Stereo is pleased to announce Between Two Solitudes, Diane Severin Nguyen’s first individual exhibition in Europe.

The seemingly minor fact that the exhibition by Diane Severin Nguyen takes its title from the photograph that is missing from the exhibition (Between Two Solitudes, 2019) says a surprising amount about the nature of her work in a general sense. Photographic images that are refined in every detail and condensed always show only a fragment of a mysterious whole (this, in turn, as the artist reveals, usually fits into the palm of your hand). They have a hypnotic potential and magnetic influence, but – due to their modest size – do not force themselves on the viewer, leaving free space and posing intriguing questions. 

The artist herself, escaping being labelled by the disciplines, uses photography rather than is a photographer; just as she is not a sculptor or a painter, despite the obvious sculptural and painting aspects of her works. A reluctance to embrace definitions seems to be a driving force of Nguyen’s artistic search, and at its root is a lack of trust in language, the power of naming and a state of stability. As a result, we deal with artworks of unclear status, in terms of both medium and content. Makeshift forms, consisting of different elements – bodily, detritus and of synthetic provenance – are captured by a camera shutter, often just moments before they disintegrate. There is a clear melancholic lead here. By not presenting a tangible concrete element, Nguyen’s photographs set in motion the perception that entails recognition and classification; however, these works evoke thoughts and feelings akin to listening to strange, undefined sounds, and should probably remain undefined and unidentified.

  • Diane Severin Nguyen (b. 1990 Carson, CA; lives and works between Los Angeles and New York) received her BA from Virginia Commonwealth University and an MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include Between Two Solitudes, Stereo, Warsaw; Tyrant Star (online exhibition), Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Reoccurring Afterlife, Empty Gallery, Hong Kong; Minor twin worlds, with Brandon Ndife, Bureau, New York; Dead Slow, with Julien Monnerie, Exo Exo, Paris; and Flesh Before Body, Bad Reputation, Los Angeles; all 2019. Nguyen’s latest video, Tyrant Star (2019) was screened in the Shorts Program at the 57th New York Film Festival; the Yebisu Festival, Tokyo; and IFFR, Rotterdam. Recent group exhibitions include Made in L.A. 2020: a version, Hammer Museum and The Huntington, Los Angeles, 2020-2021; and Bodies of Water: 13th Shanghai Biennale, Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China, 2021. Upcoming solo shows include SculptureCenter, New York (September 2021), and Renaissance Society, Chicago (Spring 2022).