Edi Rama

11 Nov 2016 – 23 Dec 2016

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Marian Goodman Gallery is pleased to present the first substantial solo exhibition in the United States by Edi Rama, artist and Prime Minister of Albania.


It will contain a selection of colored pen on document paper drawings, hung on wallpaper made from them and many others, emulating the walls of Rama’s office in Tirana. The exhibition will also present a group of his new ceramic sculptures and a suite of the Inversion Drawings created with his long-term collaborator, the artist Anri Sala. Rama, who was a practicing artist in Paris until being asked to return to Albania as Minister of Culture in 1998, explains that he initially started making his autonomous, stream-of-consciousness drawings directly onto government documents more from a sense of dislocation than a desire to create artworks:

“I found myself drawing almost all my working time whilst interacting with people in my office or on the phone. And I came to appreciate that I wasn't drawing–my hand was.”

What Rama gradually realized–as Mayor of Tirana, then leader of the opposition, and since 2013 as a Prime Minister steering his country through a dramatic, often dangerous, period of creative transformation–was that his drawings were neither a diversionary activity nor an aesthetic indulgence, but becoming an increasingly elucidatory necessity:

“I began to understand that my subconscious was being helped or fed by my hand to stay calm while my conscious had to focus on demanding topics and help me avoid mistakes of misjudgment through shallow concentration. Knowing this, later I deliberately took time to be alone and draw when difficult political decisions had to be made, when the calm my hands could teach my head was vital.”

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Edi Rama


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