: Onomatopee and De Hallen Haarlem
Speech Matters, ed. Katerina Gregos, published to accompany the Danish Pavilion 54th Venice Biennale
Milan: Mousse Publishing
Vitamin P2: New Perspectives in Painting
New York: Phaidon
Younger Than Jesus: Artist Directory, ed. Lauren Cornell, Massimiliano Gioni, and Laura Hoptman
New York: New Museum and Phaidon Press
Different Sames: New Perspectives in Contemporary Iranian Art, ed. Hossein Amirsadeghi
London: Thames and Hudson Ltd
Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East, Saatchi Gallery
London: Booth-Clibborn
Imagining Emotion, Art as a Binding Element in Contemporary Society
Amsterdam: State Academy of Fine Arts


Artnet, November 10, 2021
AnotherMag, November 8, 2021
Art and Object, September 3, 2021
Bomb Magazine, August 23, 2021
Elephant, August 19, 2021
Flaunt Magazine, August 9, 2021
Palm Springs Life, August 1, 2021
Artnet News, June 2, 2021
The Art Newspaper, May 2021
The Telegraph, May 26, 2021
Financial Times, May 19, 2021
The Art Newspaper, May 6, 2021
Ocula, May 5, 2021
Artsy, April 29th, 2021
Hyperallergic, April 27, 2021
Artspace, April 16, 2021
Financial Times, April 15, 2021
Artnet News, March 26, 2021
TimeOut Dubai, March 18, 2021
Art Review, February 24, 2021
The Art Newspaper, February 3, 2021
Artforum, November 13, 2020
Ocula, September 24, 2020
The Spectator UK, August 8, 2020
Design-Milk, August 7, 2020
MoMA.org, July 22, 2020
The Guardian, July 18, 2020
The Times UK, July 5, 2020
Artsy, June 23, 2020
Invulnerable Vulnerabilities: Tala Madani and Nathaniel Mellors Discuss Life and Art in the Time of the Virus
Flash Art, April - May 2020, pp. cover, 28-39
Artists raise $100,000 for LA climate charities, Margaret Carrigan
The Art Newspaper, February 13, 2020, p. 2
Fucked up Objects, Marie de Brugerolle
Mousse, Winter 2020, pp. 210-223
Top 10 Picks of 2019, Annabel Osberg
Artillery, January/February 2020, pp. 22-23
Flash Art, April 20, 2020
INews UK, March 25, 2020
Elephant, February 17, 2020
Hackney Citizen, February 17, 2020
The Art Newspaper, February 13, 2020
TimeOut, February 7, 2020
The Telegraph UK, February 6, 2020
Contemporary Art Writing Daily, February 5, 2020
Evening Standard, February 5, 2020
Artforum, January 16, 2020
Evening Standard, January 13, 2020
Los Angeles Review of Books, December 27, 2019
Cultured Magazine, December 12, 2019
Artnet News, November 21, 2019
KCRW, October 12, 2019
Artforum, Critics’ Picks, September 25, 2019
The Art Newspaper, September 19, 2019
Ocula, September 6, 2019
LAWeekly.com, September 4, 2019
The Brooklyn Rail, July 2019
Broad Sheet, July 18, 2019
The Sydney Morning Herald, July 9, 2019
Art Guide Australia, June 27, 2019
Los Angeles Times, March 28, 2019
The Art Newspaper, March 8, 2019
Vogue, February 15, 2019
The Hollywood Reporter, February 13, 2019
Between the Waking Life and The Lucid Dream, a conversation with Tala Madani, Danielle Shang
Art Asia Pacific, November/December 2019, pp. cover, 70-77
On Vulnerability and Doubt, Sophie Knezic
Frieze, September 2019, p. 189
Who Needs Masculinity?, Paul Carey-Kent
Elephant, Issue 38, Spring 2019, p. 48
Nice for What, A comic's look at dating now, Lauren Oyler
Bookforum, Volume 25, Issue 5, February/March 2019, p. 11
Reviews – Tala Madani, 303 Gallery, Barry Schwabsky
Artforum, January 2019, pp. 186-187
The Los Angeles Times, January 31, 2019
The Hollywood Reporter, January 23, 2019
Artsy, January 18, 2019
The Huffington Post, November 9, 2017
Art News, November 9, 2017
The Los Angeles Times, November 2, 2017
Art News, September 8, 2017
Financial Tribune, July 19, 2017
Ocula, July 7, 2017
Il Sole 24 Ore, June 2, 2017
NY Arts Magazine, May 9, 2017
Wallpaper, May 15, 2017
ArtNet, May 8, 2017
Artsy, May 6, 2017
Artsy, May 4, 2017
ArtFCity, May 5, 2017
Hyperallergic, May 5, 2017
ArtFCity, May 4, 2017
Artnet News, May 4, 2017
5 Must-See Shows at Frieze New York
Vice.com, May 3, 2017
ArtNews.com, May 3, 2017
The New Yorker, April 28, 2017
Art And Cake LA, April 3, 2017
Apollo Magazine, March 30, 2017
Frieze, March 14, 2017
Vulture, March 14, 2017
Art News, March 13, 2017
Dazed Digital, February 6, 2017
Artnet News, January 24, 2017
Los Angeles Times, June 19, 2014
Art Forum, October 14, 2013
Laugh Out Loud: Group Dynamics and the Catharsis of Tala Madani, Jareh Das
Harper’s BAZAAR Art, September/October 2013, pp. 88- 92
Men Without Women: The paintings, drawings and animations of Tala Madani, Aram Moshayedi
Frieze, Number 152, January/February 2013, cover and pp. 108-113
Tala Madani, Chris Wiley
Kaleidoscope, Issue 17, Winter 2012/2013, pp. 26-31
Stop(ped) Making Sense, H.G. Masters
Art Asia Pacific, Issue 81, November/December 2012, cover, pp. 89-95, 98-99
Tala Madani, Pilar Corrias, Coline Milliard
Modern Painters, September 2011
Greater New Yorkers I Tala Madani, Kevin McGarry
T Magazine, June 2, 2010
Tala Madani, Diana Al-Hadid
BOMB, Number 109, Fall 2009, pp. 50- 51
Dazzled Man: The Paintings of Tala Madani, Maxine Kopsa
Metropolis M, April 2009
"Tala Madani, Dazzle Men, Laura McLean-Ferris
Art Review, April 2009
The Guardian, February 1, 2009
Tala Madani, Pilar Corrias, London, Katherine Holmgren
Frieze, January 30, 2009
The Guardian, January 29, 2009
Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East at the Saatchi Gallery, Richard Dorment
The Telegraph, January 27, 2009
Tala Madani: The Iranian Three Stooges, Simon Watson
Whitewall, Summer 2008
Lombard-Fried Projects
The New York Sun, May 14, 2008, p. 10
Tala Madani,Morgan Falconer
Art World, Issue 3, February-March 2008, p. 68
Artist’s Favorites by Dan Perjovschi, Dan Perjovschi
Spike, Winter 2008, p. 20
Doug Clement on Tala Madani at Lombard-Fried Projects, New York, Doug McClemont
Saatchi-Gallery.co.uk, April 2007
The New York Times, March 30, 2007
Barry Schwabsky on Tala Madani, Barry Schwabsy
Art forum, First Take, January 2007, pp. 214-215