Heads Full of Empty Views

Solo Exhibition
Danysz Gallery
78 Rue Amelot
75011 Paris
15/10/2022 - 26/11/2022

Danysz Paris-Marais is pleased to present the solo exhibition of Eko Nugroho: "Heads Full of Empty Views," from October 15 to November 26, 2022. The internationally renowned Indonesian contemporary artist, who took over the spaces of Paris Museum of Modern Art in 2012, is back in France and invites us to discover the full richness and depth of his art through this exhibition, which dives us into a surrealist universe, resolutely graphic and penetrating, with vivid and luminous works that convey an optimistic energy without any limits.

Eko Nugroho makes art for the people and turn the people into a source of inspiration. The artist explores the often absurd condition of human being through his practice, which is inspired by the urban environment and his own experiences. His works are populated by masked figures, who hide, argue and struggle as much as the human beings they represent. Nugroho has this ability to connect with the environment that surrounds him, and to capture the noise and fury of the street, the interplay of eyes, the identities and attitudes. He expresses these flows in his drawings and patterns that invade the space and all means of creation are appropriate to represent these fusions between Indonesia and the West, street culture and the art world, political issues and intimate reflections.

His artistic approach is multidisciplinary: the artist uses a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture, embroidery and installations, not to mention performances and video art. Deployed on different media, his major themes are embodied by extraordinary hybrid objects, sometimes in the realm of the jungle, and other times in the great towers of the city. The contemporary artist knows how to catch the attention by an iconography gleaned from his wanderings that convey an optimistic energy tinged with a critical discourse full of hope.

Through "Heads Full of Empty Views," his first solo exhibition at Danysz, Eko Nugroho invests the Parisian space of the gallery whose walls are covered with a monumental mural, illustrating the essence of his universe with its enigmatic creatures. The artist also presents new works composed of acrylic paintings and canvas-broderies echoing his Indonesian culture. Indeed, Nugroho's practice is rooted in both traditional and contemporary, Asian and Western sources to address historical and current events in society. The artist incorporates traditional techniques such as the dyeing process known as batik and embroidery, which he has always considered a form of drawing: he uses thread on fabric with the desire to transform an everyday object into an unusual and unexpected work of art.

As part of the 2000s generation of contemporary Indonesian artists who came of age artistically during the tumultuous and creative period following the fall of President Haji Muhammad Suharto, Eko Nugroho's works - beyond their visually appealing aesthetics - are influenced by social, environmental, political, and economic issues, and are also a sharp critique of Indonesian democracy. The artist repurposes the image of masked identities to reflect the chaos, discrimination, and violence seen throughout history, veiled by a facade of democracy, equality, and peace, with vivid brushstrokes that fill the scenes of his paintings. However, while the message may be about political issues in today's society, hope and solidarity are always at the heart of Eko Nugroho's work.

Born in 1977 in Indonesia, Eko Nugroho is an internationally renowned contemporary artist based in Yogyakarta, one of Indonesia's major art centers. Driven by a strong sense of community, the committed artist is the founder of an embroidery workshop and thus contributes to his country's economy by providing employment in the textile industry, but also helps preserve traditional craft and Folkloric elements of Indonesian art that are dear to him. His work has been acquired by private collectors around the world and has been shown at biennials, art fairs and major institutions such as the Asia Society Museum in New York, the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans, the Museum M+ in Hong Kong, the Singapore Art Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art in Paris.