Nairy Baghramian presents an installation at Vienna's Secession

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Nairy Baghramian presents an installation at Vienna's Secession
Nairy Baghramian, Breathing Spell, 2017, Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, Paris, London; kurimanzutto, Mexico City, New York.

VIENNA.- In art that typically takes the (fragmented) human body as its point of departure, Nairy Baghramian grapples with the fundamental questions of art production: with the interrelations between production and reception, between picture and frame, between object and pedestal, for example, but also with the use of materials and the work’s interaction with the everyday. In site-responsive installations, sculptures that appear fragile, obviously in need of support, drawings, and photographic works, the artist takes a stand against the conventional pose of self-confidence, the dominant creative gesture, and its claim to perpetual validity.

Her formal idiom, choice of materials, and approach have as much in common with post-minimalism as with conceptual art; the artist harnesses the potential of abstraction to address complex sets of questions and frame a suitable response in terms of aesthetic form, forging what Baghramian herself has described as “ambivalent abstraction.” Her work addresses temporal, spatial, and social relations to language, history, and the present through forms that materialize as responses to contextual conditions or the premises of a particular medium.

Her creations for interior as well as exterior settings often consist of multiple elements and disparate materials such as aluminum, glass, pigmented wax, marble, porcelain, cork, and epoxy resin. Organic shapes that are densely packed or imbricated, that buttress, support, or lean on one another, subtly yet unmistakably evince their reliance on one another. Props and clamps further underscore the objects’ correlation or interdependence; no effort is made to camouflage ostensible defects in the works: “My sculptures are supposed to help articulate the doubt concerning their viability.” This stance lays her works open to challenge and assault, while the auxiliary constructions also suggest their conceptual temporariness and alterability.

In her solo exhibition in the Secession’s main hall, Nairy Baghramian presents an installation that responds to the architectural specifics of the setting, featuring sculptures from her series Dwindlers and Breath Holding Spells—from which the exhibition also takes its title—as well as the new wall piece Deep Furrow.

Nairy Baghramian was born in Isfahan in 1971 and lives and works in Berlin.

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