Zarouhie Abdalian: art and facts

Oct 11 - 19, 2022
  • Displayed at Altman Siegel gallery for two weeks in the fall of 2022, the contents of Zarouhie Abdalian’s art and facts are a fleeting historical document assembled in the context of a growing but preventable disaster of malnutrition and starvation.

  • Having first appeared in her 2021 series of sculptures how many will die for the price of grain, Abdalian returns to the food grade bulk bag in four new prints entitled, flexible intermediate bulk container, 2022. Produced with New Orleans-based What Editions (Cora Lautze and Julian Wellisz), each print is made from impressions of the bags themselves, their woven bodies, handles, and stitching translated to ink and paper through an array of printmaking processes. Focused on excerpts that betray the human-made nature of the manufactured object, the prints, filled with subtleties, invite slow contemplation of a form fundamental to the production, storage, and transport of life-giving food stuffs.

  • Along a facing wall, a series of printouts reveal salient facts of world hunger.
    Bertolt Brecht's Song of the Commodities Trader is printed on the opposite wall. Here a song explains the "law" of supply and demand that governs the market as related by one of the few of its favored adherents.
  • Nearby, a shovel meets "The Digest" of today's New York Times, in Abdalian's sculpture, Dependence (Value and Price), 2022. On the newspaper's pages, graphs record the previous day's market fluctuations, the ups and downs of commodity prices. Market news is noted, and economists argue explanations. The sculpture is a deadpan answer to the printed graphs and tidbits. Used to work countless tons of soil into production, the hand tool plunges the viewer back down to earth, affirming the fundamental role of labor in the creation of value.

    • Zarouhie Abdalian Dependence (Value and Price), 2022 Shovel and New York Times, The Digest 60 x 11 x 15 in 152.4 x 27.9 x 38.1 cm
      Zarouhie Abdalian
      Dependence (Value and Price), 2022
      Shovel and New York Times, The Digest
      60 x 11 x 15 in
      152.4 x 27.9 x 38.1 cm
  • While the tenuous sculptural arrangement of Dependence (Value and Price) expresses physical potential, its component newsprint, daily changing, expresses the...

    While the tenuous sculptural arrangement of Dependence (Value and Price) expresses physical potential, its component newsprint, daily changing, expresses the prevailing state of flux. Change is inevitable. Evidenced in exacting processes of printing and stitching throughout the works, labor is the decisive factor in the transformation of the world.

  • Zarouhie Abdalian's work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, LA; LAXART, Los Angeles, CA; The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, OH; and the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA. Group exhibitions include the 5th Ural Industrial Biennial, Ekaterinburg, Russia; Secession, Vienna, Austria; Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco; 2017 Whitney Biennial, New York; MOSTYN, Wales; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams; Prospect.3 Biennial, New Orleans; the 8th Berlin Biennale; 9th Shanghai Biennale; CAFAM Biennale, Beijing; and the 12th Istanbul Biennial. Select publications include Artforum, Art in America, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, The Wire, The Los Angeles Times, and Art Review. Abdalian was a 2020 Joan Mitchell Foundation grantee and 2017-2018 Pollock-Krasner Foundation grantee.

  • For more information contact or 415.576.9300.