400 Blows

Works by Jason Noushin

on view in Keator Gallery in Baldwin Hall
September 13 to October 25, 2019

Opening Reception for Students:
Friday, Sept. 13, 12:00 – 1:00 PM

Opening Reception for the Artist: 
Friday, Sept. 13, 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Jason Noushin was born in 1969 in Plymouth, England. He spent his youth living in Tehran and moved to Paris, then London after the Iranian Revolution and subsequent war with Iraq. Today he lives and works in Connecticut. Primarily self-taught, he is equally a draftsman, painter and sculptor working with a wide variety of traditional and nontraditional materials which at times blur the line between disciplines. An antiquarian book collector and dealer, he incorporates old sheets of paper, bindings and manuscripts in his work, especially as a platform for his large pen and ink drawings. According to Noushin, these sheets are “alive with traces of humanity,” such as fingerprints and markings of previous owners long gone. The typography compliments Noushin’s Persian calligraphy which is present through much of his recent output. He stretches and prepares his own linen canvases and is meticulous about the materials he uses for support.

Noushin has exhibited internationally, including gallery shows throughout the United States, London, the United Arab Emirates, Monaco and Tehran and featured widely in the press including Wall Street International, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia and Huffington Post. He was awarded a solo exhibition in 2010 at The Hammond Museum in Westchester, New York by David McFadden, Chief Curator of The Museum of Arts and Design, NYC. Noushin was selected for the 2016 biennial at the deCordova Museum in Massachusetts to represent Connecticut. His work can be found in numerous private collections in the United States and abroad.

Set in post-war Paris, “The 400 Blows” (Les Quatre Cents Coups) follows the life of a troubled adolescent named Antoine Doinel, a resourceful misunderstood boy racing into a life of crime. He is eventually arrested and sent to a reform-school for stealing a typewriter. 2019 marks the 60th anniversary of Francois Truffaut’s debut film, which earned him the best director award at the Cannes Film Festival and an Oscar nomination in 1959.

I used the imagery from Truffaut’s film to make a hybrid group of pink and brown studies with watercolor, pencil and oil on paper. I was especially interested in rendering the faces of children, sitting in a darkened theatre as they watched a Punch and Judy show with horror and delight. The titles of the works are passages from a book by the French author, Isidore Ducasse, otherwise known as Comte de Lautréamont who published his ‘Les Chants de Maldoror’ in Paris in 1869. Lautréamont now becomes the narrator and described the images, with words he wrote 150 years ago in the same city Truffaut filmed ‘The 400 Blows’.

More info and artwork by Jason Noushin available on his website