Anna Navasardian “Open”

Tanja Grunert Gallery

poster for Anna Navasardian “Open”

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Klemens Gasser and Tanja Grunert present “Open,” Anna Navasardian’s first solo exhibition with Gasser Grunert Gallery. Navasardian’s life-size paintings use the language of portraiture to illuminate the facade between personal and constructed identity. The dynamic subjects carry a universal familiarity revealing relatable memories and experiences, opening themselves to the viewer.

Navasardian embraces traditional portraiture by citing paintings from the past to record her own history and Armenian culture. “Open” speaks to the intimate stillness Navasardian has with her models, using broad brush strokes and unnatural hues to narrate their character. Her subjects sit for lengthy sessions to create a neutral zone in which their personas dissolve. The weight of the resulting figures offers a sense of permanency, and the simplification of detail debunks the subject’s purest form.

These “neutral zone” portraits are juxtaposed with paintings of school children. Navasardian uses old class pictures to expose the rigid and unnatural scenarios forced upon the malleable youth. She captures the moment before the class photograph. Everyone must be in uniform, composed by their school and parents to look “adult”, while brimming with childhood. Navasardian’s paintings capture what photographs are not meant to: the visceral honesty of childhood and the presence of the individual, as the children suppress smiles even in this state of normative oppression.

Anna Navasardian, a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, was born in Armenia and currently lives and works in New York City.



from September 09, 2011 to October 08, 2011

Opening Reception on 2011-09-09 from 18:00 to 20:00

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