Rational Design : AMIR NIKRAVAN

8 September - 15 October 2017

Nathalie Karg Gallery is please to present Rational Design, a solo exhibition of Los Angeles based artist Amir Nikravan. For his first exhibition with the gallery Nikravan presents selections from his ongoing body of work which employs modernist architecture as a site to explore the politics of form. A text by New York based artist Alan Ruiz titled Non-Representational Things accompanies the exhibition, an excerpt of which is below. The full text can be accessed here .


“When looking at the work of Amir Nikravan displayed here, we are confronted by a group of hybrids. Irregular glyphs hang but also project off of the wall, curvilinear forms pose on translucent plexiglass pedestals––their textured monochrome surfaces adding to their particularity. A modular operating system is at play: a lozenge shape is divided into quadrants, shuffled and reassembled, creating a mutation, or deviation. The lozenge shape––originally a decorative wall element found within the Persian-inspired Stuart Building designed by Edward Durell Stone ––has been reappropriated from the architect’s orientalist fantasy. Manufacturing difference within standardization, singularity is exploded giving way to a series of unstable forms that trouble the ideal of Modernist purity. In this way, the works are not quite paintings, not quite sculptures, not quite furniture, not quite specific (bad) objects, but things.


Nikravan asks us to consider the formal operations in his work as not necessarily singularly authored by the artist as an expression of “individualist identity,” or simply rehashing the trajectory of modernist aesthetics, but as reappropriated from a field of white, male dominated painting practices alongside a field of others.


Recognizing abstraction’s ability to reflect the social as a field of relations, Nikravan agonistically inserts non-western geometry within Modernism’s obdurate grid, unfolding space for other ways of considering aesthetic production and art historical canonization. Rather than engaging formalism as an apolitical, self-enclosed system Nikravan’s practice mines the field of modernist production “alongside an array of others”, encouraging a consideration of how non- representational art might be a viable form of representational politics itself.”


– Alan Ruiz