New Work by Aakash Nihalani at Arario’s “Paraphrase” Show

Curated by Nicole Caruth, “Paraphrase” at Arario Gallery in Chelsea includes work by Aakash Nihalani, Cui Fei & Minette Mangahasa. All the work is masterfully chosen and seem united by their love of line and its curious relationship with negative space.

While the whole show is definitely worth a look, I was most impressed with someone who is no stranger to the readers of this blog, Aakash Nihalani. Better known for his tape boxes on the streets of New York, Aaskash has created impressive large scale tape-ography in Arario’s luxurious space. Unlike his show on Atlantic Avenue earlier this year, which seemed to rehash his street work for a gallery setting, his latest series builds on his aesthetic in new and clever ways. He seems to have crossed the threshold of his aesthetic “one-liner” (pardon the pun) into exciting new territroy. For the first time the tape works reminded me of Bruce Nauman and Lawrence Weiner, yet Aakash’s aesthetic is less driven by conceptualism and graphic design than graffiti, particularly in the way he abstracts the letters and creates situational gags that are at once friendly, bold and playful.

Also included in the show were some newer mirror pieces, some etched on the front and others from behind, though the latter were my hands down favorites. Placed on the second floor windows overlooking 25th Street they were alluring and seductive. But their visual interest was constricted by the gallery’s thickly framed windows which seemed to suffocate them. I can only imagine that at a larger scale and placed on floor to ceiling windows they would have been absolutely stunning.

PULL and EXIT by Aakash Nihalani
PULL and EXIT by Aakash
PUSH by Aakash Nihalani
PUSH by AakashMirrored Works by Aakash Nihalani on the windows of Arario
One of Aakash’s new etched mirror works hanging on the 25th Street windows of the Arario Gallery

My complete set from “Paraphrase” (11 images) here.

Paraphrase runs til July 24.