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Mudam Luxembourg opens exhibition of works by Nairy Baghramian
Privileged Points, 2017. Bronze, paint Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery Photo: Rémi Villaggi / Mudam Luxembourg © Nairy Baghramian.

LUXEMBOURG.- Mudam Luxembourg - Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean has launched the winter/spring season of its artistic programme 2019 with Nairy Baghramian, an Berlin-based artist of Iranian origin. Three sculptures of the Beliebte Stellen/Privileged Points series are exhibited inside as well as outside of the museum.

The artwork exhibited in the Grand Hall was acquired in 2018 and its prominent display reflects the museum’s ambition of providing more visibility to its Mudam Collection, a crucial element of its mission. Providing a panoramic view of the City of Luxembourg, the Park Dräi Eechelen is hosting two other sculptures of the same series. By displaying artworks in the parc, Mudam is conceptualising art in a space beyond its restrictive walls. Beliebte Stellen/Privileged Points marks the beginning of a recurring series of external exhibitions and artistic interventions.

The three bronze sculptures painted with layers of desaturated yellow, pale yellow-green and pastel coloured green-grey have been cast in the form of irregular open circles of up to five metres in diameter similar to the marking of passages in a text. Their placement highlights both specific local conditions and varying spatial relationships.

The first smaller scaled works of the series Beliebte Stellen/Privileged Points were presented in 2011 at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and since then have been shown in various institutional exhibitions. In 2017, for her participation in Skulptur Projekte Münster, a contemporary sculpture exhibition held every ten years since 1977, Nairy Baghramian first presented versions of Beliebte Stellen/Privileged Points in the front and back courtyards of the prestigious Baroque Erbdrostenhof palace. In choosing this location she referred to the earlier sculptural intervention by Richard Serra from 1987. In contrast to the monumentality and permanence suggested by Serra’s work, Baghramian emphasized the temporary and mobile nature of her sculptures in the context of the temporary exhibition by leaving the sculptures in a state of near completion with the promise of a final form still to be elaborated.

Installed now in Mudam and the Park Dräi Eechelen, Baghramian’s sculptures establish a relationship between interior and exterior space. In both cases, the environment-inspired coloration blends the sculptural bodies with their surroundings. Their three-dimensional twist and hanging droplet formations, which address traditional sculptural questions of mass and weightlessness, form and color, stability and performativity, and the visible processes of their production, are an invitation to the viewer to interact.

Beliebte Stellen/Privileged Points embody formal, conceptual and critical concerns that have characterised Baghramian’s sculptures since she first began exhibiting in the late 1990s. Anthropomorphic affiliations associated with crutches and prosthetic devices, and a concern for placement in relation to marginal and threshold spaces are some of the physical and symbolic connections between architecture, object and human body, and the idea of sculpture as being necessarily dynamic. Together with her broader sculptural oeuvre, which also incorporates photographs and drawings, Beliebte Stellen/Privileged Points is part of a repertory of ideas that can be rearranged and reinvented so as to generate changing views according to the space they occupy, and the people who look at them.

Born in 1971 in Isfahan, Iran, Nairy Baghramian fled to Berlin, Germany in 1983, where she has lived ever since. Recently, she has had solo exhibitions at the Palacio de Cristal – Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid (2018), the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (2017–2018) and the SMK in Copenhagen (2017–2018). She has also participated in several major events and biennials, including, among others, the Festival d’Automne, Paris (2018), the 14th Lyon Biennial (2017), documenta 14 in Kassel (2017), Skulptur Projekte Münster (2007 and 2017), the 5th and 8th Berlin Biennial (2008 and 2014), Glasgow International (2012) and the 54th Venice Biennial (2011).

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