Nasim Hantehzadeh: Mutates and GrowsOctober 19th - November 18th, 2023
Nina Johnson is pleased to present Mutates and Grows, a solo exhibition featuring all new works by artist Nasim Hantehzadeh. Opening October 19th in the Front Gallery, Mutates and Grows reflects on threads of nature, politics, and individual histories, presenting a narrative that is both intimate and universal.
Born in the United States, raised in Iran, and then settling in Los Angeles during their early adulthood, Hantehzadeh weaves a tapestry of memories and emotions into their work, employing mediums from pastel and graphite to rich oil paints to convey their history.
Following instinct rather than research, Hantehzadeh’s creative process is organic, reactive, and personal: their work begins with large-scale drawings applied directly to the surface, allowing forms to evolve naturally. As layers amass, the artist responds and introduces colors not merely as complementary elements but as integral, form-defining aspects of the artwork—a new development in their evolving practice.
For Mutates and Grows, Hantehzadeh posits mutation as a lens through which we can perceive a wide spectrum of shifts, including political revolution, economic instability, and drought. As forms and colors distort and bulge, narratives from which the works draw conceptual inspiration are blurred, overlapping one another to reveal a vivid portrait of change itself.
Exhibition highlights include Mudslide at the Pomegranate Garden, which poignantly juxtaposes the artist’s childhood memories at their family’s pomegranate farm in Iran against the contemporary droughts in Los Angeles.
“I like the word ‘mutates’ as a way to address the ongoing complex growth in my practice. I know the word’s meaning addresses scientific resources, but I am thinking about it in more of a metaphoric context to address complexity, nuance, and change,” said Nasim Hantehzadeh. “Since I am using verbs in the title, it creates ambiguity and makes it difficult to say whether this title refers to a change that is negative or positive. It is about the process, when we are in it and not when it is finished.”
Mutates and Grows is on view through November 18, 2023.
Nasim Hantehzadeh lives and works in Los Angeles. They earned a BA from the University of Tehran Center for Art and Architecture in 2010, a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013, and an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2018. In 2022, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery presented Hantehzadeh’s first European solo exhibition, Ray of Light. Other recent exhibitions include The Moth and The Thunderclap, Modern Art, London (2023); Where Cloudy Waters Collide …, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery (2022); Solo booth Frieze LA, The Pit, LA (2022); Orgasmic, Nina Johnson, Miami (2021); among others. Hantehzadeh’s work has been published in Frieze Magazine, LA Times, Cultured, ArtMaze Mag and New American Paintings. They have received the Resnick Grant, the D’Arsy Hayman Grant and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award. Collections include Frederick R Weisman Art Foundation, LA; Jorge Perez, Miami; Dieresis Collection, Guadalajara, Mexico; GAIA Collection, Mexico; Isabel and Agustín Coppel Collection, Mexico; and Lynda and Stewart Resnick Collection, USA. They have participated in residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Vermont Studio Center, MacDowell, and the Corporation of Yaddo.