October 30, 2018 - Contemporary Arts Museum Houston - Nicolas Moufarrege: Recognize My Sign
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October 30, 2018

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

Nicolas Moufarrege, First Step into the Pyramid, 1979. Thread and pigment on needlepoint canvas, 57 1/2 x 45 inches. Courtesy Nabil Moufarrej and Gulnar "Nouna" Mufarrij. Photo: Neil Johnson for Visual AIDS, New York.

Nicolas Moufarrege
Recognize My Sign
November 10, 2018–February 17, 2019

Opening: November 9, 6:30–9pm

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
5216 Montrose Boulevard
Houston, TX 77006
United States

www.camh.org
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / YouTube / #NicolasMoufarrege / #atCAMH

Nicolas Moufarrege
Recognize My Sign
November 10, 2018–February 17, 2019

Opening: November 9, 6:30–9pm

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
5216 Montrose Boulevard
Houston, TX 77006
United States

www.camh.org
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / YouTube / #NicolasMoufarrege / #atCAMH

During his short career, Nicolas Moufarrege (1947–85) created an original and idiosyncratic body of embroidered paintings and tapestry. Nicolas Moufarrege: Recognize My Sign, organized by Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH) Curator Dean Daderko, is the artist's first solo museum exhibition. It traces the development of Moufarrege's work across multiple continents: from the lap-sized tapestries he produced in Beirut, Lebanon in the early 1970s, to the first paintings he made in Paris, France, and the final works he created in New York City in the mid-1980s before his untimely death. In a 1973 interview with the artist in Le Beyrouthin magazine, the artist and poet Etel Adnan remarked "This is how traditional craftsmanship becomes a personal art full of promise."

A dedicated appropriator, Moufarrege culled images from a broad and vast sourcebook. He stitched and painted images from Classical sculptures and Baroque paintings alongside his comic book heroes, Islamic tilework designs, and lines of Arabic calligraphy. His paintings refer to artworks by Katsushika Hokusai, Yves Klein, Edvard Munch, Pablo Picasso, and especially Roy Lichtenstein. Moufarrege's wit and depth is revealed through pointed juxtapositions of imagery: his stitched paintings offer many stories.

With nearly 40 paintings and tapestries, as well as drawings and primary documents, Nicolas Moufarrege: Recognize My Sign traces the artist’s relocations from Beirut to Paris to New York, and considers their effects on his practice. We see the testing of intimate narratives, and the growing ambitions of a confident artist.

Moufarrege’s artwork draws from personal experience—including references to his travels and migrations, his broad spiritual and cultural interests, and his identity as a Lebanese citizen, an Arab, and a gay man—but it also exceeds these individual boundaries. In doing so, his work offers a myriad of ways to approach contemporary painting and figuration, craft, transnational identity, desire, and queer life.

Nicolas Moufarrege: Recognize My Sign is accompanied by a full-color, fully-illustrated catalogue with essays by Curator Dean Daderko, and writer and critic Kaelen Wilson-Goldie. The publication, designed by Carissa Hempton for NUU, also includes biographic and bibliographic information on the artist and a checklist of works in the exhibition.

Nicolas Moufarrege: Recognize My Sign will travel to Queens Museum, New York, where its presentation from October 6, 2019–February 16, 2020 will be coordinated by Curator Larissa Harris.

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Recognize My Sign
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