The public installations of the Armenian-born female artist adorn the facade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
The four new public installations authored by the Armenian-Iranian artist Nairy Baghramian embellish the facade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Baghramian’s cast aluminum polychrome sculptures feature components that seem to have washed up like flotsam and jetsam in the voids of their respective niches. These abstract forms at the threshold of the Museum present a metaphor of the institution as a filter of historical fragments deemed representative or exemplary. The project’s title, “Scratching the Back,” is a clever wordplay that suggests the importance of delving deeper into cultural narratives that are often superficially constructed.
Nairy Baghramian’s artistic endeavors delve into the realms of the body, gender, and both public and private spaces. Originally hailing from Armenia, this visual artist has been based in Berlin for over three decades. Her remarkable talent was recognized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, which named her a finalist for the distinguished 2020 Hugo Boss Prize.
Baghramian uses traditional materials like marble and steel to capture fleeting human poses. Her work is inspired by the dance classes she took as a child, where her teacher emphasized the need to break down human movement into discrete elements. Her pieces depict abstract forms of bodies or body parts, often exploring the brokenness or “prosthetic” relationship between the body and its environment.