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Biography

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nairy baghramian

1971, Isfahan, Iran

Nairy Baghramian explores forms and concepts inherited from the history of art to address issues of functionality, decoration, abstraction, and feminism. Her work offers a reflection on the incessant cycle of aesthetic object production, cultivating an interest in marginalized art forms and spaces that are often considered territory of the “feminine”. Her sculptures —made from a wide range of materials including steel, silicon, resin, and leather— bring art historical references into the realm of the subjective: the human body is dismantled and recombined through the politics of interior design. The result offers a re-reading of the legacy of Minimalism and Surrealism in the shape of protuberances and cavities, lumps and spills, organs and body parts. Instability, also a recurrent theme in Baghramian’s work, becomes evident in the use of tenuous and flimsy supports to hold and display her sculptures: dangling or leaning, always on the brink of collapse. The strength of her practice lies precisely in revisiting the oft-overlooked and the delicate, using these tropes as a point of departure for sculptures that are aware of their own fragility while comfortably holding sway over the exhibition space.

Nairy Baghramian lives and works in Berlin.

Selected Works

Selected Works Thumbnails

halfway house, 1999
2 color prints, 3 black and white prints (one film stil, cleo 5-7 by agnes varda)
23.62 x 15.75 in.; 35.43 x 23.62 in.
installation view of how is your work going?, galerie nagel, cologne, germany, 1999

 

 

 

the iron table, 2002

painted wood, painted metal, sand, wire cable, synthetic cable, mast, 2 spotlights

90.55 x 212.6 x 208.66 in.

installation view of here and now, büro friedrich, berlin, 2002

teestube, 2005
installation view of the 5th berlin biennale for contemporary art, germany, 2008

 

klappen mit goldenen zähnen (trapdoor with golden teeth), 2005

painted metal and wood, brass stick

 

variable dimensions 

installation view of looking is political, museum sztuki, lodz, poland 2009

 

vierte wand / zwei protagonistinnen / (fourth wall / two famale progatonists), 2005

painted metal, bleached fabric

 

variable dimensions 

 

das hübsche eck (the pretty corner), 2006

painted metal, mirror

 

149.61 x 92.52 x 255.91 in.

 

entr’acte, 2007

concrete, plastic awning, metal frames, mirror

 

263.78 x 82.68 x 33.46 in.

 

installation view of skulptur projekte münster '07, münster, germany, 2007

 

eule, 2007

wood and painted wood, epoxy resin

 

13.78 x 39.37 x 16.54 in.

 

portrait (der kopf des konzeptkünstlers raucht), portrait (the concept-artist smoking head), 2008

black and white print, metal frame, glass

 

49.21 x 48.43 x 1.18 in.

 

migraine, 2007

colored glass, painted metal and wood

68.9 x 90.55 x 35.43 in.

 

la lampe dans l’horloge, 2008
concept and collaboration: nairy baghramiann / janette laverrière
installation view at the 5th berlin biennale, germany, 2008

 

 

klassentreffen (class reunion), 2008

colored cast rubber, painted metal, colored epoxy resin

variable dimensions 

 

klassentreffen (class reunion), 2008

colored cast rubber, painted metal, colored epoxy resin

 

variable dimensions

 

entrechambrage verticale, 2008

brass, aluminum, silicon, painted mdf board

 

94.5 x 92.52 x 1.57 in.

 

entrechambrage horizontale, 2008

brass, aluminum, silicon, painted mdf board

 

94.5 x 1.97 x 86.6 in.

 

la colonne cassée, 1871, 2008

painted steel

 

74.8 x 96.5 x .4 in. each

 

spanner (stretcher-loiterer), 2008

chromed brass pipe, stretcher, rubber wire rope, painted metal rings

 

variable dimensions

 

spanner (stretcher-loiterer), 2008

chromed brass pipe, stretcher, rubber wire rope, painted metal rings

 

variable dimensions 

 

damenrad / side saddle, 2009

colored epoxy resin, basket, plastic sheath

 

90.6 x 15.7 x 11.8 in.

 

butcher, barber & angler, 2009

painted metal, fibreglass, rubber, real and decorative sausages and ham

 

90.55 x 92.52 x 70.87 in.

 

aufbauhelfer (construction helper), 2009

painted steel, concrete, rubber

installation view of monument and utopie, steirischer herbst, graz, austria, 2009

 

aufbauhelfer (construction helper), 2009

painted steel, concrete, rubber

installation view of monument and utopie, steirischer herbst, graz, austria, 2009

 

beliebte stellen hot spots, 2010

solid rod, epoxible resin
variable dimensions 

 

londoner türsteher (london bouncer), 2010
polished aluminium, rubber

 

86.61 x 43.41 x 25.59 in.

 

fluffing the pillows c (gurney, silo), 2012

fabric, rubber, pleather, hemp rope, chromed pole
variable dimensions

 

 

fluffing the pillows I (moorings, gurneys, silos), 2012

casted painted aluminium, fabric, rubber, pleather, hemp rope, chromed pole
variable dimensions 

 

 

mooring I (standing), 2012

casted painted aluminium

 

42.91 x 23.23 x 9.65 in.                                                    

 

fugue, 2012
rubber, mdf with melamine coating, paint, metal, concrete block

13.8 x 114.2 x 9.4 in.; 25.6 x 102.4 x 9.8 in.
installation view of olinka, or where movement is created at museo tamayo, mexico city, 2012

 

 

retainer, 2013

casted aluminium, silicon, polycarbonate, chromed metal, print, painted metal, rubber

variable dimensions 

installation viewsculpture center, new york, 2013

 

retainer, 2013

casted aluminium, silicon, polycarbonate, chromed metal, print, painted metal, rubber

variable dimensions

installation view, sculpture center, new york, 2013 

 

beliebte stellen / privileged points, 2014

metal rods, laquer

installation view off the rack. neuer berliner kunstverein, berlin, 2014

 

beliebte stellen / privileged points
metal rods, laquer
installation view of off the rack, neuer berliner kunstverein, berlin, 2014

 

 

cold shoulder, 2014

metal, fabric, epoxy resin

 

122 x 43.3 x .8 in. each approximately

installation view, serralves museum, porto, portugal, 2014

 

cold shoulder, 2014

metal, fabric, epoxy resin
122 x 43.3 x .8 in. each approx.

installation view, serralves museum, porto, portugal, 2014

french curve, 2014

cast aluminium, epoxy resin, lacquer

433 x 23.6 x 2.8 in. approx.
installation view, museum of the art institute of chicago, 2014

 

french curve, 2014
cast aluminium, epoxy resin, lacquer
433 x 23.6 x 2.8 in. approx. 
installation view, museum of the art institute of chicago, 2014

 

 

slip of the tongue, 2014
rubber, epoxy resin, concrete, styrofoam

58.76 x 76.77 x 37.01 in.
installation view, museum of the art institute of chicago, 2014

 

 

halfway house, 1999
2 color prints, 3 black and white prints (one film stil, cleo 5-7 by agnes varda)
23.62 x 15.75 in.; 35.43 x 23.62 in.
installation view of how is your work going?, galerie nagel, cologne, germany, 1999

 

 

 

the iron table, 2002

painted wood, painted metal, sand, wire cable, synthetic cable, mast, 2 spotlights

90.55 x 212.6 x 208.66 in.

installation view of here and now, büro friedrich, berlin, 2002

teestube, 2005
installation view of the 5th berlin biennale for contemporary art, germany, 2008

 

klappen mit goldenen zähnen (trapdoor with golden teeth), 2005

painted metal and wood, brass stick

 

variable dimensions 

installation view of looking is political, museum sztuki, lodz, poland 2009

 

vierte wand / zwei protagonistinnen / (fourth wall / two famale progatonists), 2005

painted metal, bleached fabric

 

variable dimensions 

 

das hübsche eck (the pretty corner), 2006

painted metal, mirror

 

149.61 x 92.52 x 255.91 in.

 

entr’acte, 2007

concrete, plastic awning, metal frames, mirror

 

263.78 x 82.68 x 33.46 in.

 

installation view of skulptur projekte münster '07, münster, germany, 2007

 

eule, 2007

wood and painted wood, epoxy resin

 

13.78 x 39.37 x 16.54 in.

 

portrait (der kopf des konzeptkünstlers raucht), portrait (the concept-artist smoking head), 2008

black and white print, metal frame, glass

 

49.21 x 48.43 x 1.18 in.

 

migraine, 2007

colored glass, painted metal and wood

68.9 x 90.55 x 35.43 in.

 

la lampe dans l’horloge, 2008
concept and collaboration: nairy baghramiann / janette laverrière
installation view at the 5th berlin biennale, germany, 2008

 

 

klassentreffen (class reunion), 2008

colored cast rubber, painted metal, colored epoxy resin

variable dimensions 

 

klassentreffen (class reunion), 2008

colored cast rubber, painted metal, colored epoxy resin

 

variable dimensions

 

entrechambrage verticale, 2008

brass, aluminum, silicon, painted mdf board

 

94.5 x 92.52 x 1.57 in.

 

entrechambrage horizontale, 2008

brass, aluminum, silicon, painted mdf board

 

94.5 x 1.97 x 86.6 in.

 

la colonne cassée, 1871, 2008

painted steel

 

74.8 x 96.5 x .4 in. each

 

spanner (stretcher-loiterer), 2008

chromed brass pipe, stretcher, rubber wire rope, painted metal rings

 

variable dimensions

 

spanner (stretcher-loiterer), 2008

chromed brass pipe, stretcher, rubber wire rope, painted metal rings

 

variable dimensions 

 

damenrad / side saddle, 2009

colored epoxy resin, basket, plastic sheath

 

90.6 x 15.7 x 11.8 in.

 

butcher, barber & angler, 2009

painted metal, fibreglass, rubber, real and decorative sausages and ham

 

90.55 x 92.52 x 70.87 in.

 

aufbauhelfer (construction helper), 2009

painted steel, concrete, rubber

installation view of monument and utopie, steirischer herbst, graz, austria, 2009

 

aufbauhelfer (construction helper), 2009

painted steel, concrete, rubber

installation view of monument and utopie, steirischer herbst, graz, austria, 2009

 

beliebte stellen hot spots, 2010

solid rod, epoxible resin
variable dimensions 

 

londoner türsteher (london bouncer), 2010
polished aluminium, rubber

 

86.61 x 43.41 x 25.59 in.

 

fluffing the pillows c (gurney, silo), 2012

fabric, rubber, pleather, hemp rope, chromed pole
variable dimensions

 

 

fluffing the pillows I (moorings, gurneys, silos), 2012

casted painted aluminium, fabric, rubber, pleather, hemp rope, chromed pole
variable dimensions 

 

 

mooring I (standing), 2012

casted painted aluminium

 

42.91 x 23.23 x 9.65 in.                                                    

 

fugue, 2012
rubber, mdf with melamine coating, paint, metal, concrete block

13.8 x 114.2 x 9.4 in.; 25.6 x 102.4 x 9.8 in.
installation view of olinka, or where movement is created at museo tamayo, mexico city, 2012

 

 

retainer, 2013

casted aluminium, silicon, polycarbonate, chromed metal, print, painted metal, rubber

variable dimensions 

installation viewsculpture center, new york, 2013

 

retainer, 2013

casted aluminium, silicon, polycarbonate, chromed metal, print, painted metal, rubber

variable dimensions

installation view, sculpture center, new york, 2013 

 

beliebte stellen / privileged points, 2014

metal rods, laquer

installation view off the rack. neuer berliner kunstverein, berlin, 2014

 

beliebte stellen / privileged points
metal rods, laquer
installation view of off the rack, neuer berliner kunstverein, berlin, 2014

 

 

cold shoulder, 2014

metal, fabric, epoxy resin

 

122 x 43.3 x .8 in. each approximately

installation view, serralves museum, porto, portugal, 2014

 

cold shoulder, 2014

metal, fabric, epoxy resin
122 x 43.3 x .8 in. each approx.

installation view, serralves museum, porto, portugal, 2014

french curve, 2014

cast aluminium, epoxy resin, lacquer

433 x 23.6 x 2.8 in. approx.
installation view, museum of the art institute of chicago, 2014

 

french curve, 2014
cast aluminium, epoxy resin, lacquer
433 x 23.6 x 2.8 in. approx. 
installation view, museum of the art institute of chicago, 2014

 

 

slip of the tongue, 2014
rubber, epoxy resin, concrete, styrofoam

58.76 x 76.77 x 37.01 in.
installation view, museum of the art institute of chicago, 2014

 

 

notable solo exhibitions

notable solo exhibitions

Baghramian’s most important exhibitions include: Privileged points, Musée d'Art Contemporain du Luxembourg (2019); Nairy Baghramian, Palacio de Cristal del Retiro, Madrid (2018); Déformation Professionnelle, Walker Art Museum, Minneapolis, United States (2017-2018); Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Germany (2017); S.M.A.K.- Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghant, Belgium (2016); Scruff of the Neck (Supplements), Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich, Switzerland (2016); Hand Me Down, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2015); Nairy Baghramian: Fluffing the Pillows, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, United States (2013); Retainer, SculptureCenter, New York (2013); Fluffing the Pillows, Kunsthalle Mannheim, Germany (2012); Butcher, Barber, Angler & Others, Studio Voltaire, London (2009); Affairen. Ein semiotisches Haus, das nie gebaut wurde Zu Gast: Janette Laverrière und Henrik Olesen, Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen, Germany (2008); The Walker’s Day Off, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany (2008); “Everlasting layers of ideas, images, feelings, have fallen upon your brain softly as light. Each succession has seemed to bury all that went before. And yet, in reality, not one has been extinguished.”, Kunstvereins Nürnberg - Albrecht Dürer Gesellschaft, Nuremberg, Germany (2007); It Is Not at Home, Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2006).

selected group exhibitions and biennials

Her work has been part of group shows at the following institutions: Marian Goodman Gallery, New York (2019); Malmö Konsthall, Sweden (2018); The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan (2018); Madre · museo d’arte contemporanea Donnaregina, Naples, Italy (2017); Museum Brandhorst, Munich, Germany (2016); mumok - Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna, Austria (2016); Swiss Institute / Contemporary Art, New York (2016); Punta della Dogana, Venice (2015); Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2012); Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, Australia (2012); Kunsthaus Dresden, Germany (2012); Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Nuremberg, Germany (2012); Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2011); Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany (2010); Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Canada (2010); Weserburg, Bremen, Germany (2009); Bergen Kunsthall, Norway (2009); Tate Modern, London (2008), among others.

She has also participated in the following biennials and festivals: Performa 19 Biennial (2019); 14e Biennale de Lyon, France (2017); documenta 14, Kassel, Germany (2017); Skulptur Projekte Münster 2017, Germany; Parasophia: Kyoto International Festival of Contemporary Culture, Japan (2015); 8 Berlin Biennale (2014); Glasgow International, Scotland (2012); 45th Venice Biennial (2011), and 5 Berlin Biennale (2008).

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