On 23 June 1964 a group of young artists organised their first group exhibition to be a landmark in the history of modern Iranian art. The group, which was called Talar-e Iran (and later Talar-e Qandriz), turned into a movement that lasted for fourteen years right until the dawn of the 1979 revolution. This paper, as a part of a larger project on “Iranian modernism,” surveys the socio-cultural aims and strategies of the Talar in its historical context. Considering its members’ activities as artists, exhibition organisers and art publishers, this study addresses the Talar’s perspectives on the formation of “national art” in both theory and practice and with special reference to its complex position in relation to the state and its leftist dissidents at the time. It is also important to notice that how the experience of the Talar, as an avant-gardist independent group, manifests the artistic and art historical development in modern Iranian society, leaving a remarkable legacy for next generations.