For his solo exhibition at the gallery, Timo Nasseri presents a series of works in different media, based on the Muqar- nas, a type of corbel used as a decorative device in traditional Islamic and Persian architecture (from the 11th century onwards). Muqarnas encircle a space and shape its void. When contemplated from below they tend to create an abstract image of infinity. The original motif consists of a number of basic shapes that can be combined endlessly to create different patterns that never repeat themselves. Timo Nasseri seems to have found in the historical Islamic adornment the same pleasure in extricating a structured volume from a surface.
The exhibition also includes drawings based on the geometric calculations used to build Muqarnas. The lines interwine on the page, against a black background, presenting at once visual fascination and the formula be- hind it via the mathematical annotations that punctuate the drawing. The drawings, which lie somewhere between an architect’s layout and a representation of heavenly beauty, are the by-product of a process leading towards an intuitive abstraction. Another version of the original shape appears on a display bearing objects that are similar to the Muqar- nas’ interlocking honeycomb structure. But in this case they are closed chambers, and filled, like so many confined small skies. In his new show, Timo Nasseri plays on oppositions such as empty/full, mirror/opacity, surface/image, like two worlds, which – despite stemming from each other – have developed their own autonomous chemistry.
One and One #1, 2008. Ink on paper, 63 x 83 cm
Epistrophy#1, 2008. Sculpture embedded in wall. Polished stainless steel. 150x150x100cm
Spheres, 2008. Plaster, wooden plinths.
In spite of their title, the seven sculptures of the series Spheres have complex shapes based on islamic ornamental elements. Rather than creating their sculpted void – as it is the case for Muqarnas I, II and Epistrophy II – they fill and form a closed chamber. Full rather than empty, in a reduced scale rather than monumental, Spheres integrate the plinth in the work in order to create a context of visibility, detachment and of mysterious existence.
Allotrophy, 2010. (detail) Powder coated steel, plinth.
Images and text from Galerie Schleicher Lange.com