Nairy Baghramian

Modèle vivant (Se ployant)

7 June – 7 September 2024

Zurich, Limmatstrasse

With her solo exhibition at Hauser & Wirth in Zurich, Nairy Baghramian concludes her series ‘Modèle vivant,’ initially begun on the occasion of her exhibition at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas TX in 2022. For this presentation, Baghramian will present eight new sculptures under the title ‘Modèle vivant (Se ployant).’ Making reference to the tradition of drawing, painting or sculpting from a live model, as indicated by the French term ‘modèle vivant’ in the series’ title, the Berlin-based artist’s abstract works, as per usual in her practice, grant only approximations and allusions of the human gestalt. Baghramian’s geometric shapes and organic forms, invariably made from cast aluminum and held or supported by armatures, hooks and rods, rather confront their beholders with subtle evocations of poses and postures, demeanors and dispositions. Placed at the margins or dangling from the ceiling of the exhibition space, these sculptures, as they appear to withdraw, stand up or recline (as in her 2023 outdoor work ‘S’adossant (Pauline),’ currently on view at MoMA in New York), poignantly evoke both the social strictures and potential mutability of embodiment, thereby offering striking allegories—or models—of contemporary subject positions.

Intensifying her preceding interrogation of the poetics and politics of representing and addressing the human figure, the syntax and placement of her new works—all of which conjure bent or bowed bodies (as suggested by the title addition ‘se ployant’)—starts from the double meaning of the term ‘mass.’ Aligning a central facet of any sculpture, ‘mass’ is palpable even when it is absent or negated. In this new body of work, the artist questions the pressures (figuratively or literally) exerted on the individual elements of any given group arrangement (be it social or artistic, or both). In this way, Baghramian’s abstract works intend to explore the interstices between conforming and retreating and the space of leeway they may offer for perception, critique and reflection.

On view in Zurich, Limmatstrasse


The exhibitions ‘Nairy Baghramian. Modèle vivant (Se ployant)’ and ‘Philip Guston. Singularities’ are on view until 7 September at Hauser & Wirth Zurich, Limmatstrasse.

About the Artist

Nairy Baghramian

Nairy Baghramian’s work traverses the realms of sculpture, installation, photography and drawing with fearless experimentation, historical acuity and conceptual rigor. Particularly in her prime medium of sculpture, the artist employs an extensive repertoire of techniques, materials and forms to address the spatial, architectural, social, political and contextual conditions of contemporary...

Current Exhibitions