January 30th, 2018

Nairy Baghramian at Walker Art Center


Artist: Nairy Baghramian

Venue: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

Exhibition Title: Déformation Professionelle

Curated by: Vincenzo de Bellis with Victoria Sung

Date: September 7, 2017 – February 4, 2018

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ex2017nb_ins Visual Arts, Exhibitions, installation views. Nairy Baghramian: Déformation Professionnelle, September 7, 2017 through February 4, 2018, Galleries 4, 5, 6. Photo by Gene Pittman for Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. The exhibition was organized by curators Vincenzo de Bellis with Victoria Sung at the Walker; at S.M.A.K., the exhibition was organized by curator Martin Germann. Déformation Professionnelle offers a new approach to the artist survey, an exhibition format that follows the development of an artist’s career over a period of time. Here, Baghramian has replaced the original invitation to do a retrospective and presents entirely new sculptures that reflect upon and alter her previous bodies of work from 1999 to 2016. Some pieces incorporate rejected ideas or materials, while others explore variations in form. Baghramian is, as she says, “surveying the survey,” pushing the sculptor’s task into new territory with her ever-evolving practice. The exhibition takes its name from a French phrase often translated as “professional distortion” or “job conditioning,” referring to ways that a person’s worldview can be altered by their chosen vocation. The artist uses the exhibition as an opportunity to take apart her own profession and lay bare the sculptor’s method. In fact, the word “deformation” can also be applied to form, pointing to basic actions such as shaping, modeling, or casting. Through her playful yet critical take on the artist survey, Baghramian unpacks and interrogates the conceptual, physical, and social aspects of sculpture-making today.


Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.


Images courtesy of Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

Press Release:

The Walker Art Center presents the first international museum exhibition of Nairy Baghramian (b. 1971, Iran; lives and works in Berlin). Nairy Baghramian: Déformation Professionnelle will be on view in Galleries 4, 5, and 6 from September 7, 2017-February 4, 2018.

Over the past two decades, Baghramian has created site-responsive installations that use, dismantle, and unveil the human body and its gestures. Using such materials as curved steel, soft rubber, plastic, wax, and fabric, as well as cast or combined elements and photography, Baghramian challenges the definition of sculpture and references fashion, design, theater, and dance.

Co-organized with Stedelijk Musuem voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K.), Ghent, Belgium, where it was presented from November 26, 2016-February 19, 2017, the exhibition is comprised of a series of new pieces that mirror or play off of the artist’s previous bodies of work, while deftly responding to each site. Taking its title from a French phrase often translated as ‘professional distortion’ or ‘job conditioning,’ the exhibition indicates the alteration of one’s worldview from being overly specialized or made expert. It also speaks to the process of taking apart one’s profession — in this case, laying bare the sculptor’s method. Through her playful take on the artist’s retrospective, Baghramian unpacks and interrogates the conceptual, physical, and social aspects of sculpture.

Nairy Baghramian: Déformation Professionnelle is accompanied by a major publication, the first comprehensive monograph on the artist’s work to date.

Nairy Baghramian was born in 1971 in Isfahan, Iran and has lived and worked in Berlin since 1985. She has exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge; SculptureCenter, New York; Kunsthalle Manheim; the 2011 Venice Biennale; Serpentine Gallery, London; the 5th Berlin Biennale; and Tate Modern, London; among others. For her work, Nairy Baghramian has received the 2007 Schering Stiftung Art Award, the 2012 Hector Prize, and the 2014 Arnold Bode Prize. This year, Baghramian is participating in the Sculpture Projects Münster 17 and documenta 14 in Kassel.

Link: Nairy Baghramian at Walker Art Center

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