Timo Nasseri, Winning Artist, Abraaj Group Art Prize 2011
Gon, Stainless steel, 567 x 230 x 300 cm
Gon takes its name from the Greek and German words for a unit of measurement used to calculate angles within a circle. Formed of a rhombus created by two isosceles triangles, the stainless steel sculpture recalls muqarnas, ornamentation made from small pointed niches stacked in tiers widely used in medieval architecture in north-eastern Iran and North Africa.
From afar the work calls to mind Russian Constructivism through a combination of its material properties (faktura) and its spatial presence (tektonika). Up close however, the rhythmic network of the 88 heat-sealed pipes are inspired by the geometric drawings of the Swiss mathematician Jakob Steiner. As one moves around the sculpture, the pipes appear to twist and bend causing their symmetrical arrangement to disappear and reappear in new spatial configurations.
This illusion contrasts with the sculptures shadow, which behaves more predictably, appearing or moving in accordance with the light. Like much of the artist’s work, the sculpture gives expression to the quantitative logic of systems that exist across cultures and history, and the inherent, yet uncanny, beauty that results from their intersection.
Timo Nasseri began his artistic career as a photographer and in 2004 he made the transition to sculpture. Combining Islamic and western cultural heritages, his work is inspired as much by specific memories and religious references as by universal archetypes described by mathematics and language and the inner truths of form and rhythm.
He has held several solo exhibitions which include ‘Ghazal’, Sfeir-Semler, Hamburg (2009); ‘One of Six’, Kunstverein Arnsberg (2009); ‘Epistrophy’ (2008) and ‘Falling Stars’ (2006) both at Galerie Schleicher+Lange, Paris and Op-Felder, Galerie ABEL Raum fur Neue Kunst, Berlin (2002). He has also participated in the following group exhibitions: ‘Taaffe-Streuli-Nasseri’, Sfeir-Semler, Beirut (2010); ‘Nasseri/Englund’, Schleicher+Lange, Paris (2010); ‘En Miroir’, CRAC Alsace (2010); ‘Taswir – Pictorial Mappings of Islam and Modernity’, Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin (2009); ‘Mashq: repetition, meditation, meditation’, Green Cardamom, London (2009) and ‘Eurasia’, Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Trento (2008); ‘Phoenix vs Babylone’, Espace Paul Richard, Paris (2008) and ‘ECHO’, Sfeir-Semler, Beirut (2008). He was awarded the ‘Prix Saar Ferngas Förderpreis Junge Kunst’ in 2006.
He is represented by Galerie Schleicher+Lange, Paris and Sfeir-Semler, Hamburg and Beirut.