Born in Tehran, Iran in 1978, Nima Nabavi is a self-taught artist focused on geometric abstraction and its connection to the natural world and psychedelic phenomena. Nabavi’s drawings and paintings are heavily layered, grid-driven manifestations of imagined, ordered systems, and are greatly inspired by the work of his grandfather who was a geometric artist for over fifty years in Iran. Using mainly pens, paint and rulers, Nabavi applies repetitive numeric symbolism and thousands of hand-drawn lines and pixels to build complexity out of simple forms. This mathematical approach relies on advanced planning, precise calculations and several, self-developed methodologies to ensure vital dimensional accuracy and structural integrity. The intention of Nabavi’s practice is to remember, reveal and represent the emergent harmony and inherent beauty that underlies the structure of our shared reality.
Nabavi arrived as a new resident at the Roswell Artist-In-Residence program in early April 2022. On the day of his arrival, he rolled out an 18-by-6-foot canvas on the floor of his new studio with the intention of working on it for the entire one-year duration of the program – and possibly beyond. Since then, Nabavi has been using his 8-foot ruler and hundreds of colored markers to draw innumerable lines on this piece, continuously layering subtle sheets of gradient color with crystalline constellations of white ink. This constant deepening of the piece’s chromatic and geometric texture over the months has created an ever-evolving artwork that is still in progress today. In his exhibition VISITING, Nima will continue to work on the piece – adding new layers and dimensions to it – while it is installed at the Roswell Museum. The artist’s intention is to recreate the open spirit and communal exchange of a studio visit in the exhibition – allowing visitors to view the evolution of the artwork and engage with the artist at work.
Nabavi was the winner of the first BVLGARI Contemporary Art Award in 2022. His first solo exhibition 1,2,3 at The Third Line, Dubai, consisted of 27 new works in three series. Nabavi’s group exhibitions include Gradate at the Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2022; Ways of Seeing Abstraction at Palais Populaire in Berlin, Germany in 2021; There is Fiction In The Space Between at The Third Line, Dubai, UAE in 2020; Crafting Geometry: Abstract Art from South and West Asia at Sotheby’s, New York, USA in 2020; Fragments, Yesterday and Today at Gateway, Abu Dhabi Art in Abu Dhabi, UAE in 2019; Your Favorite Artist’s Favorite Artist #2 at Joshua Liner Gallery in New York, USA in 2019; and Horizon at the Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival in Sharjah, UAE in 2018.
Nabavi’s work is part of private and public collections, including the Deutsche Bank Collection in Berlin, Germany and the Jameel Arts Centre in Dubai, UAE.