Nicolas Party, Portrait with a Donkey (2023). Soft pastel on linen. ©️ Nicolas Party courtesy the artist. Photo: Adam Reich

In Conversation: Nicolas Party & The Morgan Library’s Isabelle Dervaux

  • Sat 7 October 2023
  • 11 am

On the occasion of the exhibition ‘Nicolas Party. Swamp’ the artist’s first solo exhibition with Hauser & Wirth in New York City, please join us for a conversation and walkthrough with artist Nicolas Party and Curator of Modern and Contemporary Drawings at the Morgan Library & Museum Isabelle Dervaux.

Featuring new oil-on-copper compositions, painted cabinets, signature pastel works and two site-specific murals that expand upon Party’s most recent series––Swamp and Red Forest––the exhibition will immerse viewers in the artist’s idiosyncratic practice, which simultaneously celebrates and challenges conventions of representational painting.

This event is free, however, reservations are recommended.

Click here to register.

About Nicolas Party
Born in Lausanne in 1980, Party is a figurative painter who has achieved critical admiration for his familiar yet unsettling landscapes, portraits, and still lifes that simultaneously celebrate and challenge conventions of representational painting. His works are primarily created in soft pastel, an idiosyncratic choice of medium in the 21st-century, and one that allows for exceptional degrees of intensity and fluidity in his depictions of objects both natural and manmade. Transforming these objects into abstracted, biomorphic shapes, Party suggests deeper connections and meanings. His unique visual language has coalesced in a universe of fantastical characters and motifs where perspective is heightened and skewed to uncanny effect.

In addition to paintings, Party creates public murals, pietra dura, ceramics, installation works, and sculptures, including painted busts and body parts that allude to the famous fragments of ancient Greece and Rome. His brightly-colored androgynous figures vary in scale from the handheld to the monumental, and are displayed on tromp l’oeil marble plinths of differing heights that upend conventional perspective. Party’s early interest in graffiti and murals—his projects in this arena have included major commissions for the Dallas Museum of Art and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles—has led to a particular approach to the installation and presentation of his work. He routinely deploys color and makes architectural interventions in exhibition spaces in order to construct enveloping experiences for the viewer.

About Isabelle Dervaux
Isabelle Dervaux is the Acquavella Curator and Department Head of Modern and Contemporary Drawings at the Morgan Library & Museum. She holds a Ph.D. in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Before joining the Morgan in 2005, she held curatorial positions at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, and the National Academy Museum, New York. She has curated numerous exhibitions on twentieth-century European and American art, including Surrealism USA (2005); Roy Lichtenstein: The Black-and-White Drawings (2010); Dan Flavin: Drawing (2012); Subliming Vessel: The Drawings of Matthew Barney (2013); Dreams in Dust: The Pastels of Lucas Samaras (2016); Dubuffet Drawings (2016); Georg Baselitz: Six Decades of Drawings (2022); and Ferdinand Hodler: Drawings (2023).  She has published extensively on modern and contemporary art, notably essays on Surrealism, Josef Albers, Arshile Gorky, Philip Guston, and Cy Twombly. 

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