Jordan Nassar by Alexander J. Rotondo. Courtesy of the artist and Anat Egbi, Los Angeles.
Jordan Nassar harnesses the disarming charm of embroidery to devastating effect. His handmade works meld dramatic mountainscapes of cascading slopes saturated with color, which are overlaid with abstract patterns sourced from traditional Palestinian embroidery. Initially, Nassar generated the patterns for his work via computer and hand-stitched them himself, but he has since collaborated with female artisans in the West Bank who stitch the patterns; he then overlays the colorful landscapes.
The interplay between surface and image in Nassar’s work is visually elegant and thematically complex, calling up issues of conflict, heritage, tradition, modernity, and colonialism. The work also reflects Nassar’s hybrid identity as a born-and-bred New Yorker of Palestinian and Polish descent. The layers of meaning in his work have resonated with collectors across the world in the last three years. In addition to showing with Los Angeles gallery Anat Ebgi since 2017, Nassar is represented by Dubai’s powerhouse gallery The Third Line, and has a solo show lined up with New York’s James Cohan in 2020. This month, he will open his first solo exhibition at a major institution: the Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv.
“Jordan Nassar is capable of opening new avenues to redefine what an artwork can be,” said Nicola Trezzi, CCA Tel Aviv’s director and chief curator, “from continuing the legacy of abstraction in painting to the notion of landscape and its political implications; from the role of craft in the digital era to the link between tradition and identity, especially considering his use of Palestinian embroidery patterns.”