Shahryar Nashat (b. 1975, Geneva) makes sculptures, videos, and other works in which the human body and its representations play a central role. However, this is not merely a matter of visual analysis. Rather, Nashat gets at the very experience of what it means to be a body at a moment when the technologies that filter experience encourage fragmentation and distance. Desire, mortality, fragility, and resilience are among the thematic concerns his work addresses. Nashat pays special attention to framing and pedestals, treating them as integral parts of his work. He also often alters a gallery’s architecture and lighting, allowing his exhibitions to function as fully embodied meditations on art’s ability to reflect the current state of human life. Their prescience and mystery also make them function as windows into an uncertain future.
Shahryar Nashat is currently the subject of a solo exhibition on view through September 11, 2023, at the Art Institute of Chicago, and recently presented a solo show in September 2022 at David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles. Nashat has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at institutions including The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2020); SMK—Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark (2019); Swiss Institute, New York (2019); Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2017); Portikus, Frankfurt, Germany (2016); Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin (2016); Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2015); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2014); Kunstverein Nürnberg, Germany (2010); and Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, Switzerland (2009). Recent and notable group exhibitions include Honestly Speaking: The Word, the Body and the Internet, Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand (2020); Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2016); 20th Biennale of Sydney (2016); Le Grand Balcon, La Biennale de Montréal (2016); 8th Berlin Biennale (2014); and ILLUMInations, 54th Venice Biennale, Italy (2011). His work is in the permanent collections of a number of museums worldwide, including Centre Pompidou, Paris; Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo (GAMeC), Turin, Italy; Kunstmuseum St.Gallen, Switzerland; Art Institute of Chicago; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Nashat lives and works in Los Angeles.