Nairy Baghramian.
Off The Rack

December 13, 2014 – January 25, 2015

Opening: Friday, December 12, 7pm

* The exhibition will be closed from December 24 – 26, 2014, as well as from December 31, 2014 until January 1, 2015.

Curator: Kathrin Becker

The exhibition
Off The Rack at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein is the first solo presentation in a Berlin institution by the artist Nairy Baghramian (b. 1971 in Isfahan / Iran, living and working in Berlin since 1984). Apart from sculptures and installations her work includes photographic pieces, by means of which also space and conditions of an exhibition are investigated. Classical museum elements, such as pedestals and showcases, are questioned here, and modes of representation, such as the invitation card, become a conceptual part of the exhibition. With a subtle and formally precise approach to space and form, Nairy Baghramian examines the institutional context and reassesses existing rules and structures. At the same time she reflects the status of the artwork within the social context, as well as the role of the artists and curators. With a special focus on materiality she often makes her objects and sculptures appear unstable, her sculptures with their reduced geometric forms revealing references to Minimal Art and her organic fragmentary structures quoting the modernist repertoire of forms from architecture and design.

In the exhibition at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Nairy Baghramian presents the work
Von der Stange (Handlauf) / Off The Rack (Handrail) (2014), an extension of an edition, which, in 2012, she developed for Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst at Museum Ludwig Cologne. With an art piece that encompasses one of the two exhibition spaces – a chromed brass tube assembled from single sections, held by painted, pick-like cast aluminum elements – Baghramian addresses the phenomenon of the edition. Editions consist of a number of objects produced by artists specifically for sale in an institution – in particular in art societies. Starting from her own work, she questions the concepts of originality and work of editions and investigates their character as a work of art. Also on show is the piece Beliebte Stellen (Privileged Points) (2011), originally developed for the Stedelijk Museum. Painted metal rods, bent into an open round, are marking places that refer to specific hanging traditions in the institutional exhibition space and thus analyze the practice of presenting works of art. Baghramian here plays with the diverse temporary and changing meanings that are assigned to specific locations and functions.

In December 2014, Nairy Baghramian is awarded the Arnold-Bode-Preis 2014 of the documenta-town Kassel. In 2012, she was awarded the Hector art prize of Kunsthalle Mannheim, in 2007 she received the Ernst Schering Foundation Art Award. Solo exhibitions include: The Art Institute of Chicago (2014); Serralves Museum, Porto (2014); MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge/USA (2013); Sculpture Center, New York (2013); Vancouver Contemporary Art Gallery (2012); Kunsthalle Mannheim (2012); Serpentine Gallery London (together with Phyllida Barlow, 2010); Kunsthalle Baden-Baden (2008); Kunsthalle Basel (2006). Group exhibitions and biennials include: 8th Berlin Biennale (2014); Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne (2013); Museo Tamayo, Mexico-City (2012); Glasgow International (2012); Kunsthaus Dresden (2012,2011); Neues Museum / Kunsthalle Nuremberg (2011); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2011); 54th Venice Biennale (2011); 5th Berlin Biennale (2008); Skulptur Projekte Münster 07 (2007).

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication in the series „n.b.k. Ausstellungen“, published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne.

Thursday, January 15, 2015, 7pm

Zur Aktualität der Skulptur (On the Relevance of the Sculpture)
Panel discussion with Juliane Rebentisch (Professor of Philosophy and Aesthetics, Offenbach University of Art and Design), André Rottmann (art historian, college research group „BildEvidenz“, Freie Universität Berlin), moderated by Manuela Ammer (curator, museum moderner kunst stiftung ludwig vienna)