As I told you recently when we spoke on the phone, ‘The Eyecodex of the Monochrome’ comprises a series of works that deal with how we see monochromes with our eyes. The largest monochrome in the world is the one you see when you close your eyes. It surpasses the work of Anish Kapoor, James Turrell, Mark Rothko or Robert Ryman. It’s a work of art that everyone carries around with them. For years, I’ve tried to see how my eyes see; to view what my eyes see when I shut them: the ultra-monochrome. This form of viewing – in which you need to keep your thoughts under control, but not entirely – is where the real shimmering takes place. Or the darkness that resonates when you peer into a cave. You can feel and visualize the dimensions of the black volume in the depths. This tipping point, between viewing and imagining, is where form takes shape. We all see it – specifically when we aren’t looking. I also think painting what you can’t see is far more important than what we already know and see. A kind of static yet organic white noise that can engender images. It’s where the real process of viewing takes place – before the image makes way for imagination or, conversely, abstraction. For this exhibition, I have selected a number of works and studies made in recent years that came out of the aforementioned considerations. Oh, another important thing: I use non-existent colors. Colors that people have developed for functional rather than emotional purposes – like primer, chroma key and aluminium paint. I want to lend my paintings a certain ‘neutrality’, since our viewing of colors is culturally determined.
Extract from an email sent by the artist.
Navid Nuur (1976, Iran/Netherlands) lives and works in the Hague. In 2011 Navid Nuur was granted the ‘Koninklijke Prijs voor Vrije Schilderkunst’ (Royal Price of Painting) for his Monochrome paintings series ‘Eyecodex of the Monochrome’. These paintings where also exhibited at the Venice Biennale that year. His past exhibitions include major institutions such as Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee (2014); Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht (2014-2013); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2013); Parasol unit, London (2013), Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen (2011), Venice Biennale (2011), Museion, Bolzano (2011); Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel (2009). His work can be found in public collections such as Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; S.M.A.K (Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst), Gent; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht; Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris. Navid Nuur is represented by Max Hetzler, Plan-B and Martin van Zomeren.