Tripoli Gallery in Southampton is currently showing a unique exhibition by New York-based artist Aakash Nihalani. Aptly titled Aaranged as a nod to the artist’s name and his work using various kinds of tape, the show features Nihalani’s vision, which began on New York City streets.
Intrigued by the forms of urban architecture, Nihalani’s outdoor interventions blur the lines between street art and op art by using tape to simultaneously highlight and alter the perspective of a given space. With a fluorescent palette, the artist’s works pop against both the muted colors of the concrete jungle and the pastoral backdrop of the East End.
The current exhibition comprises new pieces focused on the arrangement of modules. The modules in this case are one-square-foot wood tiles, segmented by black, silk-screened lines into wildly geometric patterns, which are then systematically arranged, resulting in a new visual effect. Reminiscent of Frank Stella’s iconic square paintings, whereby the juxtaposition of color and arrangement of line creates a pulsating movement, Nihalani’s compositions are less predictable. Repetition is spontaneously broken, as if the artist is playing with our sense of order and chaos.
Nihalani’s works are often site-specific, public art pieces usually created with little to no planning. Yet the finished product, with clean lines and mathematically precise placement of forms, quite often appears to adhere to a methodical, even theoretical, plan. While order presides, there is a strong element of humor. Nihalani’s public tape work playfully engages the viewer, allowing a passerby to enter the work and take part in the altered view.
For the Parrish Art Museum’s annual Midsummer Party on July 13th, which was hosted by gallerist Tripoli Patterson and Kyle DeWoody, Nihalani was commissioned to bring his tape art to the museum’s new Herzog & de Meuron-designed exterior wall. The work was viewable during the event, marking both Nihalani’s introduction to the premiere East End art museum and gala’s first year at Parrish’s new Water Mill location.
Aakash Nihalani was born in 1986 in Queens, New York and is currently based in Brooklyn. In 2008 he received a BFA from New York University’s Steinhardt School and in 2012 he was awarded a residency at the Willem de Kooning studio in East Hampton. Nihalani’s colorful, geometric work has been exhibited internationally and featured in a number of publications including: The New York Times, The Times of India, Vogue India and artinfo.com.
Aaranged is on view through August 11 at Tripoli Gallery, 30 Jobs Lane in Southampton.