Nicholas Kashian

Works Bio

Like many modern artists, Nicholas Kashian is a researcher, he explores the nature of art. But his search goes beyond that, he is concerned with the essence of beauty. He asks: how can beauty be defined today, and how can I represent it? „Beauty in this case,“ he hastens to say, „can be very nasty or shocking or dull, but somehow it resonates honesty about human nature and our environment.“ His tools for reaching this goal are „image making and the transformation of matter.“

He pursues this goal with great serenity, observing the world with open, curious eyes, always ready to marvel. A tree, a stripper or a village in the Alps are as valuable as an Italian landscape or Piranesi’s nested dungeon architecture. His path is by no means without risks, every now and then he has to face some turbulence while changing his ways of expression, his „style“.

Nicholas’ composure might be seen as typically American – indeed, being born in the town of Bloomington, Illinois, he is rooted America’s heartland. He began his studies at Arizona State University in Tempe, the second largest college in the US, and continued in Chicago. Finally, in 2009 his curiosity about European culture drove him to Berlin.

Since childhood he has been familiar with art, this might be another reason for his composure. His father is an artist, too, „and I was in and around painters’ studios from the beginning of my life. I do feel the most confidence and pleasure moving paint around.“ In a very natural way he has been free to try many directions, be it content, style or technique. Initially, his motifs came from everyday life, there are shoeshine boys, scenes from bars or children’s birthday parties, and many references to popular art. His quest for beauty finally drew him from figuration „towards more ambiguous, blatantly abstract and open-ended works that seem to want to define painting as a pure, visual language.“

Nicholas Kashian’s search is not targeted at a specific, the one and only „right“ abstract expression; instead, he wants to keep his openness and curiosity. Our selection of paintings demonstrates the creative variety within a short period of time, the year 2013, supplemented by a recent work. „What is important,“ the artist remarks, „is to be present, to be sensitive, sincere, focused, open and as powerful as possible. The work is thus finished when either it says it’s done or I abandon it and take to working on something new.“


Please view the artist’s work in our exhibitions Painterly Abstractions: The Grand Gesture, Abstractions: Painterly, Diverse and Landscape, so Beautiful!.



Born: 1980, Bloomington, Illinois, USA


2007-2009MFA, University of Illinois Chicago, Instructor of Record, Introduction to Drawing, Drawing Fundamentals
1999-2003BFA, Arizona State University
1999-2003Regents Scholarship Recipient


Solo and Two-Person Exhibitions

2014Smoking Mirror’, with Florian Auer, Victoria Bar, Berlin
2013Ter Hell and Nicholas Kashian’, Galerie Walden, Berlin
2011Oh Henry!’, DeanProject, New York
2011Bitte Schön, Bitte Schön’, Galerie Walden, Berlin
2008Heat, Light, Power’, Elastic, Chicago, IL
2007Pascua’, Green Lantern, Chicago
2006New American Gothic’, Reversible Eye, Chicago
2006Nicholas Kashian and Adin De Masi: The Bremen Town Musicians’, Gallery Monorchid, Phoenix, AZ
2006‘Nicholas Kashian and Owen Durkin’, Acme Arts, Chicago

Group Exhibitions

2015‘Paper Icons’, Hans Peter Zimmer Stiftung, Dusseldorf
2015‘Eine Phase in Meinem Leben’, Ventilator, Berlin
2014Tout Arrive’, Exo Exo, Paris
2014Let’s Fix It’, Freies Museum Berlin
2013NK,OP, DE”, Soumestra Galerie, Berlin
2013Cloud 9′, Sultan Gallery, Kuwait City, Kuwait
2013Synekdoche’, Freies Museum Berlin
2012Welten’, Galerie Ardes, Berlin
2012Studio 91′, Ridge Fine Art, London, UK
2012Out of Structure’, Group Show, Galerie Walden, Berlin
2011Partnership’,Galerie E105 together with Deutsche Telekom,   Bonn, Germany
2010Les Maitres Fous – Die verrückten Meister’, Freies Museum, Berlin
2010Best Of’, Forgotten Bar Project, Berlin
2010Bazonalle/ LUST 2010, Weimar, DE
2010Works on Paper: A Group Thing, Projektraum 91, Berlin
2010Check Bounds Festival, Stadtbad Wedding, Berlin
2010Coffee and Cigarettes, Freies Museum Project Space, Berlin
2010Nicholas Kashian: De/Collage, Sammlung Luetzow, Berlin
2009Mirror on Mirror Mirrored’, Dean Project,NY
2009MFA Thesis Exhibition, Gallery 400, University of Illinois, Chicago
2008Introduction: Future Dialogues’, Dean Project, NY
2007The Adoration Show’, Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD
2006NOVA Art Fair, Perogi Booth, Chicago
2006Art One Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ



2014Fading Portraits’, Amnesty International Project with Pruessundpruess GmbH, Berlin,
2012Studio 91 Video Series’, Presented by Nik Holtum of Ridge Fine Art
2010-2011Kunstpreis Freies Museum, 2010-2011, Artist Residency and Stipend 1-year term
2009Chicago Public Art Group, mural project ‘Walker Mural-56th and Lake Park’ restoration
2007New American Paintings, Midwest, Issue # 71 Cool Globes Sculpture Project, Chicago, San Francisco, Denver