PAST EXHIBITION
Nicky Nodjoumi: Chasing the Butterfly and other Recent Paintings
7 September - 19 October 2013
press release

This September, Taymour Grahne Gallery opens its doors with an inaugural exhibition by acclaimed Iranian painter Nicky Nodjoumi. Featuring large-scale oil paintings in the main gallery and works on paper in the lower gallery, Chasing the Butterfly and Other Recent Paintings explores Nodjoumi’s surreal hybridization of historic and contemporary imagery intercut with sharp political commentary.

 

Born 1942, in Kermanshah, Iran and based in New York since 1981, Nodjoumi uses his practice to explore the intersection of his personal history with the politics of alienation and dislocation.  Combining historic references, social realist critique and surrealist abstraction, his compositions feature multi-layered human figures engaged with bizarrely counter-poised animals, theatrically staged against indeterminate backdrops and barren landscapes.

 

Not unlike the work of the German Social Realist Neo Rauch, Nodjoumi’s paintings suggest the intention of a narrative reading, but are instead cryptic and open-ended.  In Inspector’s Scrutiny, 2012, warriors from traditional Persian miniatures join with anonymous suited men in the struggle to tether and subjugate a supine horse, creating a scene that is both politically charged and ambiguously unresolved. Nodjoumi’s figures are continually spliced and rejoined on fractured registers with mismatched proportions, a spatial discrepancy that heightens the work’s disjointed layering of history and identity. Underlining this jarring sense of removal from reality and providing material textuality to the work are the artist’s sketches and clippings, also on display.

This uneasy perspective is balanced by the artist’s humorous, yet bitter satire.  In Time to Pray, 2012, a family of apes grouped in a pose redolent of ritual worship are in fact engaged in coital activity, overseen by a supplicating mullah, who seems to vindicate the absurdity of adherence to religious stricture.

 

In Nodjoumi’s works on paper, politicians and businessmen cut from the day’s paper are extricated from their public personae and recontextualized in undefined circumstances, often framed within the confines of a rigidly structured grid, echoing unnamed systems of authoritarian order. 

 

As artist, writer and curator Phong Bui considers in the exhibition’s accompanying catalog essay, “Nodjoumi’s newest paintings evidence a negotiation between political convictions—ones that belong squarely neither to his native home nor his adopted one—and the intricate yet obdurate language of painting he has created for himself out of necessity.”
 

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Artist News
January 2014

Nicky Nodjoumi's Chasing the Butterfly at Taymour Grahne Gallery included in ArtAsiaPacific's Top 10 shows of 2013. 

Artist News
25 October 2013

An interview with Nicky Nodjoumi and Alma Vescovi from the American Reader.

Artist News
24 October 2013

Hamid Dabashi reviews Nicky Nodjoumi's Chasing the Butterfly and Other Recent Paintings for Al Jazeera

Artist News
18 October 2013

Holland Cotter of the New York Times reviews Nicky Nodjoumi's Chasing the Butterfly and Other Recent Paintings at Taymour Grahne Gallery on view through Saturday October 19, 2013. 

Artist News
12 October 2013

A conversation between Nicky Nodjoumi, Melissa Chiu of Asia Society and Hari Sreenivasan

Gallery News
October 2013

AsianArtNews reviews the inaugural opening of Nicky Nogoumi's Chasing the Butterfly and Other Recent Paintings

Artist News
30 September 2013

Ellen Pearlman of Hyperallergic reviews Nicky Nodjoumi's inaugural exhibition at Taymour Grahne Gallery. 

Gallery News
September - October 2013

Nicky Nodjoumi's inaugural exhibition at Taymour Grahne Gallery highlighted by Canvas Magazine in its New York shows guide.

Artist News
17 September 2013

Wall Street Journal's Melik Kaylan talks about the opening night of Nicky Nodjoumi's political art at Taymour Grahne Gallery

Gallery News
September 2013

Inteview Magazine profiles Taymour Grahne gallery as well as upcoming exhibitions by Nicky Nodjoumi and Reza Derakshani.

Gallery News
14 September 2013

Georgina Adam of Financial Times calls Taymour Grahne "fearless" for the opening of his gallery with the artist Nicky Nodjoumi. 

Gallery News
12 - 30 September 2013

Anneliese Cooper of Artinfo describes Taymour Grahne Gallery's exhibition agenda in Artinfo's New York Gallery Openings September edition

Artist News
September - October 2013

Nicky Nodjoumi is the cover of the September - October issue of Harper's Bazaar Arabia along with an extensive interview by Nazzy Begalri

Gallery News
September 2013

Arsalan Mohammad in conversation with Taymour Grahne about the opening of his space and the inaugural show with Nicky Nodjoumi

Gallery News
7 September 2013

Photographs from the gallery's opening night, courtesy of Billy Farrell Agency, NY.

Artist News
6 September 2013

Nicky Nodjoumi's exhibition at Taymour Grahne Gallery is listed in Conde Nast Traveler

Artist News
6 September 2013

Holland Cotter's New York Times piece discusses modern Iranian art including Nicky Nodjoumi at Asia Society. 

Artist News
4 September 2013

Huffington Post interviews Nicky Nodjoumi about his upcoming opening at Taymour Grahne Gallery

Artist News
3 September 2013

Artinfo interviews Nicky Nodjoumi in lieu of his upcoming opening at Taymour Grahne Gallery

Gallery News
31 August 2013

Taymour Grahne discusses the eponymous gallery's upcoming program including the solo exhibition by Nicky Nodjoumi

Gallery News
30 August 2013

The Culture Trip intreviews Taymour Grahne about the upcoming inaigural exhibition of his gallery and Middle Eastern Art. 

Artist News
1 August 2013

The Gulf Today covers the opening of Taymour Grahne Gallery and Nicky Nodjoumi's inaugural exhibition Chasing the Butterfly and Other Recent Paintings

Artist News
28 July 2013

The New York Times covers the Asia Society's upcoming exhibition Iran Modern, showcasing 26 artists with work from the 1950's to 1970s, including gallery artist Nicky Nodjoumi.

Artist Exhibition
September 2013

Nicky Nodjoumi's paintings will be included in the Asia Society's Iran Modern, a landmark exhibition of Iranian art created during the three decades leading up to the revolution of 1979.