Born in Tehran on September 26th.
His father, Seyyed Kazim Assar (1885-1975), who studied mathematics at the Sorbonne at the beginning of the twentieth century, held the chair of oriental philosophy at the secular university in Tehran. In this literate family context, Nasser Assar is lulled by the poetry – imbued with philosophy – of Rûmi, Hâfez and Sa’âdi, whom a professional singer regularly comes to chant in the family home. Throughout his life, he will remain attached to it as well as to the philosophy of Sohravardi and Rûzbehân. His mother, born Azra Alem, originally from Esfahan, comes from a family of jurists. Siblings of four children, Nasser being the penultimate. Happy memories of summer holidays on Mount Damavand (north of Tehran), the highest peak in Iran, a mountain that occupies a special place in Iranian mythology.
1950 – 1953
Studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Tehran University. The strong ties with the Iranian painter and poet Sohrâb Sepehri (1928-1980) of the same class date from this period. After graduating from the Fine Arts School, they took their first studio together in Tehran.
Trip to Hamburg, Germany, where Nasser Assar’s older brother is posted as Secretary of Embassy. From there, instead of returning to Iran as planned, he goes to Paris where he decides to live, even though he only speaks Persian and English and has no job. For ten years he had no contact with his family and became completely integrated into the Parisian milieu. The beginnings are hard. Several poorly treated bronchitis turn into chronic asthma. He did not return to Iran to see his father, to whom he is very attached, until 1962 and then, for a few brief summer stays, between 1970 and 1977.
Meeting with the publisher and art critic Gérald Gassiot-Talabot (1929-2002), who had directed the journal Symphonie in the 1950s and was to co-found the journal Opus International in 1967 and invent the notion of « figuration narrative ». During the summer, Gassiot-Talabot invited Nasser Assar to his grandmother’s home in Les Édelins, near Vichy. A friendship is formed that will continue over the years.
« Nasser », first solo exhibition in Paris, at the Galerie Prismes, 6, rue Monsieur-le-Prince, with a preface by Julien Alvard (1916-1974), the unifying critic of a pictorial trend called « Nuagisme ». Under slogans such as : « D’une nature sans limite à une nature sans borne » or « Insurrection contre la forme », Alvard favored informal painting based on transparency and immateriality, in reaction against thick doings (factures) and surrealist subjectivity. The group will never really be coherent and Nasser Assar will not recognize himself in it. However, Alvard continued to preface several exhibitions of Nasser Assar in the 1950s and 1960s ; the professional link was not really broken until 1966.
1958 – 1959
An exhibition of Chinese paintings, at the Cernuschi museum, in Paris : Orient – Occident. Rencontres et influences durant cinquante siècles d’art, from November 1958 to February 1959, produced a decisive shock on Nasser Assar by helping to awaken him from an « sommeil abstrait ». From that moment on, he distinguishes non-figuration from abstraction and considers his painting as a painting of non-figurative signs. He also reads, from the specialist and translator of Taoist philosophy Liou Kia-hway, L’Esprit synthétique de la Chine. Étude de la mentalité chinoise selon les textes des philosophes de l’Antiquité (Paris, Presses universitaires de France, 1961).
« Exposition d’avril. Peintures sur papier », group exhibition in Paris, at the Galerie de Bellechasse, 266, boulevard Saint-Germain, opening April 3th.
« Nouvelles cantates de Théo Kerg and Groupe de mai », group exhibition in Paris, at the Galerie de Bellechasse, opening May 5th.
« Réalités Nouvelles. 14ème salon 1959 », group exhibition at the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, opening on Monday, July 6.
« Junge Maler der Gegenwart », group exhibition in Vienna, Künstlerhaus, July 24th – August 15th. Catalog : « The school of Paris », text in English by Herbert Read (1893-1968). « Présentation », text in French by Julien Alvard. An exhibited work by Nasser Assar : Par delà la mémoire, reproduced in the catalog, page 59.
« International Choice. 20th century paintings and sculpture », group exhibition in London, at the Kaplan Gallery, 6 Duke Street, St. James’s, opening January 28th.
« Antagonismes », group exhibition in Paris, at the Musée des Art Décoratifs, organized by Julien Alvard under the aegis of the Comité des arts du congrès pour la liberté de la culture, in February. Catalog prefaced by art historian and critic Herbert Read. Two works by Nasser Assar are on display, one of which, Par delà la mémoire is reproduced on page 89 of the catalog.
« Nasser Assar », solo exhibition in Paris, at the Galerie de Bellechasse. Text by Julien Alvard on the invitation card for the opening on Tuesday, March 15th.
Selection of articles on the exhibition : – Gérald Gassiot-Talabot : « Expositions », Les Annales, May ; – Jean-Jacques Lévêque : « Un choix d’expositions mettant en valeur les nouveaux problèmes de la peinture », L’Information, March 12th ; – Pierre Restany : Cimaise, N°48, April, (with a reproduction); – Denys Chevalier, « Nasser Assar », France-Observateur, April 7th ; – « Tour d’exposition des peintres abstraits ; Nasser Assar à la galerie Bellechasse », Combat, April 19th.
Group exhibition (untitled),Paris, Galerie de Bellechasse, opening July 1th.
Das kunstwerk – L’oeuvre d’art, a journal on all areas of Fine Arts, n° 12, June 1960, « Nasser Assar à la galerie de Bellechasse », by Pierre Restany, page 30, with a reproduction of a painting dated 1960.
Group exhibition (untitled) in Paris, at the Galerie Breteau, 70 rue Bonaparte, June 15th – July 15th.
« Option 1960 », group exhibition in Lyon, at the Galerie Grange, 10 rue Joseph-Serlin, July – September.
« Présence dans l’abstraction », group exhibition in Paris, at the Galerie Marcelle Dupuis, 37 quai des Grands-Augustins, opening December 14th.
Nasser Assar discovered Hier régnant désert, a collection of poems by Yves Bonnefoy (1923-2016), published in 1958 (Mercure de France, Paris).
« An 4. Grands formats », group exhibition in Brussels, at the Galerie Smith, 42, rue Van Eyck, October 11th – November 4th.
Cinquième saison, review of evolutionary poetry. Supplement – Editor : Henri Chopin.
October 20th : Poème-objet, Nasser Assar / Jean Jacques Lévêque : « Préparatifs pour un matin ».
« Deuxième Biennale de Paris », group exhibition at the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, September 29th – November 5th. Catalog pages 122 – 123: « Les jeunes critiques ont choisi … ».
Nasser Assar met the American poet John Ashbery (1927-2017) who came to see him at his studio on Rue Pierre Nicole and published an article in the New York Herald Tribune dated October 1th : « Avant-Garde Bazaar. French Dominate Paris Biennale ».
Selection of articles : – Pierre Courthion : « L’un des meilleurs peintres de la Biennale de Paris 1961 ». Arts, October 4th ; – Gérald Gassiot-Talabot : « La Biennale de Paris : Nasser Assar (France) », with a reproduction, painting 1961, page 31, Aujourd’hui. Art and architecture n° 33, October ; – Gérald Gassiot-Talabot : « Pour une mise en situation du peintre abstrait », Problèmes n° 79, December 1961 with a reproduction, painting 1961, page 42 ; – Gérald Gassiot-Talabot : « Art et Architecture. La Biennale de Paris », Connaissance du Monde, December ; – Jean Grenier : « La rentrée à Paris », Preuves, n° 129, page 77, November.
« Nasser Assar », first solo exhibition in London, at the Lincoln Gallery, 8 Sloane Street. SWI, December 7th 1961- January 6th 1962. Catalog prefaced by the art historian Herbert Read. Nasser Assar spent the months of December and January in London, where he met the painter Francis Bacon (1909-1992), with whom he remained in friendly contact.
That year, the poet Yves Bonnefoy visited Nasser Assar in his small studio at 29, rue Pierre-Nicole, Paris Vème ; the result was a friendship that would last to the end and be of great importance to the artist.
« Nasser Assar », first solo exhibition in Belgium, in Brussels, at the Galerie Smith, 42, rue Van Eyck, January 31th – February 24th. Catalog prefaced by Julien Alvard.
« Paris – London 1961 », group exhibition in London, at the Lincoln Gallery, 8 Sloane Street, SW1, January 7th – 30th. Catalog prefaced by Herbert Read.
« Poésie objective» at the Galerie La Jeune Parque, Lyon, place Gailleton, from January 24th to February 9th, group exhibition presented by Henri Chopin, host of the review Cinquième saison.
« Aquarelles – encres », group exhibition in Paris, at the Galerie Valérie Schmidt, 41, rue Mazarine, opening on Friday, May 4th.
« La peinture à l’huile et en couleur ! », group exhibition in Brussels, at the Galerie Smith, 42, rue Van Eyck, May 9th – 30th.
« Forum 62 », group exhibition in Ghent, in the former St. Peter’s Abbey, May – June. A work by Nasser Assar reproduced in the catalog.
« Donner à voir n° 1 », group exhibition in Paris, at the galerie Creuze, 12 rue Beaujon. Raoul-Jean Moulin / Nasser Assar. May 15th – June 8th.
« Donner à voir n° 2 », group exhibition in Paris, at the galerie Creuze, 12, rue Beaujon. Gérald Gassiot-Talabot / Nasser Assar. December 1th – 22th.
Selection of articles : – « Donner à voir », Michel Ragon , Cimaise, July-August 1962.
– Cinquième saison, review of evolutionary poetry animated by Henri Chopin. Supplement, January 20th, with a reproduction on page 8.
« L’Œil de bœuf », group exhibition in Paris, at the Galerie 7, 7 rue de Miromesnil, March 1th – 30th. Text by Michel Ragon on the invitation to the opening.
« Art from many countries », group exhibition, section France, Otto Seligman Gallery, 4727 University Way N.E. Seattle 5, Washington, March 4th – March 30th.
« Rencontres Association générale des étudiants de Lyon (AGEL . Jeune peinture française », group exhibition in Lyon, 20 rue François Garcin – Lyon-3. From March 8th to 28th, under the high patronage of Gaétan Picon, General Director of Arts and Letters. The catalog entitled : Rencontre lyonnaise 1963 includes a text by René Déroudille, with the reproduction of the painting Dharma Kaya III (oil on canvas 162 x 97 cm, 1963).
« Rencontres Association générale des étudiants de Saint-Etienne (AGESE). Jeune peinture française », group exhibition in Saint-Étienne, Salle Sacco-Vanzetti, Bourse du Travail, Cours Victor-Hugo, Saint-Étienne, April 19th to 30th, under the patronage of Gaétan Picon, General Director of Arts and Letters.
« Donner à voir n° 3 », group exhibition in Paris, at the gallerie Creuze, 12 rue Beaujon. « Hommage à Delacroix » : Raoul-Jean Moulin / Nasser Assar. May 7th – May 29th.
« Art contemporain », group exhibition organized by the Comité de la foire de Paris, at the Grand Palais, May 22th – June 3th. In Section II, « Peinture contemporaine. France », is presented a painting by Nasser Assar.
« Forum 63 », exhibition in Ghent, in the former St. Peter’s Abbey, May – June. Reproduction in the catalog of the painting by Nasser Assar : Dharma Kaya III, 1963, 162 x 97 cm.
During the summer of 1963, a friendship was established between Nasser Assar and the philosopher Jean Grenier (1898-1971), then professor of aesthetics at the Sorbonne, following the publication by the latter of an article entitled « Nasser Assar », accompanied by six reproductions, in n° 65 of the journal Cimaise, July-Oct. This text was reprinted in Jean Grenier. Une attention aimante. Écrits sur l’art (1944 – 1971), selected texts edited by Patrick Corneau (Presses universitaires de Rennes. 2008).
In 1964, a « major turning point in the painting of Nasser Assar » took place, according to Rémi Labrusse.
(cf. Nasser Assar, Editions Manucius, 2016, p. 156): « … calligraphic signs evolve naturally towards identifiable motifs (branches, flowers, birds) ». A remark by Yves Bonnefoy on a painting from that year (« the branches in silhouettes transform the background into a sky, and illuminate it ») played a role in this turning point. Nasser Assar executed twenty oils on paper accompanying poems from Yves Bonnefoy’s collection Hier régnant désert. The whole is acquired by the merchant Aimé Maeght but the project of a book is not completed. On this occasion, Nasser Assar met the poet Jacques Dupin (1927-2012).
« Nasser Assar », second solo exhibition in Brussels, Galerie Smith, from February 5th to 29th. Catalog prefaced by Gérald Gassiot-Talabot.
« April Paris Exhibition. Paintings by three artists in Paris : Arthur Hall Smith. Joe Downing. Nasser Assar », Seattle, Otto Seligman Gallery, April 8th – 29th.
« Le nuage crève », group exhibition in Paris, at the Galerie internationale d’art contemporain, 253 rue Saint-Honoré, May 26th – end of June. Catalog prefaced by Julien Alvard.
« Neuf peintres », group exhibition in Nantes, at the Galerie Argos, 3 rue du roi Albert, presented by Gérald Gassiot-Talabot, Jean-Jacques Lévêque and Raoul-Jean Moulin, June.
« Pour une nouvelle conception du paysage », group exhibition in Toulouse, at the Galerie l’Atelier, 12 rue des Blanchers, presented by Henry Galy-Carles and Jean-Jacques Lévêque. December 18th 1964 – January 28th 1965.
« Salon Grands et jeunes d’aujourd’hui » at the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris. This museum buys from the artist an oil on canvas : Composition sur fond jaune, 146 x 97cm, 1964.
« Biennale d’art contemporain de San Marino », French Section, July 31th – September 30th.
« Promesses tenues », group exhibition in Paris, at the Musée Galliera, September 9th – October 11th. Exhibitors chosen by André Berne-Joffroy and Jacques Lassaigne.
« Nasser Assar », solo exhibition in Lyon, at the Galerie L’Œil écoute, 3 quai Romain-Rolland, February 5th – March 3th.
Articles on the exhibition : René Déroudille, « Espaces verticaux … de Nasser Assar », Dernière Heure Lyonnaise (Dauphiné edition), Sunday, February 14th ; – René Déroudille, « Nasser Assar/ Galerie L’Œil écoute », Le Tout Lyon and Le Moniteur Judiciaire, n° 909, Thursday, February 25th.
« Les peintres et la révolution du mouvement », group exhibition in Paris, at the Maison des Jeunes et de la Culture Paris-Mercœur, 4 rue Mercœur, June 1th – 26th. Presentation by Henri Kréa.
« A selection from the artists of the Seligman Gallery », Seattle, U.S.A. presented by Francine Seders. A painting of Nasser Assar is exhibited and reproduced in the catalogue.
« Nasser Assar », solo exhibition in London : Upper Grosvenor Galleries, 19 Upper Grosvenor Street, April 18 – May. Preface by the sinologist Michael Sullivan (1916-2013), art historian, specialist, among others, of contemporary Chinese art, and to whom Herbert Read introduced Nasser Assar. On this occasion, the artist spent eighteen months on site, in the company of Isabelle de Gastines, whom he met in Paris and with whom he married at Chelsea Town Hall. The couple lives in Cygnet House, 188 King’s Road. Chelsea, and discovers London with wonder. Ties with Francis Bacon are strengthened, as well as with Herbert Read. It is also the beginning of a great friendship, which will last forever, with the conductor Colin Davis and his wife. Nasser Assar frequented the opera, galleries, museums and visited in particular during the winter a large Bonnard exhibition, organized by Denys Sutton (1917-1991) at the Royal Academy, which struck him deeply.
Selection of articles on the exhibition Nasser Assar: – Les arts, by Henri Kréa : « Les ‘Indésirables’ heureusement », Le droit de vivre, February-March 1966. – Les arts, by Henri Kréa : « Peinture – Peinture », Upper Grosvenor Galleries. « Dans l’Orient désert… », Le droit de vivre, November-December 1966, n° 333.
« Huit peintres », group exhibition in the Salines royales of Arc-et-Senans (Doubs) in June. Catalog with a text by Julien Alvard, « Pourquoi nous combattons ».
During the winter, Nasser and Isabelle Assar stay at Évenos, a village in the Var above Toulon. For the artist, it is the beginning of a systematic work on the motif – trees, rocks, hills – which will continue until his last day.
« Hepta », group exhibition in Paris, at the Musée Galliera, December 14th, 1967 – January 11th, 1968.
On this occasion, Yves Bonnefoy published his first text on Nasser Assar in the exhibition catalog, which was reprinted under the title « Nasser Assar, 1968 » in the book Sur un sculpteur et des peintres (éditions Plon, collection Carnets, 1989).
Selection of articles : Michel Conil Lacoste, « Sept contemporains », Le Monde, December 22 – Claude Bouyeure « Eclectic Hepta or an abstract with figurative illusions », Les Lettres françaises n° 1215, January 3th – 9th, 1968 – Jean-Jacques Lévêque: « Girouettes sans cœur ni cervelle », Les Nouvelles littéraires n° 2103 (December 21, 1967). – Gilbert Gatelier : « Paris-exposition – I », Opus International n° 5, pages 87 and 88.
« L’Art Vivant 1965-1968 », group exhibition at the Fondation Maeght, in Saint-Paul-de-Vence (Alpes-Maritimes). April 13th – June 30th. Catalog with a text by François Wehrlin. A work by Nasser Assar exhibited : Lenteur de l’avenir, 195 x 97 cm, 1967.
« D’après le paysage », group exhibition in Paris, at the Galerie Max Kaganovitch, 99 boulevard Raspail, March 12th – April 2th. Exhibition organized by art historian and essayist Jean-Jacques Lévêque (1931-2011). Three works by Nasser Assar exhibited : Vent de feuilles, 116 x 89 cm ; L’aube bientôt, 92 x 73 cm ; Terre de douleur, 114 x 146 cm.
Selection of articles on the exhibition : – Raymond Cogniat, « Assar. Paysages-Prétextes », Le Figaro, March 14th ; – Claude Bouyeure, « Abstraction et paysage », Les Lettres françaises, n° 1226 ; – Frank Elgar, « Comment peut-on être à la fois paysagiste et peintre abstrait ? » with a reproduction of Terre de douleur, weekly Carrefour, n° 1228.
In the summer of 1968, discovery of Southern Ireland (counties of Monaghan and Sligo) : pilgrimage to the tomb of the poet William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) and to Lissadell House, home of the two sisters Eva and Constance Gore-Booth (1870-1926 and 1868-1927). Nasser and Isabelle Assar returned to Ireland (County of Cork) in 1975 and 1997.
Nasser Assar, 1969
Nasser Assar painted many portraits of Isabelle, whom Roger Munier was to name Icônes, and whom Yves Bonnefoy likened to Byzantine painting, Romanesque frescoes and Giacometti’s painting.
Nasser and Isabelle Assar spend, each year, autumn in Fayence in the hinterland of Grasse. These stays sometimes last until February and nourish the work of the painter.
Yves Bonnefoy introduced Nasser Assar to the American writer and art critic Patrick Waldberg (1913-1985), a surrealist. The two men continued their relationship in Paris, in the café on the rue de Sévigné where Patrick Waldberg had his habits, and in the south of France, in Seillans, not far from Fayence. In 1975, the critic will preface a personal exhibition of his painter friend in Montpellier.
« Nasser Assar », by Jérôme Peignot, revue Opus International, n° 28.
« Assar », Paris, solo exhibition in Paris, at Galerie du Triangle, 27 rue Guénégaud, June 6th – 30th. « L’indivisible » : preface to the catalog by the poet, essayist and art critic Claude Esteban (1935-2006).
Review of the exhibition : « Nasser Assar » by Jean-Louis Pradel, Opus international, n° 37, page 63.
On September 29th, Nasser Assar met, during a stay in Tehran, the great iranologist Henry Corbin (1903-1978), a specialist in Shi’ite Neoplatonism – an encounter that meant a great deal in his life. The relationship between the two men continued in Paris, at the home of Yves and Lucy Bonnefoy in particular, until the scholar’s death. Around Henry and Stella Corbin, at their home on rue de l’Odéon, Nasser and Isabelle Assar met the writer Emil Cioran (1911-1995), the translator Pierre Leyris (1907-2001), the art historian Jean Leymarie (1919-2006), the poet Kathleen Raine (1908-2003) and the philosopher Christian Jambet. Henry Corbin had been in contact in Tehran with the father of Nasser Assar.
In November, Nasser and Isabelle Assar meet the poet Alain Delahaye and his wife Pascale at Yves and Lucy Bonnefoy’s home in Spéracèdes, a village near Fayence. A lasting friendship develops.
« Nasser Assar. Peintures », solo exhibition in Paris, at the Galerie de Bellechasse, 10 rue de Bellechasse. March 12th – April 15th. Catalog prefaced by Yves Bonnefoy. Text included under the title “Nasser Assar, 1975” in the book Sur un sculpteur et des peintres (éditions Plon, collection Carnets, 1989), then in the catalog. Yves Bonnefoy, La poésie et les arts plastiques (éditions Arts et Lettres, Vevey, 1996) with a reproduction of a work by the painter page 70.
Articles : – Pierre Mazars, « La montagne sacrée d’Assar » Le Figaro. April 8th ; – « Nasser Assar : Un art fluide » M.H.P. Jardin des Arts n° 146, April ; – Gérald Gassiot-Talabot, « Nasser Assar – dans l’été de la pensée sérieuse », Opus international, octobre, n° 57, page 30.
« L’imaginaire », group exhibition at the convent of Seillans (Var), July 30th – August 17th. « … six artists who in various ways are familiar with Seillans and its surroundings » says Patrick Waldberg in the invitation brochure.
« Nasser Assar – peintures et lavis », solo exhibition in Montpellier, at the Galerie Hélène Trintignan, 11, rue de l’Ancien Courrier. Presentation text by Patrick Waldberg.
Article on the exhibition : G. Verune, Midi Libre, October 14th.
Isabelle and Nasser Assar, Shiraz (Iran), 1976
« Terre seconde », group exhibition at the castle of Ratilly (Yonne), July 3th – September 12th. Works brought together by Yves Bonnefoy, including two oils by Nasser Assar. L’argile d’un éveil, 105 x 75 cm, 1973 ; and Le gué du ciel, 105 x 75cm, 1969.
Article on the exhibition: André Fermigier, “Le feu perdu”, Le Monde, July 22th.
In October, in Aix-en-Provence, Nasser Assar took part in a meeting about Yves Bonnefoy organized by the magazine L’Arc. There he met the publisher Jacques Bonnet, poets and critics Christian Guez, John E. Jackson, Alain Madeleine-Perdrillat, Alain Paire, as well as the philosopher, essayist and translator Roger Munier (1923-2010), who already knew and appreciated his painting. Later, Roger Munier would introduce the poet Pierre-Albert Jourdan (1924-1981) to his painter friend.
Haut lieu du cœur, collection of poems by Jean-Paul Guibbert, with 5 washes by Nasser Assar, éditions de la Différence, Paris, collection Le Milieu.
Around 1976-1977, on the occasion of a group exhibition in Marseille, at the Librairie-galerie La Touriale, 211, boulevard de la Libération, directed by the poet Jean-Luc Sarré, Nasser Assar met the poet Philippe Jaccottet and his wife Anne-Marie Jaccottet, a painter herself. It is the beginning of a great friendship.
Nasser Assar with Yves and Lucy Bonnefoy,
Hyde Park, London, March 1977
« Nasser Assar – wash-drawings », solo exhibition (without catalog) in Tehran, at the Litho Gallery, opening January 30th
« Placards », group exhibition in Paris, at the Galerie Maeght, opening on May 11th. Presentation of original prints each designed and produced by an artist and a writer, in this case Nasser Assar and Yves Bonnefoy. Dans le leurre du seuil. The last three lines of « L’épars, l’indivisible » : « Les mots comme le ciel, / Infini / Mais tout entier soudain dans la flaque brève ».
« Hommage à Julien Alvard », group exhibition at the Château d’Ancy-le-Franc (Yonne), June 11th – September 11th.
« Le regard et l’esprit. Lo Sguardo et lo Spirito », Brussels – Milano – Paris. Group exhibition in Milano, at the Galerie de La Différence, 1, via Visconti di Modrone, October 18th – November 2th. Bilingual catalog French / Italian, texts by : Marcel Paquet, « General presentation » ; Roger Munier, « L’apparence et l’apparition » ; Pierre Dalle Nogare, « L’image, l’oubli ». The two works exhibited by Nasser Assar : a wash of 1975, and an oil on canvas of 1977, are reproduced in the catalog.
Patrick Waldberg and Nasser Assar, Persepolis (Iran), November 1977
« Nasser Assar », solo exhibition (without catalog) in Tehran, at the Zand Gallery, November 2th – 23th.
« Autour du poète Yves Bonnefoy », group exhibition at the Centre d’animation culturelle d’Orléans et du Loiret, carré Saint-Vincent, December 1st – 31st.
Souren Melikian, « Art Market. – Europe Looks at Potential of Iranians » International Herald Tribune, April 16th – 17th.
Alain Madeleine-Perdrillat and Nasser Assar,
Palais Idéal du facteur Cheval (Hauterive), 1978
« Nasser Assar », solo exhibition in Brussels, at the Galerie de la Différence, 91-93 avenue Louise. January 18th – February 14th. Two texts in the catalog : « Nasser Assar » by Patrick Waldberg and « Assar » by John E. Jackson.
Souren Melikian, « The Art Market : Taking a Chance on a Troubled Sector » International Herald Tribune, January 21th – 22th.
« Nasser Assar. Peintures, lavis », solo exhibition at the Librairie-galerie La Touriale, Marseille, April 5th – May 6th. Text by the poet Bernard Noël.
Summer 1978 : discovery of the Haute-Savoie, first during a stay in Chamonix, then, several summers in a row, in a chalet in Les Moussoux, near the “Pierre à Ruskin”, on the slopes of the Brévent.
Autumn in Forcalquier, the house in Fayence being no longer available.
« Icônes. Vingt peintures récentes de Nasser Assar », solo exhibition in Paris, at the Galerie de Bellechasse 10, rue de Bellechasse, January 24th – February 18th. Text by Roger Munier. In the catalog, Roger Munier attempts to shed light on Nasser Assar’s work from his philosophy, marked by Heideggerian phenomenology and extreme oriental thought. Essay reprinted by Deyrolle éditeur in 1993 in Voir, by Roger Munier, page 13 : « Nasser Assar 1978 ».
Articles on the exhibition: – Opus international, n° 72, spring 1979, by Gérald Gassiot-Talabot. – Les Nouvelles littéraires, n° 2674, February 15-22th by Danièle Boone. – Art Press, n° 30, July 1979, by Christian Jambet.
Alain Paire : « Landscapes of Nasser Assar », revue Solaire n° 24. February. With eight washes by Nasser Assar.
Alain Paire : L’Émigrante, poems, with nine washes and an original lithograph by Nasser Assar, Solar, special edition notebook, March 1979.
Remi Pharo : Noir asile, collection of poems, with two lithographies by Nasser Assar, Thierry Bouchard editions, Losne (Côte-d’Or). November.
Between 1979 and 1989, Nasser and Isabelle Assar spent autumns and often winters in Montauroux, a small village in the Var near Fayence.
« Le Maître des Nymphéas vu par des peintres d’aujourd’hui », Nasser Assar, Benrath, Bertholle, Olivier Debré, Messagier – enquête de Marie-Christine Gras, Les Nouvelles Littéraires, n° 2723. February.
« Nasser Assar. Oeuvres de 1960 », solo exhibition (without catalog) in Paris, at the Galerie Armand Zerbib, 3 rue Bonaparte, October 2th – 25th.
« Un aspect du nuagisme dans les années 1950-1960 », group exhibition in Paris, at the Galerie Madeleine Kaganovitch, 66 boulevard Raspail, November 20th – December 13th. Presentation text by Gérald Gassiot-Talabot.
« Treize livres édités par Thierry Bouchard de 1975 à 1980 », group exhibition in Dijon, at the Galerie Tillot, 3 rue du Tillot, October 13th – November 10th.
1981 – 1993
At the Collège de France, Nasser Assar regularly attends the lessons of Yves Bonnefoy, who has just founded the Chair of « Etudes comparées de la fonction poétique ».
« Rivages des Origines » (Archives des Cahiers du Sud). Archives of the city of Marseille, Place Auguste Carli, December. Paintings and poetry, group exhibition. Curator: Nicolas Cendo. « Partages du sensible », text by Claude Esteban, August, catalog of the exhibition, p. 207. Four works (wash and oil on paper) by Nasser Assar exhibited: L’heure immobile, 108 x 75 cm, 1980 ; Terre d’image, 105 x 75 cm, 1980 ; Tentation dans les ombres, 110 x 75 cm, 1974 ; À la lisière de l’hiver, 105 x 75cm, 1979 (reproduction p. 217).
Article on the exhibition : Jean-Marie Dunoyer, « Les Cahiers du Sud refont surface », Le Monde, December 6th-7th.
L’Herne. Henry Corbin, Cahier 39 directed by Christian Jambet. 1st trim. With, on page 80, a text by Nasser Assar : « Une lampe brûlant avec l’huile d’un olivier … »
La terre est un nom, a collection of poems by Jean-Paul Guibbert, with three etchings by Nasser Assar, edited by Fata Morgana, Montpellier. January.
« Nasser Assar », solo exhibition in Montpellier, at the Galerie Hélène Trintignan, 21 rue Saint-Guilhem, March 17th – April 7th. Text by Jean-Paul Guibbert on the invitation card to the opening.
Jacques Vial, « Nasser Assar : un peintre des paysages nuageux », Midi Libre.
« Vingt ans d’une galerie de province », group exhibition in Lyon (ELAC. Centre d’échange Perrache), at the Galerie L’œil écoute, March 25th – May 25th. Two oil on canvas by Nasser Assar exhibited : Mémoire des signes 100 x 81 cm and Éphémère 162 x 97 cm reproduced in the catalog, page 91.
On July 10th, Nasser Assar was naturalized as a French citizen.
1982 – 1983
In the company of Christian Jambet and Jean Trouillard, Nasser Assar attended René Roques’ class on the Doctrines and Methods of the High Middle Ages at the Sorbonne, École pratique des Hautes Études, Vème section, religious Sciences.
« Bachelard ou le droit de rêver », special issue of the review Solaire (Imprimerie Bouix, Privas) celebrating the centenary of the birth of Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962). Reproduction of a wash by Nasser Assar dated 1979, page 115. April.
« Nasser Assar – Peintures », solo exhibition in Paris, at the Galerie Georges Fall, 57, quai des Grands-Augustins, January 17th – February 18th. Catalog text by Claude Esteban : « Le haut message des forêts ». Eight works reproduced in the catalog.
Articles by Jérôme Bindé, « Passage de la lumière chez Nasser Assar », revue Opus international, n° 95, p. 32 ; Christian Jambet, « Nasser Assar « , revue Art Press, n° 79, page 62.
« Pierre-Albert Jourdan. Hommages », on the presses of Thierry Bouchard, Losne (Côte-d’Or). Reproduction of a wash of Nasser Assar dated 1982, page 86.
Summer : Long trip to the United States, from the East Coast to the West Coast, as well as to Canada.
« Nasser Assar. Drawings », solo exhibition (without catalog) in Washington, at the Patricia Carega Gallery, Georgestown Court, 3251. Prospect Street, January 14th – February.
« Nasser Assar. Lavis », solo exhibition in Paris, at the Galerie Georges Fall, March 4th – 29th. Catalog text : « Des arbres de rencontre », by Alain Madeleine-Perdrillat.
Michel Camus, « Le pays du regard », Kanal Magazine n° 17-18.
Summer 1986 : car trip through Tuscany. Discovery of Siena, San-Gimignano, Monteriggioni and Volterra.
September 19th : Myocardial infarction. Necker Hospital. Paris.
Saint-Cézaire (Vaucluse), spring 1987
« Signes et écritures », group exhibition (without catalog) in Paris, at the Galerie Arnoux, 27 rue Guénégaud, January 29th – February 28th.
« Le lien », group exhibition in L’Isle-sur-la Sorgue (Vaucluse), at the Hôtel Donadéï de Campredon, designed by Jacques Woliner, May 8th – June 21th. Two works by Nasser Assar exhibited – an oil on canvas 153 x 97 cm, dated 1962 and an oil on paper 105 x 75 cm, dated 1984 – reproduced in the catalog, pages 34 and 35.
Summer stay in Positano in Campania. Visit Naples and Pompeii.
« Le peintre Nasser Assar et les poètes », Avignon. La poésie dans un jardin 1989. Association ” Les Amis de la Maison du Livre et des Mots “, 4-6 rue Figuière. December 1th – 30th. Reading by Lorand Gaspar on December 7th, and by Michel Camus on December 14th.
On the 28th, concert of baroque music chosen by Nasser Assar, who is the guest of the month of December.
« Cinq poètes et leurs peintres », group exhibition in Carcassonne, at the ARCADE Centre de recherche Art et Création Contemporaine. December 16th 1989 – January 31th 1990. Nasser Assar is the guest of the poet Gil Jouanard.
« Support/papier 2 », group exhibition in Aix-en-Provence, at the Galerie des éditions FMR, 21 rue Portalis, presented by Jean Puech, May – June.
Caravanes, n°2, annual review of literature directed by André Velter, published by Phébus, Paris, « Nasser Assar », presentation of the artist by Jean-Pierre Sicre, pages 232 and following, accompanied by eight landscapes (washes).
In the 1990s, Nasser Assar intensified his practice of printmaking:
– in 1994, Eaux prodigues, by Philippe Jaccottet : five lithographs on the presses of La Sétérée, Crest (Drôme)
– in 1998, Le grand prénom, by Yves Bonnefoy : eight lithographs at Rémi Maure éditeur.
– in 1999, « Nasser Assar Sur le bord du monde », by Paul de Roux, in the review Poésie 99 n°78 / June, Poésie noire, poésie blanche, page 84, with reproductions of ten washes.
– in 2001, « Nasser Assar », eight lithographs accompanying an essay by Yves Bonnefoy on his work, for Rémi Maure.
– in 2003, an original engraving for the poetry magazine L’Instant d’après.
1991 – 2010
Annual stays in Vaucluse. After having had to stay in Paris in the autumn of 1990, Nasser and Isabelle Assar found refuge each year, from September 1991 until 2010, for long stays in the autumn and spring, on the hill of Notre-Dame-des-Anges, near Mormoiron (Vaucluse). They lived in a “cabanon” belonging to the American writer and translator Mary-Ann Caws (to whom Lucy Bonnefoy introduced them), a relative of René Char (1907-1988) whom she translated into English and who was a regular visitor.
Publication in February of L’Apparence & l’Apparition, by Roger Munier. « Pour Nasser Assar ». Cover and frontispiece : Nasser Assar. Deyrolle Éditeur, Paris.
Alain Lévêque wrote a text (unpublished) dated July 5th, 1991, « Un midi avec Nasser Assar », following a visit to the artist’s studio on rue des Frères-Voisin in Paris.
« Nasser Assar. La longue marche », study of Abdelhak Rahmouni, School of Image, National Diploma in Plastic Arts, Communication option, Épinal. 36 typed pages. May 1992.
« Yves Bonnefoy. Ecrits sur l’art et livres avec les artistes », Tours, ABM Flammarion. Yves Bonnefoy et les arts. Group exhibition at the castle of Tours. October 1th – November 15th. Three works by Nasser Assar : a print from the series Placards (1977), commissioned by the Galerie Maeght from various writers and artists, n°81/500 (B.M.Tours); an oil on canvas 110 x 75cm, 1969 reproduction page 144 ; a watercolor 65 x 50 cm, 1992.
« Le carnet de l’amateur. Odeur du temps », article on Nasser Assar by Gérald Gassiot-Talabot, in Opus international, n° 132, Autumn, page 44.
Alain Lévêque, Le Ruisseau noir, Deyrolle Éditeur, Paris. Cover illustration by Nasser Assar.
Roger Munier, Voir, « Nasser Assar 1978 », page 13, (1978 text as a preface to the 1979 exhibition Icônes, vingt peintures récentes de Nasser Assar), at Deyrolle Éditeur, Paris, 1993.
Nasser and Isabelle Assar, la Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, May 1994
Philippe Jaccottet : Eaux prodigues, with five lithographs by Nasser Assar, by Les presses de la Sétérée in Crest (Drôme).
Handwritten extracts of Eaux prodigues from the hand of Philippe Jaccottet accompanied by two watercolors by Nasser Assar. In two handwritten copies: 33.5 cm x 51 cm. – Each of two sheets with two watercolors and two pages of text, reserved for the authors.
« Livres et quelques oeuvres originales », group exhibition in Paris, in the Halle Saint-Pierre, 2 rue Ronsard, October 1th – 30th.
« Yves Bonnefoy. Art & Poetry. His essays on art, Painter’s illustrations of his poems and original works », group exhibition, The French Cultural Services, 972 Fifth Avenue at 79th Street. New York, September 21th – October 20th. Reproduction in the catalogue of a work of Nasser Assar, Montagne (1973), page 13.
« Yves Bonnefoy. La poésie et les arts plastiques », exhibition in Vevey, at the Musée Jenisch, October 13th – January 26th. In the catalog : « Le bien qui nous vient des œuvres », interview by Odile Bombarde with Yves Bonnefoy. « Nasser Assar », page 65 with a reproduction. Reprint of Yves Bonnefoy’s text published in the catalog of the Nasser Assar Peintures exhibition in Paris, at the Galerie de Bellechasse, in 1975. Three works by Nasser Assar exhibited, one reproduced in the catalog, page 70.
« Le Proche, le Lointain (Nasser Assar) », by Paul de Roux, unpublished manuscript text, dated February 11th, following a visit to the studio in Paris, rue des Frères-Voisin, sent with a letter on March 4th.
Gérald Gassiot-Talabot : Arts and Lettres, Verso n° 5. January. « Odeur du temps »”page 12 : « La Chronique de Gérald Gassiot-Talabot ».
Maurice Estrade : « Nasser Assar. L’artiste du mois », Art, Asset Management, n° 64. September 1997, page 39.
Le grand prénom, by Yves Bonnefoy, Rémy Maure éditeur, Clichy. First edition illustrated with 8 original lithographies by Nasser Assar.
Nasser Assar, 1999
« Nasser Assar. Sur le bord du monde » by Paul de Roux, text accompanied by ten oils on paper by Nasser Assar in Poésie 99. Poésie noire poésie blanche, bimonthly review of today’s poetry. Pierre Seghers Founder. n° 78 / June 1999.
Donation by Roger Munier of his portrait painted by Nasser Assar (oil on paper mounted on canvas, 1978), to the Bibliothèque littéraire Jacques Doucet in Paris. Work reproduced in the Cahiers de la bibliothèque littéraire Jacques Doucet, n° 3-4, July.
« Philippe Jaccottet », éditions Le Temps qu’il fait. Cahier quatorze, edited by Patrick Née and Jérôme Thélot. Four watercolors by Nasser Assar.
« Yves Bonnefoy / Nasser Assar », revue NU(e) n° 13. March. Interview on painting between Nasser Assar and Jérôme Thélot. Texts by Yves Bonnefoy, Michael Edwards, Michèle Finck, Daniel Lançon, Alain Madeleine-Perdrillat, Patrick Née, Enza Palamara and Livane Pinet-Thélot; about ten reproductions of works by Nasser Assar.
« Nasser Assar. Arbres et rochers », solo exhibition in Nice, at the Galerie Alain Couturier, 9 rue Saint-François-de-Paule. March 8th – April 5th, organized with the help of the rev NU(e), with the support of the Conseil Général des Alpes-Maritimes and the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis. Vernissage on March 8 in the presence of Yves Bonnefoy and the artist. Sixteen works by Nasser Assar exhibited (4 oils on canvas and 12 watercolors). Reading by Yves Bonnefoy. Signature of the review NU(e).
On March 8th, at the Faculty of Letters of Nice, 98 bd. Herriot : « Day dedicated to the work of Nasser Assar », in the presence of Yves Bonnefoy and the artist. Organization Béatrice Bonhomme / Hervé Bosio / Revue NU(e). Lectures by Jérôme Thélot, University Jean Moulin Lyon 3, and Jean-Paul Avice, Historical Library of the City of Paris. Reading by Yves Bonnefoy : « La voix lointaine » (unpublished poem offered as a first publication, published in September 2001 in Les planches courbes). « Le grand prénom » ; « Ce qui fut sans lumière » ; « Dedham, vu de Langham », page 65 ; « L’adieu », page 21 ; « Le haut du monde », page 74, this last poem to celebrate the presence in the public of Philippe and Anne-Marie Jaccottet.
Nasser Assar, essay by Yves Bonnefoy, at Rémy Maure éditeur, Clichy, April. Illustrated with 8 original lithographs of Nasser Assar engraved directly on the stone, printed in 80 copies on BFK de Rives vellum, all numbered and signed by the authors, constituting the original edition. Printed on April 30th, 2001 at the Imprimerie Nationale for the lithographs and the text.
2000 – 2003
« For Bernard Noël », Galerie Remarque / Éditions Unes. Trans-en-Provence. Group traveling exhibition composed of 95 small format works, organized by Stéphanie Ferrat and Jean-Pierre Sintive in honor of Bernard Noël’s 70th birthday, first presented in Trans-en-Provence at the Galerie Remarque, then successively in Cavaillon, Saint-Quentin, Digne, Saint-Étienne-les-Orgues, Sisteron, Aix-en-Provence and Nîmes.
Nasser Assar, 2002
« La Nouvelle École de Paris, 1941-1965 », group exhibition at Ginals (Tarn-et-Garonne), at the Beaulieu-en-Rouergue Abbey / Centre d’art contemporain, organized by Geneviève Bonnefoy, June 23th – September 30th. An oil on canvas from 1963 (146 x 97 cm) by Nasser Assar is presented ; reproduction in the catalog, page 85.
« Lavis de Nasser Assar », L’instant d’après, biannual review, n° 5, with a text by Sébastien Labrusse « Au creux d’un vallon » on page 49, illustrated with 4 washes by Nasser Assar, finished printing on January 30th. The head print is accompanied by an engraving. Éditions Le Temps qu’il fait, Saint-Laurent-sur-Saône.
« Nasser Assar. Au creux du vallon », solo exhibition of watercolors and washes in the chapel of Paris – La Défense, May 5th – June 2th. Text by Jean-Marc Sourdillon on the invitation card to the opening.
« Placards », group exhibition (original prints designed and executed by a writer and an artist, in this case Yves Bonnefoy and Nasser Assar) in Geneva, Espace Nouveau Vallon. Editart, Chênes-Bougeries, October 25th – November 19th.
February 9th : Severe heart surgery. Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital. Paris.
De longues absences, followed by Treize poèmes de l‘hiver en Corrèze, a collection of poems by Alain Madeleine-Perdrillat, La Dogana publishing house, Geneva. Printed October 16th, 2004. The 55 copies of the first edition are accompanied by a lithograph by Nasser Assar. A poem, page 25, is entitled « Pour Nasser Assar ».
« Around Maria Zambrano », group exhibition (on the occasion of the centenary of her birth) in Geneva, in the Espace Nouveau Vallon Editart, Chênes-Bougeries, September 16th – October 3th.
« L’Art du peu », group exhibition – colloquium, works by Nasser Assar, Alexandre Hollan, Christiane Vielle. Galerie Raymond Banas, 36, rue Saint-Marcel, Metz, September 6th – October 22th.
Colloquium « L’art du peu » September 16, 17, 18th organized by Christine Dupouy, lecturer at the University of Metz. On September 17th, « The relationship to painting ». Communication by Jérôme Thélot, professor at the University of Paris XII : « Nasser Assar, the reduction of painting ». The proceedings of the symposium, compiled by Christine Dupouy, were published by L’Harmattan in 2008.
« Nasser Assar. Le geste en offrande », by Béatrice Bonhomme, revue Art Sud, Marseille, n° 45, May-June.
« Yves Bonnefoy. Poésie et peinture 1993 – 2005 », group exhibition at the château de Tours, April 8 – July 3, organized by Alain Irlandes, director of the château museum. Catalog published by William Blake & Co: « Nasser Assar », text by Yves Bonnefoy, page 38 and following, excerpt taken from : « Nasser Assar » published in 2001 by Rémy Maure éditeur in Clichy. Nine works by Nasser Assar exhibited: six watercolors on laid paper; three oils on canvas: Saint-Cézaire, 146 x 89 cm 1983; untitled, 146 x 89 cm, 1994; untitled 146 x 97 cm, 1995. Seven works by Nasser Assar reproduced in the catalog.
Interview on the exhibition collected by Philippe Piguet : « Yves Bonnefoy de la poésie avant toute chose », L’Œil, n° 570, June.
Nasser Assar and Philippe Jaccottet,
Notre-Dame-des-Anges (Vaucluse), 2007
« Les arbres de Nasser Assar », solo exhibition in Paris, at the Galerie Lambert-Rouland, 62 rue La Boétie, October 11th – December. Catalog with a preface by Alain Madeleine-Perdrillat, with a text by Yves Bonnefoy taken from his essay published in issue 13 of the review NU(e), Nice, March 2001.
Béatrice Bonhomme : « Le geste et l’offrande. Rencontre entre Yves Bonnefoy et le peintre Nasser Assar », article taken up and developed from the magazine ArtSud n°45. Silène magazine. Center for Research in Comparative Literature and Poetics at the University of Paris Ouest-Nanterre-La Défense. Fully available online. Date of publication : February 6th, 2007.
« Les Nuagistes », group exhibition in Chartres, in the collegiate church of Saint-André, July 4th – August 31th.
« Nasser Assar – Hanté par l’invisible», solo exhibition in Paris, at the Galerie Christophe Gaillard, April 28th – June 6th. In the catalog, texts by Alain Madeleine-Perdrillat, « Itinéraire de Nasser Assar », and by Rémi Labrusse, « Hanté par l’invisible », fifty three reproductions.
« Artist of the month : Nasser Assar. Célébration du réel », by M. J. Estrade, Gestion de fortune n°198, November 2009, page 73.
L’Herne / Bonnefoy, cahier n° 93, directed by Odile Bombarde and Jean-Paul Avice. It contains a text by Nasser Assar dated October 2006 : « Le sensible et le sens ».
Death of Nasser Assar, July 26 th. Cremation in the strictest privacy at the Père-Lachaise cemetery on Monday, August 1st. In the presence of Yves Bonnefoy and Lucy Vines, who arrived the day before from Berlin, and a few relatives. Musical moment n°2 by Schubert played by Stephen Kovacevich. Short speech by Alain Madeleine-Perdrillat, followed by Christian Jambet. Reading by Jean-Paul Avice of poems by Yves Bonnefoy, including a preview of the last paragraph of « L’Heure présente », a collection of the same title to be published in September. Reading by Jérôme Thélot of poems by Philippe Jaccottet : « Fin d’hiver » et « Airs ».
« Philippe Jaccottet et les peintres », group exhibition in Aix-en-Provence, at the Galerie Alain Paire, 30, rue du Puits-Neuf, June 30 – July 26. Works by François de Asis, Nasser Assar, Claude Garache, Alberto Giacometti, Jean-Claude Hesselbarth, Alexandre Hollan, Anne-Marie Jaccottet and Gérard de Palézieux.
« Au coeur des apparences – poésie et peinture selon Philippe Jaccottet », by Sébastien Labrusse, preceded by « En compagnie des peintres », interview with Philippe Jaccottet. Essais d’esthétiques, Les éditions de la Transparence, Chatou (Yvelines). On Nasser Assar : pages 32 – 33 with a reproduction. May 2012.
Thierry Bouchard, sous la direction de Christian Hubin and François Lallier, éditions Le Temps qu’il fait/ Cahier dix-huit. February. A watercolor by Nasser Assar, Grenades and persimmons, reproduced on page 132.
Au jour le jour 5, Carnets 2000-2005, by Paul de Roux, published by Le Bruit du temps. Paris, January. Text on page 59 : « Atelier de Nasser Assar ».
« Philippe Jaccottet. Juste the poète », review Lettres n° 1, Aden editions, with reproductions of two washes by Nasser Assar.
Nasser Assar, essays, Editions Manucius, Paris. Texts by Yves Bonnefoy, Philippe Jaccottet, Roger Munier, Jean-Paul Avice, Jérôme Thélot and Alain Madeleine-Perdrillat. Sixty seven reproductions.
« Nasser Assar », solo exhibition in Paris, at the Galerie Antoine Laurentin, 23, quai Voltaire, September 13th – October 27th. Bilingual French-English catalog with thirty five reproductions of all exhibited works. Preface by Alain Madeleine-Perdrillat: « Approches de Nasser Assar ».
« Nasser Assar », solo exhibition in Brussels, at the Galerie Antoine Laurentin, 43, rue Ernest-Allard, September 20th – November 9th. This exhibition is essentially a repeat of the one presented in Paris the previous year at the Galerie Antoine Laurentin in Paris.