Singing a New Song - Nicky Nodjoumi

17 - 31 October 2020 Off-site Exhibitions

Noho Studios

46 Great Titchfield St


London W1W 7QA

3D views here


Taymour Grahne Projects is pleased to present Singing a New Song by New York - based artist Nicky Nodjoumi opening all day (between 10 AM - 6 PM) on October 17.


Politics has never been more at the forefront of the collective consciousness since Nicky Nodjoumi moved to the USA in the 1970s. This experience ignited a lifelong process of making and his own enduring dialogue with activism, identity, and the human condition. To this day, Nodjoumi clips images, figures and body parts from newspapers, creating collages that lay the groundwork for his large-scale paintings. In his latest body of work, the state of 'being' is examined in a world that is rapidly decaying, an outright reference to the current ecological and climate developments.


Mankind’s relationship to and its reliance on the environment is historic. If dependence can be defined as conditional or contingent on some other entity - it is when these circumstances come into jeopardy that the conversation becomes inherently political.


Desolate lands stretch across the canvas, an empty space that sets the stage for Nodjoumi to direct the endeavours of characters, animals and vegetation. Male tropes suited head to toe are realised as capitalistic, destructive figures. Lone plants are exaggerated in scale - suddenly emboldened and gracefully managing to survive. They long for virtue, addressing the eroding world around them and hoping to impart wisdom. However, their pursuit is often tenuous as they have feeble roots and are unable to support such magnitude. Still, some buds manage to bloom, becoming open and naked for the eye to see as their suited counterparts remain concealed. Looming, dusty blue skies heighten the atmosphere and one is not quite sure if further doom or a moment of relief is on the horizon.


Nodjoumi's scenarios address cultural power structures, examining how fear and force maintain rigid understandings of our habitat within a hierarchical system. As an artist responding to contemporaneous happenings, expression is rooted in truth rather than the quest for power. This practise is liberating, and allows for human vice to be held up to the light in ridicule. By painting and twisting recognisable imagery, Nodjoumi interjects cohesive depictions rooted in reality. Slice by slice, component by component, symbolic figures are reconstructed and exposed as the farce they are.


Nicky Nodjoumi's works have been acquired by prominent institutional collections worldwide, including: the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the British Museum in London, LACMA in Los Angeles, the Guggenheim in Abu Dhabi, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, among others. In 2014, Nicky had a solo exhibition at the Cleveland Institute of Art titled The Accident, and in 2019 a solo exhibition at the Kansas City Art Institute, titled The Long Day. The artist lives and works in Brooklyn. His shows have been reviewed by major publications, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Brooklyn Rail, and the Boston Review, among others.