12371 - 20170205 - Dallas Museum of Art premieres first U.S. museum solo project of Nicolas Party - Dallas, TX - 19.08.2016-05.02.2017


Nicolas Party, Two Men with Hats, 2016, pastel on canvas, courtesy of the artist and The Modern Institute/Toby Webster, Ltd., Glasgow, © Nicolas Party.
The Dallas Museum of Art presents Swiss artist Nicolas Party’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States. The DMA-commissioned mural Pathway occupies the Museum’s Concourse, a public space that functions as the DMA’s main thoroughfare. For three weeks, Party worked on-site to transform the corridor into an immersive, vibrantly colored landscape mural that was largely inspired by its location within the Museum. Instead of functioning like a gallery, the mural emphasizes the fact that it is a walkway, and transforms the space into an indoor path. Nicolas Party: Pathway is on view August 19, 2016, through February 5, 2017.

The historical and the contemporary collide throughout Party’s work, as he is known for reinterpreting traditional genres such as still lifes and portraiture. Central to his practice is also the consideration of the physical and social contexts of his work. Party draws from a wide range of art historical influences, including the graphic landscape renderings of David Hockney, the bright color planes of the Fauves, and the flat figures found in medieval Christian paintings. Pathway builds upon the history of landscape painting, populating the Concourse walls with trees, bushes, and shrubs rendered in the artist’s distinctively vivid palette and flat, simplified style. This mural reframes the act of walking through the corridor as a stroll through a park or a journey into a forest. In response to Dallas’s warm climate, Pathway also provides a welcoming shelter from the sun in which visitors are invited to metaphorically seek shade among the trees and cool off beneath the deep blue sky. Accompanying the mural is Two Men with Hats, a pastel portrait that Party created specifically for his exhibition at the DMA.

“We are pleased to welcome Nicolas to North Texas and proud to be the home of his first stateside solo exhibition. It has been fascinating to see how he took into account the current usage of the space by visitors and features that are specific to Dallas, like the extreme heat of summer,” stated Gavin Delahunty, Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art. “His lively mural will welcome guests to escape from the outside elements as they stroll through a now enchanting passage.”

Nicolas Party (b. 1980, Lausanne, Switzerland) lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. He was an active graffiti artist in the 1990s before earning his BFA from the Lausanne School of Art and his MFA from the Glasgow School of Art. Party had his first solo exhibition, Teapots, Bread and Sausages, in 2010 at La Placette in his hometown of Lausanne, Switzerland. Recent solo exhibitions of his work have been presented at CAN: Centre d’art Neuch√Ętel, Neuch√Ętel, Switzerland (2016), Inverleith House, Edinburgh, Scotland (2015), Kunsthall Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway (2014), Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris (2014), and Swiss Institute, New York (2012), among others. Later this year, Party will produce a mural at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.

Nicolas Party: Pathway is organized by the Dallas Museum of Art. The presentation is made possible by TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art, an annual fundraising event that jointly benefits amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research and the Dallas Museum of Art, and by the Contemporary Art Initiative. The exhibition is included in free general admission. The exhibition is curated by Nolan Jimbo, Temporary Project Coordinator, with Gavin Delahunty, Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art