Je suis Charlie 7.1.15



We support Charlie Hebdo / Nous sommes solidaires…


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Art Raker / Art for Peace / 18.09.14-25.09.14




The relentless and tedious media coverage recounting the seemingly unsolvable issues in conflict zones does little to alleviate the suffering of the victims and leaves us helpless in the wake of their horrifying reports about all kinds of terror and suffering as a result of war, violence or human rights violations. Conflict art communicates differently. It brings another kind of message and real assistance to those living in terrible conflicts…it is art which identifies and comments on problems afflicting contemporary society and has been created by artists who spread that message and in doing so are finding ways to move society towards resolution and reconciliation. This unique artistic vocation where indeed the artist is a true and perhaps unique catalyst for change transforms messages which are ineffectual in the media into messages that inspire real change. Conflict art can relieve the distress and grief associated with conflict. The goal of the traveling Artraker exhibition is ​to give these artists and their artworks a public forum, on site, in conflict zones so that the impact can resonate with far and wide and can inspire and empower the local population to evolve towards leading to necessary conflict resolution. Issues such as violence against women, social injustice, and fratricidal war are dealt with in a human but direct manner healing, reconciling and resolving these deeply entrenched problems plaguing the community.” Nikki Marquardt


In 2014/15 the travelling exhibitionThe Art of Peace’, curated by Nikki Diana Marquardt, will bring these outstanding artists to Colombo, Kabul from November 26th and Paris. /

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“Rolling Stones 50th” Opening 12.12.13 @ Galerie Nikki Diana Marquardt

DSCN0963Nikki Marquardt and Felix Marquardt, Amanda Sthers, Patrick Bruel et Caroline Nielsen


IMG_3968Crédit photo: L. Boscawen

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Beirut Art Fair, September 2013

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Francis Bacon ? Edvard Munch ? NIYAZ NAJAFOV !

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Gallery Nikki Diana Marquardt is pleased to present a new selection of works by Niyaz Najafov.

Lorenzo Belenguer of the Huffington Post proposes that the self-taught artist NIYAZ NAJAFOV is Francis Bacon’s successor… a well-deserved accolade. Pictorially his raw crude lurid portrayals remind us of Bacon’s extraordinary renderings… However that is his departure point from the master. Najafov relates and suggests a depth of human emotion and suffering that is profoundly disturbing. He extrapolates this state of being to its extreme and at the same time there is a kind of lightness and humor to it. Mankind at its best and at its worst are equally demonstrated in these astonishing paintings.

Najafov is far from the cold calculating conceptual renderings that we are used to in the contemporary art world. His paintings, portrayals and renderings fling the viewer back to his unrelenting and inexorable human condition. Troubling and disturbing. Here Najafov meets another master of “Weltschmerz” Edvard Munch.  Existential angst is the key to his work… he burrows down to hell and resurfaces with a hint of a smile. He treats banal subject matter with raw intensity, portraying humanity in a fragile and hopeless state which brings to mind Sisyphus and his unremitting struggle. That said Najafov is a master painter with a dark palette.  His work perfectly executed with passionate knife and brush strokes evoking even in the formal appreciation an exceptionally emotional gravity and profundity.

We are honored and delighted to welcome an exhibition of Niyaz Najafov at the Galerie Nikki Diana Marquardt for our summer exhibition from the 10th of July – 4th of September 2013.

Niyaz Najafov was born in 1968, Baku, Azerbaijan, Najafov currently resides and works in Baku and Paris.

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Venice 55th Biennale – Il Palazzo Enciclopedico


I calculate that I have attended at least 20 Venice biennales and am always seduced and charmed by Venice’s extraordinary panoramas despite of course the relentless and ever growing number of tourists of every nationality color religion size and shape : a mixed bag of curious global travelers out to discover the miracle that is Venice. 

Coming from a side canal to the Grand Canal on each visit … my Parisian sophistication is replaced by a cry of candid and naïve enthusiasm… as I take in the extraordinary and marvelous scene as if it was the first time.

Forty years ago the Biennale catered to Occidental history and taste… managed and curated by art critics, cultural ministries and museum directors. It concerned artists from Europe the US and a bit of South America and Japan. “Emerging” art centers were Russia and Poland… UAE Iraq and Saudi Arabia were but vague geopolitical (if that) locations on maps not even vaguely considered for the elite and western artistic platform that was the Venice Biennale. It was as if cultural and artistic heritage was an occidental specificity.

Today owing to the new global communication, social media and a redistribution of global wealth not to mention a new take on and perception of culture not always systematically referring to western values… we have a new and electrifying global artistic situation and the Venice Biennale is the embodiment and the personification of this new universal cultural outburst.
Massimiliano Gioni has managed to mystify us all as to his choices and his direction. He has orchestrated a magnificent creation. Eclectic, curious, exhilarating.

Outstanding presentations include the Iraqi pavilion curated by Jonathon Watkins with a moving work by Furhat Al Jamil filmmaker and visual artist.

The United Arab Emirates presented a beautiful and moving video installation with sound “Walking on Water” Directions 2005/2013, 2005/2013. Two-minute loop, by Mohammed Kazem .


“I searched for Form and Land….. For years and years I roamed”… Ulysses in search of Ithaca? No…. Jeremy Deller at the British Pavilion… a mind blowing consciousness raising experience especially for a political animal as I…Alastair Sooke of Britain’s Daily telegraph says Deller is “dishing up uncomfortable truths about the nation”.


It was a glorious find at the Biennale which was rather empty of Political Discourse.
The Indonesian contribution to the biennale was not only a clin d’oeil at the ruling classes and the Sukharto legacy… but a beautifully interwoven manifestation of Indonesia ‘s spiritual and political heritage : Called “Sakti “ meaning Cosmic energy….the pavilion in the Arsenal is one of the high points of the Venice Show.
The extraordinary contribution of Titarubi Shadow of Surrender highlights the link between Sakti and education; knowledge being considered by the artist as the basis for civilization. Her installation is comprised of school benches made of charcoal-like burnt wood to represent the long learning process individuals endure throughout their lifetime. Oversized blank books are laid on each bench, inviting viewers to fill them with their own personal stories. Words of wisdom in various languages are projected on the books, reminding viewers of what is important in life. A massive charcoal drawing of a forest functions as the backdrop of the installation, in reference to Indonesia’s tropical forests, the many fires that periodically destroy them, and the burnt wood of the benches.


Titarubi @ Venice 55th Biennale

Sri Astari’ s work highlights the importance of the Javanese culture within Indonesian culture .
Her installation, is a traditional Javanese pavilion-like structure called Pandapa.
“Dancing the Wild Seas” – include nine dancers (traditional Javanese puppets) who dance the Bedoyo, a sacred Javanese dance. According to the artist, the Pandapa symbolizes the human soul, within which dance the nine young girls, who, by engaging in their ritualistic dance, manifest the strength of the Queen of the South Sea, the personification Of Sakti “Cosmic Energy”.


Astari @Venice 55th Biennale

Another return to the West with Britain’s Marc Quinn who started his career in my gallery in 1990 with his bread sculptures. His exhibition opening at the Cini Foundation on the 29th of May was met with the usual mixed bag of hate and love. I had a preview look at the show and was astounded by its impact in line with the Damien Hirst outcry. It must be seen and experienced.


This art outrageously and expensively achieved in this bling bling bent might just be the most attractive part of the Biennale to the oligarchs who park their super yachts along the Venice quay side during the Biennale. – But as Alistair Sooke so politely puts it “Elsewhere in the city a sea change is occurring: curators are exhibiting artists who make work with less conspicuous production values. Art this brazen, then, is starting to look out of date.

Nikki Marquardt for nikileaksnews!

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Nikki M at reception Peggy Guggenheim  55th Venice biennale…

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“Des arts de l’Islam au Louvre et de quelques ambiguïtés” R. Labrusse

“Est-ce une façon d’échapper au regret d’un monde où les œuvres d’art, vraiment vécues, auraient pu nourrir des débats, ouvrir la société plutôt que la refermer sur ses vanités, ses peurs et ses fantasmes?”

I could not define my ambivalence after having visited the New Islamic Department at the Louvre… First Impressed and dazzled by its extraordinary cultural and artistic opulence …then deeply affected by seemingly positive and politically correct rhetoric which followed… I hesitated and withheld my judgment which is usually quite non consensual  in any case. This article revived my critical analysis and I say bravo to Professor Remi LABRUSSE. An absolute must reading.


La Croix, Lundi 19 novembre 2012

RÉMI LABRUSSE, professeur d’histoire de l’art à l’université Paris-Ouest la Défense

Des arts de l’Islam au Louvre et de quelques ambiguïtés

Au moment où s’impose comme jamais un vrai dialogue entre les cultures, on ne pouvait que se réjouir de l’ouverture de nouveaux espaces pour les arts de l’Islam au Louvre. L’alliance des collections du Louvre proprement dit et du Musée des arts décoratifs forme en effet un des plus beaux et des plus vastes ensembles du monde dans ce domaine. Il allait être démocratiquement offert à un public «universel». Le déluge de bons sentiments et d’auto-satisfaction, dans les discours officiels, pourrait laisser penser que l’idéal est devenu réalité. Mais la réalité, précisément, mérite qu’on rappelle quelques vérités inquiétantes.

Le désengagement de l’État, d’une part, les coûts toujours plus élevés d’architectures toujours plus spectaculaires, d’autre part, ont conduit à faire largement appel à des mécènes dont deux, l’Arabie saoudite et l’Azerbaïdjan, sont des tyrannies patentées, liées aux aspects les plus cyniques de l’économie pétrolière internationale. Rappelons que le président de l’Azerbaïdjan, Ilham Aliyev, juste avant d’assister avec les honneurs à l’inauguration des nouvelles salles, a défrayé la chronique en accueillant en héros un criminel extradé de Hongrie (il avait assassiné son collègue arménien à coups de hache). Parallèlement, le «président» Aliyev vante dans sa préface au catalogue du Louvre «la coexistence amicale entre peuples de civilisations, de cultures et de religions diverses».

Le double discours n’est pas l’apanage des mécènes. Du côté français, jamais, ni dans les salles ni dans le catalogue, ne sont évoquées les conditions violentes dans lesquelles une part significative de nos collections nationales ont été acquises, à la faveur de ce que Georges Balandier a nommé «la situation coloniale». Aucun débat n’est sérieusement ouvert sur les modes d’acquisition, souvent forcés ou biaisés, d’un grand nombre d’objets prestigieux, comme le voudraient pourtant à la fois la rigueur intellectuelle et une morale élémentaire de l’autocritique en démocratie.

Au contraire, le projet architectural rend possible la perpétuation de représentations collectives consternantes. Esthétiquement, on peut s’affliger ou se féliciter, selon les goûts, d’une réalisation qui concentre l’attention sur un geste «somptueux» (un «voile» ondulant en résille dorée) plutôt que sur la création discrète d’espaces vivants. Il reste qu’intellectuellement, le rapport grossièrement analogique entretenu par l’architecture avec son «sujet» est ravageur. Après la métaphore officielle du «voile», d’autres évocations ont été reprises par les médias, de la dune à la tente en passant par le tapis volant. Est-il besoin de dire que ces analogies sont non seulement grossières mais fausses?

Comme si des arts conçus dans les grandes métropoles méditerranéennes de l’Antiquité tardive (Damas, Le Caire) étaient nés sous la tente; comme si des arts qui se sont déployés dans les campagnes d’Espagne comme sous les moussons de l’Inde étaient des arts du désert et des dunes. Et passons sur le voile, faisant de «l’Orient» un domaine forcément mystérieux et forcément sensuel, ou sur le tapis volant, le plus désespérant des clichés exotiques: que dirait-on d’un département d’art occidental qui choisirait la hutte des sept nains comme modèle pour présenter la Joconde?

Cette situation n’est pas nouvelle: à lafin du XIXe siècle, les foules occidentales étaient abreuvées de clichés orientalistes – Alhambras et Palais des mille et une nuits en guise de théâtres ou de bains publics – qui s’accordaient très bien avec un racisme colonial unanimement partagé. Edward Said a parfaitement montré, il y a plus de trente ans (Orientalisme. L’Orient créé par l’Occident, 1978), comment ces fantasmagories orchestraient la domination symbolique de l’Occident sur des sociétés réduites à l’état de fantasmes.

Dans ce même sillage, on peut craindre que la mise en scène des nouvelles salles du Louvre, par sa pauvreté imaginaire et le sentiment de confusion qu’elle produit, ne fasse pas mauvais ménage avec l’extension contemporaine de l’islamophobie en Occident: d’un côté un pseudo-monde de rêves conjugués au passé et de l’autre un présent caricaturé, suscitant la répulsion et le rejet.

L’occultation presque complète de ces ambiguïtés, au moment de l’inauguration des salles, en dit long sur l’hégémonie, parmi nous, d’une société du spectacle dont un certain nombre de musées sont devenus aujourd’hui des acteurs majeurs. Notre soumission aux enchantements factices qui nous sont ainsi proposés ressemble, au mieux, à de l’aveuglement. Est-ce une façon d’échapper au regret d’un monde où les œuvres d’art, vraiment vécues, auraient pu nourrir des débats, ouvrir la société plutôt que la refermer sur ses vanités, ses peurs et ses fantasmes?

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