Cover for Nairy Baghramian: Modèle Vivant
Nasher Sculpture Center
Nairy Baghramian: Modèle Vivant
New sculptures and installations that critically examine the formal, social and linguistic roles of live models.
Edited with text by Catherine Craft. Foreword by Jeremy Strick. Text by Julie Mehretu, Kate Nesin, Paulina Pobocha
Designed by Lorraine Wild and Xiaoqing Wang, Green Dragon Office
Published 2023 | ISBN: 9781636811239

Over the past three decades, Iranian-born, German-based artist Nairy Baghramian (born 1971) has created sculptures and installations that upend expected modes of presentation and challenge the architectural, social, political and historical contexts that inform them.

The new works featured in this publication explore the provisional body as the site of trauma—drawing inspiration from the tradition of the “modèle vivant,” the French term for a live model in an art class. In her “ambivalently abstract” works, the artist takes unconventional approaches to materials associated with sculptural traditions of casting, including aluminum, lead, steel and wax. In conversation with sculptures from the Nasher’s permanent collection by Louise Bourgeois, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and others, Baghramian’s works offer new ways to think about representations of bodies and the unseen labor of models, as well as the linguistic play afforded by different meanings of the word “model” and its linguistic relatives, such as “modulate” and “modify.”