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.
In early 2020, Shahryar Nashat was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He has been the subject of solo exhibitions at SMK—Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen (2019); Swiss Institute (2019); Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2017); Portikus, Frankfurt (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). He was included in 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 (2011), among many other institutional group exhibitions. Nashat’s work features 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; Kunsthaus Zürich; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. He lives and works in Los Angeles.