DUBAI: Dubai-based gallery The Third Line is set to present a solo exhibition by Brooklyn-based artist Nicky Nodjoumi featuring large and small-scale oils on canvas, ink drawings and a collection of collages.
The figurative painter uses his work to explore the emotions inherent in international politics and is known for his signature motif — men in business suits, often painted against a sparse background.
Nodjoumi’s work is disturbing and shot through with dark wit, evidenced by his atomic clouds, bombed out landscapes and images of giant apes and satanic wrestling matches.
The artist, who was born in the Iranian city of Kermanshah in 1942, is particularly interested in exploring power dynamics.
“What I’m looking to express in my paintings are the relations of power. I find a situation and a composition that touches on the relations between people, objects, and spaces, on their embeddedness in power. And then I try to approximate it in painting,” he once said, according to a press release.
After earning a Bachelor’s degree in art from Tehran University, the artist relocated to the US in the late 1960s and received a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from The City College of New York in 1974. Upon returning to Iran, he was faced with shifting sands as the shah faced anti-establishment fervor across the country. Nodjoumi found himself caught up in the radical spirit sweeping Iran and designed political posters to further the cause, only to be promptly exiled in the aftermath of the revolution.
The artist has showcased work in prominent institutions around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the British Museum in London and the National Museum of Cuba.
Titled “Fractures,” the exhibition is set to run from May 12 – July 31 and was curated by New York-based art historian and critic Media Farzin for Bidoun, a publishing, curatorial and educational platform.