Now Through a Glass Darkly at Arario New York

Posted in Arario Gallery by arariogallery on May 6, 2010

Now Through a Glass Darkly

May 6th – June 26th, 2010

Opening Reception: May 6th 2010. 6 – 8pm

Arario New York is pleased to present Now Through a Glass Darkly, a group exhibition featuring the works of Aleksandar Duravcevic, Jason Gringler, Paul Jacobsen, Jitish Kallat, Kim Keever, Dongwook Lee, Glenn Ligon, Ivan Navarro, Ylva Ogland, Jack Pierson, Tallur L.N., and Andy Warhol.  The exhibition is organized by Cornell DeWitt.

The exhibition takes its title from the 1990 book by Edward Peter Nolan, Now Through a Glass Darkly: Specular Images of Being and Knowing from Virgil to Chaucer (University of Michigan Press), in which Nolan examines the ways in which medieval authors and their Roman predecessors used the image of the mirror both as instrument and metaphor.  The thesis turns on the interpretation of the phrase from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians 13: 12, “for now we see through a glass, darkly.” The phrase is broadly interpreted as meaning that mankind has an imperfect perception of reality.  However, an alternative interpretation – as advocated by Nolan – would emphasize that we are living in dark times. For this exhibition, Nolan’s literary analysis is applied to the realm of contemporary visual art.  The phrase is interpreted literally through artists that use or depict dark mirrors or glass in various forms in their work; metaphorically through artists who depict a dark worldview or personal view; or a combination of the two.

Aleksandar Duravcevic’s graphite drawings on black paper and installations utilizing various forms of mirror and glass are infused with nostalgia and beauty, yet hint at darker influences, both historical and personal.  Jason Gringler’s large-scale abstractions utilize industrial materials, including cut Plexiglas and mirrors to create a disquieting visual experience.  Paul Jacobsen’s charcoal drawings explore a post-apocalyptic, quasi-utopian world and society, where all is not usually as it seems.  Through the use of visually seductive patterns that are infected with a bittersweet or even sinister dimension, Jitish Kallat reveals how the density and chaos of the urban landscape-in-collapse mirrors and focuses individual themes of death and survival.  Kim Keever builds and photographs entire worlds in a fishtank, viewed through the smudged glass of the fishtank, depicting either the end of time or the beginning.  Dongwook Lee’s sculptures of miniaturized human forms in desperate situations evoke a fetishized vision of the antithesis of the renaissance spirit, with man resigned to his powerlessness.  Coal dust silkscreens by Glenn Ligon are course reflections of his “outsider” position as a black artist in America.  Out of simple optical illusions with glass, mirrors and light, Ivan Navarro’s elegant constructions belie their sharp and evocative social commentary.  Ylva Ogland delves into the intersection between the fantasy world within the mirror and the real world outside of the mirror and how these images interact with her own memories.  Tallur LN’s gritty mixed-media sculptures reveal the absurdities in the contrasts between urban chaos and rural values.  Andy Warhol’s beautiful and enigmatic Diamond Dust Shadows paintings evoke both glamour and mystery, probing the murky intersection of the two.  Cornell DeWitt is a private dealer and advisor based in New York.


Miao Xiaochun at Arario New York

Posted in Arario Gallery, Miao Xiaochun by arariogallery on March 9, 2010

Thank you for all those who attended the opening reception of Miao Xiaochun’s solo exhibition at Arario New York. Microcosm is a series of works inspired by Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, manifested in videos and multi-panels works in three dimensional animations. Their complexity and intricacy of details are prevalent in each frame and picture plane. Viewing the show we encourage not only  paying attention to its sole reference but how the works engage with the viewer in an intangible, psychologically surreal manner, images that instill an unsettling disturbance whilst adhering to a amalgamation of art historical and cultural references. Below are images from the opening and exhibition. More can be found on our flickr page.

Miao Xiaochun opens at Arario New York March 4th, 2010

Posted in Arario New York by arariogallery on February 23, 2010
Fullness, 2008, Digital Print on Canvas, 135 x 253cm

Arario New York is pleased to present Microcosm, an exhibition of more than twenty works in three dimensional animation, multi-panels, digital paintings, drawings, and embroideries.

As one of the most representative artists of China’s new media art, from early realism photograph to 3-dimensional work, Miao Xiaochun has always focused on the humanities, history and reality from a sociological and art historical perspective. The latest series of works employs the most advanced computer technologies, using classical paintings as a foundation of visual structure to create outlandish modern montages of virtual reality.

In views of subjective definitions toward historical images, Miao Xiaochun’s Microcosm is based on Netherlandish master Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delight. He reinterprets the traditional Chinese idiom ‘Looking up the Sky from the Well’ to ‘Looking down the Well from the Sky’ (the literal translation of ‘Microcosm’). If the idiom ‘looking up the sky from the Well’ is used to describe a person with limited sight and knowledge struggling to comprehend the essence of life, ‘Looking down the Well from the Sky’ offers an image of a person located in a macro environment open to examining with a micro-lens but also struggling an all expansive understanding.

Microcosm is not created to recover the very truth of historical images, rather it is transformed and deducted with implied meaning within the image system, an effort to deconstruct the internal meaning of history and create psychological medium analysis. It recreates modern images in the tangled relations among reality and virtual world, familiarity and strangeness, intimacy and alienation, ego and non-ego.

C-print photographs, drawings, digital ink and wash painting, embroideries and other works expand the technique of expression and the limitation of materials, taking the 3-dimensional effect as a medium and utilizing the character of one medium to recover, translate, imitate, mix another.

Miao Xiaochun was born in China and studied at Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing where he currently teaches. He also attended the Kunsthochschule in Kassel, Germany. The artist has shown his works at Alexander Ochs Gallery in Berlin, Osage Gallery in Singapore and Walsh Gallery in Chicago. His works have also been exhibited at Le Grand Palais in France, Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo in Brazil, Groninger Museum and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in the Netherlands, Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation Vienna, ZKM Karlsruhe in Germany, Art Museum Bern and Museum of Art Lucerne in Switzerland, Victoria and Albert Museum in U.K., Smart Museum of Art Chicago and Seattle Art Museum in U.S.A.

Contact for more information.
Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday 10-6pm and by appointment.

Nalini Malani at Musee Cantonal des Beaux-Arts opens March 19th

Posted in Nalini Malani by arariogallery on February 23, 2010

Musee Cantonal des Beaux-Arts

20 March to 6 June 2010

Public opening Friday 19 March 2010 at 18.30

Nalini Malani is one of the most important contemporary artists on the Indian subcontinent. The museum is bringing together a huge retrospective of her works of the past 15 years – paintings, video installations, shadow theatre, and theatrical collaborations. Since the 1990s Malani has presented her depiction of the women’s revolt in a country first torn between the legacy of colonialism and the ideal of third-world socialism, then dragged by globalisation into rapid political and economic transformation. Making use of figures drawn from myths, tales and religions of very different cultural background (Cassandra, Alice in Wonderland, Akka, etc.), she describes scenes depicting war, orthodox fanaticism, the consequences of capitalism, and the destruction of the environment in a narrative outpour that might well be described as epic.
Malani’s work is produced in cycles or polyptychs, using multiple-projection video installations. Her world is transparent and fluid, constituted by visible overlays. Nothing is fixed or set, everything is in a continual state of metamorphosis. In a maelstrom of elementary colours – blue, red, yellow – she builds up a profusion of figures, bodies and disparate elements taken from the most diverse animate and inanimate worlds: fragments of machines, planes, tadpoles, larvae, worms, foetuses, winged creatures, monsters, and anonymous and recognisable figures, all liquid, permeable bodies. In Malani’s work, blood-vessels, bones, brain and internal organs float outside the body, both volatile and exploded (as a result of the Splitting), and thus a network of multiple contacts, an “interface” in today’s terms, where the I and the Other no longer form a legitimate antinomy.

Inbai Kim at Doosan Gallery

Posted in Inbai Kim by arariogallery on February 9, 2010

The Promise of Loss in Brooklyn Rail

Posted in Arario New York by arariogallery on February 4, 2010

It would be an understatement to say that Iran exists in turmoil largely due to internal conflicts. The ideological separations occur on two levels: within the Islamic community there are historical differences between the Shiites and the Sunnis. This we know. However, what has come into international prominence in recent months, given the aftermath of what many believe to have been a bogus election, is the tension between “the Islamic Republic of Iran and the idea of Persia,” (to quote the catalog essay of the exhibition, The Promise of Loss: A Contemporary Index of Iran) which constitute strong differences between orthodox and liberal positions within the fabric of Iranian society. In either case, this “continuous face-off” has been more or less the mainstay over the past 30 years. In addition, it would appear that forces from the outside have had a tendency to exacerbate these conflicts, either by taking advantage of the disjuncture (as in the Iran-Iraq War) or by lacking a clear understanding of the history from which these conflicts evolved. In our highly mediated, politicized era, this conundrum has found little respite. Internal political conflicts emanating from within the region are never easy to discern, particularly when interpreted from the outside. Ambiguity filters through the news media, and, in the process, oversimplifies the reality. As a result, the unreality is heightened through the rhetoric of confrontation. It is a power play on all sides perpetuated through heavily invested globalized networks. Conflicts are instantly “branded” and the consequences of this branding are authorized by “the news.” The question is: whose news?

Read the rest here.

Promise of Loss : Voice of America Coverage

Posted in Arario New York by arariogallery on January 22, 2010

The Promise of Loss Opening Reception

Posted in Arario New York by arariogallery on January 15, 2010

Thank you for all who attended the opening reception of The Promise of Loss: A Contemporary Index of Iran. We are grateful to have had to work with artists based in and out of Iran in conjunction with Ernst Hilger Contemporary to make this happen. We look forward to your continued visits and feedback!

Check out images from last night on flickr.

The Promise of Loss: A Contemporary Index of Iran opens Tomorrow, Artist’s Talk Saturday

Posted in Arario New York by arariogallery on January 13, 2010

The Promise of Loss: A Contemporary Index of Iran

Curated by Shaheen Merali

January 14th, 2010 – February 27th, 2010

Press Preview: January 14th 2010, 5 – 6pm

Opening Reception: January 14th 2010, 6-8pm

Artist’s Talk: January 16th 2010, 3pm

Arario New York in collaboration with Galerie Hilger Vienna is pleased to present The Promise of Loss: A Contemporary Index of Iran, an exhibition curated by Shaheen Merali. An exhibition of works created by young Iranian artists, the show aims to provide a glimpse into the contemporary art world and culture of Iran, uniting both internationally established artists with new and emerging talents to engage in a multifarious challenge to conventional perceptions of the country through the works of over a dozen artists living in and out of Iran.

The exhibition has traveled to New York from BrotKunsthalle in Vienna where it was shown for the first time based on the extensive knowledge and research of the renowned curator Shaheen Merali. Speaking about the show, Merali explains:

“The exhibition is a consolidation of many dashed hopes, a desire to build a shrine as well as to plant trees in the campus condemned to destruction. The artists enable both a reading of the situation and encouragement to cross the distance where the bitterness of loss reigns within the national moral. The Promise of Loss is organized to mine the huge ground of Iran. The connection of expertise to experience, the rhythm of its measures and the constancy of the artistic gaze into its shadows has made listening to the artists’ renditions more urgent.”

Artists in the exhibition include: Samira Abbassy, Iman Afsarian, Asgar/Gabriel, Masoumeh Bakhtyari, Shahram Entekhabi, Parastou Forouhar, Shadi Ghadirian, Babak Golkar, Peyman Hooshmandzadeh, Abbas Kowsari, Mandana Moghaddam, Amin Nourani, Sara Rahbar, Neda Razavipour, Behrang Samadzadegan, Rozita Sharafjahan, and Jinoos Taghizadeh.

Artist’s Talk: January 16th, 3pm

We are grateful to be joined by three participating artists as they discuss their practice in and out of the current political context in Iran. Samira Abbassy, Asgar/Gabriel, Babak Golkar will be accompanied by Layla Diba, Independent Curator of Islamic Art and moderated by Hrag Vartanian, art writer and editor of Hyperallergic.

The Artists

Abbas Kowsari (b. 1970 in Tehran, Iran) is active both in Iran and abroad as a photographer and a photo editor for various publications. He is currently the Senior Photo Editor for the Farhikhtegan Newspaper in Tehran, and has worked for others such as the Sarmayeh Economics Newspaper, as well as several that have been banned from publishing. Meanwhile his photographs have appeared in prestigious international publications such as The New York Times, Time Magazine and Der Spiegel, and have been used by labels such as Benetton. He has taken part in international photography exhibitions and was shortlisted for the 2009 Prix Pictet, which this year deals with the topic of the environment.

Amin Nourani (b. 1965 in Tehran, Iran) is a painter active in his hometown of Teheran. He has had three solo exhibitions in Iran, and has participated in more than fifty group exhibitions. A member of the Iranian Society of Painters (SIP), he is the founder of the Shen [Sand] Atelier and works as a fine arts instructor for various art institutions in Iran.

Asgar/Gabriel (b. 1975 in Tehran, Iran and Vienna, Austria) is the creative painter duo Daryoush Asgar and Elisabeth Gabriel, who have been collaborating artistically since 2005. Highly active over the last four years, Asgar/Gabriel has enjoyed both solo exhibitions and taking part in numerous group shows around the globe.

Babak Golkar (b. in Berkeley, USA) is a Canada-based artist, who since 2002 has taken part in a large number of shows around Europe, Asia, Canada and the U.S.A. As well as being a practicing artist, Golkar has curated and co-curated several exhibitions in Canada, and has taught at the University of British Columbia, the Vancouver Film School and the Emily Carr Institute. His activity has granted him numerous awards since 1999, such as the Helen Pitt Award in 2003, the VADA Award in 2006, and this year’s grant from the British Columbia Arts Council Production.

Behrang Samadzadegan (b. 1979 in Tehran, Iran) is a contemporary painter who was raised and educated in Iran, and is the 2008 winner of the Golden Feather Award from the 1st International Media Art Festival (IMAFY) in Cairo. He is a member of the Association of Iranian Painters (AIP), and the Visual Editor of Iran’s electronic magazine Since 1999 he has taken part in several shows around the world, has been published in various magazines and websites, and has been teaching at numerous Iranian universities.

Iman Afsarian (b. 1974 in Iran) is a realist painter who, alongside having participated in numerous group exhibitions in Iran, Russia and Germany, has given lectures at the Ferdousi University, and published papers in Herfeh:Honarmand and Tandis magazines.

Jinoos Taghizadeh (b. 1971 in Tehran, Iran) is an artist who works with various forms of media, including sculpture, pottery, graphic design, performance art, installation and film. She has participated in over thirty group shows around the world, and has hosted nine solo exhibitions, predominantly within Iran. Aside from her active artistic career, Taghizadeh has been on the board of several influential artistic committees, such as the 4th Sculpture Biennial of Tehran and the Managing Board of Iranian Sculptor’s Society. Since 2001 she has been on the Board of Editors for a popular Iranian internet magazine,

Mandana Moghaddam (b. in Tehran, Iran) is an artist who works mainly in the mediums of sculpture and installation, taking inspiration from her personal and national history. Within her work she tackles the difficult subjects of religion, revolution and war. Speaking about Sarah’s Paradise, the artist explains: “Sara is an old and historical name, [which] reminds us of the promised land, paradise, and the biggest cemetery in Tehran that is named ‘Beheste zahra’ which means ‘Zahra’s Paradise’”.

Masoumeh Bakhtiari (b. 1966 in Tehran, Iran) is a painter who works and lives in Iran, and has participated in several Iranian group exhibits, as well as solo shows in the U.S.A.

Neda Razavipour (b. 1969 in Tehran, Iran) currently lives and works in Tehran, but was educated in Paris between 1992-1997. Since 1996 the artist has been involved in numerous international contemporary art exhibitions, and has shown works in various mediums, such as video installation, installation,  Environmental Art, urban performance, photography, stage design, and drawing. Active in different artistic fields, is the co-founder of Studio Jalleh, the public performance and installation group MOVAZI, and the Leeve Theater Company in Teheran. Razavipour has also had  experience in the field of arts management, has curated exhibitions and held the post of Art Director of the Katibeh Art Gallery in Tehran between 2001-2002.

Parastou Forouhar (b. 1962 in Tehran, Iran) is an artist who since 1991 has lived and worked in Germany. Having completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Teheran, she received multiple grants for further study, for example those of the Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral, and the Villa Massimo in Rome. Forouhar is co-curator of Treibsand, a contemporary art magazine, and has since 2001 taken part in over twenty group and solo shows around the world.

Peyman Hooshmandzadeh (b. 1969 in Tehran, Iran) is a writer and photographer, working and living in Teheran. His oeuvre has been covered in an impressive number of photography exhibitions, held mainly in Iran and various European countries. Having won an astounding eighteen literature and photography prizes, such as the 2007 First ‘Golden Pen’ Prize at the Zamaneh Stories Festival in the Netherlands, and the 2006 First Prize at the 1st Shouka Photography Awards in Tehran, Hooshmandzadeh has earned his name not only as an artistic photographer, but also as a writer of fiction, a journalist, and a photojournalist. He is the photo editor of several publications, including the Gozaresh-e Rooz, and Goonagoon newspaper‌s, is one of the founding members of Iran’s 135 PHOTOS Agency, and regularly works for Reuters. He has authored four fiction books, and is a contributing writer to several publications including Literary Monthly and Photography Monthly.

Rozita Sharafjahan (b. 1962 in Tehran, Iran) is an artist who works in the mediums of painting, installation and video installation, and has taken part in numerous exhibitions in the last twenty years. Sharafjahan’s Winter 1970 is a reaction to the 1971 Marxist guerrilla attack on a police post in the north of Iran. As suggested by Bavand Behpoor, Sharafjahan’s Winter 1970 brings into mind “the startling innocence of detainees’ shirts in Auschwitz: pale blue and grey shirts. To me, they appeared as the absolute embodiment of a lack, of fragility and vulnerability”.

Samira Abbassy (b. 1965 in Ahwaz, Iran) was raised and grew up in the United Kingdom, and began her artistic career in London’s galleries in the 1980s, winning awards and having her work acquired for the British Government Art Collection. In the late 1990s the artist moved to New York, where she continued her successful gallery career, helped to set up the Elizabeth Foundation, and received awards such as the Yaddo Fellowship in 2006, and an NYFA in 2007. Throughout her career Abbassy has taught at several universities and colleges, has enjoyed countless exhibitions around the world, and has been reviewed in publications like the Washington Post, the New York Times, The Times and Elle Magazine. Her work has since been acquired by large institutions such as the Rubin Museum and the British Museum in 2008, and her paintings have been widely used in popular culture. Her paintings can be found, for example, featured on the covers of popular novels, and even making appearances in Hollywood blockbusters.

Sara Rahbar (b. 1976 in Tehran, Iran) studied Fine Art and Design in London, and has taken part in over twenty European and worldwide art exhibitions in the last four years. She has been mentioned in countless publications and articles, and has recently had her work purchased by Paris’ Centre Pompidou. Aside from practicing art, Rahbar has had extensive experience in teaching, freelance photography, film, and even the music industry through her work with Yas, Iran’s biggest name in Hip Hop.

Shadi Ghadirian (b. 1974 in Tehran, Iran) is a contemporary photographer who works for Akskhaneh Shahr, Tehran’s first museum of photography, holds the post of Photo Editor for, and is famous for having created the first Iranian website dedicated exclusively to contemporary photography. She has taken part in international exhibitions since 1997, and her works have been purchased for the permanent collections of the world’s most prestigious institutions, such as the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Vienna’s Mumok, and the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Saatchi Gallery in London.

Shahram Entekhabi (b. 1963 in Beroujerd, Iran) is an artist who lives and works in Berlin, and is active in the fields of video art, photography, painting, drawings, installation, performance and architecture (he was involved in many residential projects and competitions in Berlin). He is the founder and director of several international art projects, such as the 2008 WL PROJECT and the 2009 I RAN Home project. Awarded numerous grants, awards, and scholarships, such as the recent 2009 Research/Creation grant of Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation & National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Entekhabi has been hugely active and has participated in over one hundred art projects in the last six years.

Osang Gwon in New York Times

Posted in Osang Gwon by arariogallery on December 17, 2009

Faking photographs is almost as old as photography itself, but the digital revolution has opened up vast, hitherto undreamed-of possibilities for making constructed, fictional images look real. It has also expanded the potential of photography and video as forms of artistic expression.

The sheer variety of the application of digital technology in imaginative fields is revealed by an absorbing, sometimes disturbing, exhibition of 23 artists from around the world, “Manipulating Reality: How Images Redefine the World” at the Strozzina Center for Contemporary Culture at the Palazzo Strozzi.

Art photography and video in the past often distinguished themselves from their professional equivalents by a willful level of technical incompetence and amateurism. What is immediately striking about almost all the exhibits on display here are the high-grade production values and slickness of finish. And while much post-modern art has seemed to pride itself on its lack of traditional art skills and its contempt for aesthetics, a significant number of the pieces here have relied on manual dexterity and a developed sense of composition, design and color at some stage in their production. Although the end result may be a digital photograph or video, many of these works have also been labor-intensive.

Read the rest here.