Darren Almond, Raymond Hains, Joan Mitchell, Navid Nuur, Ida Tursic & Wilfried Mille et al.

Painting the Night (group show)
Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz
13 October 2018 - 15 April 2019

Ida Tursic & Wilfried Mille, Landscape with Earth and Moon, 2013. Courtesy of the artists and Almine Rech Gallery
Ida Tursic & Wilfried Mille, Landscape with Earth and Moon, 2013. Courtesy of the artists and Almine Rech Gallery

The topic of night has infiltrated current debates concerning society (should we open shops at night or preserve that time for sleep?), the environment (how can we limit night light pollution which prevents us from seeing the stars and impacts natural life?), politics (the French “Nuit Debout” movement, clandestine nightly border crossings), science (we are constantly furthering our knowledge of the phenomenon).

Night-time, and the many questions it prompts, has haunted artists particularly since the late 19th century. Thanks to such ground-breaking discoveries as electrification and lighting, psychoanalysis and the advent of the space age the night has evolved, transforming us in turn: theories have consequently been completely reviewed changing our relationship to the night-tide.

From 13 October 2018 to 15 April 2019, Centre Pompidou-Metz is hosting an important exhibition featuring the night in modern and contemporary painting along with a catalogue and a wealth of associated events.

A prominent source of inspiration in the history of art, the night continues to offer a rich field of investigation. Revisiting such a vast topic spawns numerous profound interrogations on our condition and our place in the Universe and the role Art could play.

Though at first the idea might seem paradoxical, Painting the Night (Peindre la nuit in french) is in fact heavy with meaning. The title is voluntarily ambiguous for night painting could either mean representing the night or painting at night. Painting the dark or in the dark, a choice has to be made either to improve one’s night vision or on the contrary to abandon seeing altogether. Indeed it is at night that we can, both physically and symbolically, at last “disconnect from the world”— a typically modern aspiration. Actually, twilight would be a perfect metaphor for the elusive boundary between figuration and abstraction.

With a focus on the perception of night rather than its iconography, the exhibition intends to be, in fact, a nocturnal experience: as visitors weave their way in they become night-owls, the heady atmosphere of nightlife takes its hold teasing the senses, stirring the inner self inducing cosmic vertigo. One steps into the exhibition as one would step out into the night.

In keeping with the spirit of Centre Pompidou-Metz exhibitions, this show is not limited exclusively to paintings, though these are central, for parallels and resonances are established with, for instance, music and literature, as well as video and photography. The event groups about a hundred artists and historical figures (Winslow Homer, Francis Bacon, Anna-Eva Bergman, Louise Bourgeois, Brassaï, Helen Frankenthaler, Paul Klee, Lee Krasner, Henri Michaux, Joan Mitchell, Amédée Ozenfant, etc.) and contemporary artists (Etel Adnan, Charbel-joseph H. Boutros, Ann Craven, Peter Doig, Jennifer Douzenel, Rodney Graham, Martin Kippenberger, Paul Kneale, Olaf Nicolai, Gerhard Richter, etc.) as well as a number of spectacular installations, some of which were created especially for the project (Harold Ancart, Raphaël Dallaporta, Spencer Finch, Daisuke Yokota, Navid Nuur, etc.).

Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz


Navid Nuur

Nine Iranian Artists in London: The Spark Is You (group show)
Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, London
22 May – 30 August 2019

Navid Nuur

THE SPARK IS YOU: Parasol unit in Venice (group show)
Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello di Venezia, Venice
9 May - 23 November 2019.

In celebration of its 15th anniversary, Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art is delighted to present, through a prism of classical Persian poetry, an exhibition of works by nine contemporary Iranian artists at the Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello di Venezia from 9 May to 23 November 2019.

Curated by Ziba Ardalan, Founder, Artistic and Executive Director of Parasol unit, London, THE SPARK IS YOU: Parasol unit in Venice exhibition has at its heart the need to develop mutual respect and understanding between different nations and cultures. Fittingly, this exhibition coincides with the 200th anniversary of West-oestlicher Divan (West-Eastern Divan), 1819, a book of lyrical poems written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in homage to the fourteenth-century Persian poet Hafez.

The nine artists, all of whose vision looks beyond the ordinary, were selected for the affinity with openness, respect and human interconnectedness that is evinced in their work. Stemming directly from a long and magnificent tradition of Persian poetry, this philosophy of life is a fundamental element of the Iranian/Persian character. Dialogues open up across the exhibition, not only between the different generations of artists and the geographical regions from which they now draw inspiration, but also through a common desire to interact openly and respectfully with others. And, just as Goethe through his poetry sought to bridge East and West, these artists too seek to communicate mutually across all borders.

THE SPARK IS YOU: Parasol unit in Venice exhibition of paintings, sculptures, installations, multi-media and film brings together Iranian artists of different ages, who now live and work either in or outside of Iran. Having had a similar early education and grounding in classical Persian poetry they have all benefited from thought processes that are rooted in concepts such as the use of metaphor, openness, dialogue and figurative thinking. Shown together, their works create a sense of exchange that is felt in many ways across and beyond the exhibition, not only between the art works but also in the desire of the artists to communicate with thinkers from other cultures, and finally between art and music.

Venice, with its renowned history of being central to so many connections between East and West, is an ideal setting for The Spark is You exhibition. Presented at the Conservatorio di Musica in Venice, visual art and music interact harmoniously, a reminder that different art forms are all part of a single discourse. Each artist presents their work in a separate room or an outdoor courtyard, which allows ample mental space for viewers to reflect on the exhibition and create their own dialogue with and between the works.

THE SPARK IS YOU: Parasol unit in Venice exhibition highlights the vital importance of open dialogue in the development of greater understanding between all nations. Particularly in the tumultuous and uncertain times of today, this exhibition is timely and informative in ways that we hope will further engender curiosity, understanding and appreciation of other cultures and stimulate more conversations.

Darren Almond

Fly me to the Moon. The Moon landing: 50 years on (group show)
Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich
5 April - 30 June 2019

Darren Almond, Present Form: Ochd, 2013 © Darren Almond
Darren Almond, Present Form: Ochd, 2013 © Darren Almond

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing – an event that, like no other, transformed our relationship with the world and our environment. The view of Earth from space gave rise to a new awareness of the fragility of our existence, and the Blue Planet as ‘Spaceship Earth’ has come to symbolize life itself. The space race began in 1957 when the Russians launched their Sputnik satellite into orbit, sparking fear and anxiety in Western nations that led to the establishment of NASA in 1958. The USSR upped the ante in 1961, sending Yuri Gagarin, the first astronaut, into space and returning him safely to Earth. This prompted J. F. Kennedy’s ambitious announcement of a project to land a man on the Moon before the decade was out.

Our exhibition is a journey through the history of artists’ engagement with the Moon, from the Romantic era to the present day. Divided into thematic sections, it focuses on topics such as lunar topography, moonlit night and the Moon’s shadow, ailments associated with the Moon, zero gravity and the Moon as mass media phenomenon.

Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich

Raymond Hains

Passages nocturne, la suite… (group show)
Centre d'art contemporain / Passages, Troyes
2 April - 7 May 2019

Navid Nuur

₡ U R ₹ € ₦ ₢ ¥, curated by Lucie Fontaine (group show)
NOME, Berlin
2 March - 19 April 2019

The etymology of the word “currency” relates to flowing, running, and circulating.
Aligned with this liquid condition, ₡ U R ₹ € ₦ ₢ ¥ brings together works that deal with money as a channel, money as a concept, money as a formal (or informal) structure.

In the United States, the birth of Conceptual Art overlapped with the end of the Gold Standard in 1971, and since then, the entwinement of art and finance has become evermore abstracted. The artworks assembled in ₡ U R ₹ € ₦ ₢ ¥ manifest a double value—that of the artwork on the market, and that of the money and materials employed to make this work. From Agnieszka Kurant’s representation of multiple forms of currency to Michal Helfman’s drawing inspired by the greenish imagery of the US dollar and Pratchaya Phinthong’s installation around the exchange of rice in his native Thailand; from Paolo Cirio’s imagination of a new virtual currency to Goldin+Senneby’s bound documents of confidential trading strategies, acquired in exchange for artworks. These artworks perform in various ways the acrobatics of the complex relationships between art and money.

₡ U R ₹ € ₦ ₢ ¥ builds upon Lucie Fontaine’s previous show Soft Shock, which revolved around the origins and philosophy of Bitcoin.

NOME, Berlin

Navid Nuur

THE AFTER GLOW III (solo show)
NDSM-werf, Amsterdam
18 January - 21 April 2019

Navid Nuur, Hitherto, 2003-2019. Photo: Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk. Courtesy of the artist and NDSM-werf, Amsterdam
Navid Nuur, Hitherto, 2003-2019. Photo: Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk. Courtesy of the artist and NDSM-werf, Amsterdam

Navid Nuur (Teheran, 1976) is fascinated by the functioning of human perception. His artworks are therefore an interplay between material, architecture and sensory phenomena. Light and darkness are a recurring element in his works of art.

For Navid Nuur, light is anything but unambiguous. In his series THE AFTER GLOW he considers the unbridled possibilities of light with an almost metaphysical curiosity. THE AFTER GLOW III is his latest work of art, which was created together with the NDSM-werf. The light art project intervenes in four locations with the architecture of the old shipyard and adds a mysterious nocturnal brilliance to this location.

NDSM-werf, Amsterdam

Ida Tursic & Wilfried Mille

Nomination for the Prix Marcel Duchamp 2019