The Story of the Evolution of a Falling Star

September 2 - October 2, 2021

168 Suffolk Street, New York, NY 10002


Trotter&Sholer and ARTMATIC are pleased to present a solo exhibition by Pajtim Osmanaj, The Story of the Evolution of a Falling Star. Inspired by his childhood in Kosovo, this exhibition investigates the dual or ambivalent nature of experience and memory. His works have a dreamlike quality that carries connotations of recollection and the subconscious.

As a child, Osmanaj learned about falling stars. The rumor was that if you saw a falling star and made a wish, the star would grant it. Osmanaj hoped that he was worthy enough to have his wish granted. The conflation of the burning flashes of falling stars and falling bombs complicated the tale. Osmanaj often wonders about the complications of competing wishes, or wishes made on the wrong flashes of light. The experience of conflict in Kosovo created a collision of wishes, which is where the fairytale ultimately dies. Wishes that could save the world become empty and hopeless.

The inclusion of curtains in many of his works alludes to performance, subconscious, memory, and storytelling. They provide a barrier between wishes, preventing them from interfering with each other. Curtains obscure, but they also offer the opportunity to unveil something beautiful. That the curtains are not fully drawn aside, and continue to obscure portions of the field of view indicates that we are accessing the story at its moment of conception. This reminds the viewer that we have only glimpses of the account and we are caught in a moment of anticipation and interpretation. In A Time To Flare, Here, and Falling Star, the stars break through the curtains, shattering the expectations of boundaries and separation.

For Osmanaj, space and material are essential to his process. Osmanaj brings his history with him by referencing the places he has been in his work. Osmanaj’s works reveal often colorful mountainous shapes created by his characteristic “wrinkle” style, a technique developed when Osmanaj worked construction as a means of supporting his artistic ambitions. Osmanaj found himself enamoured with the marks made on the drop cloths of his construction sites. He worked with the idea of crinkling and wrinkling canvas and then combining them into collaged pieces. An installation of tiles connects his work to his studio. Each tile is created with an imprint of the tin tile of his studio wall. In this way, viewers are invited into his world and offered the opportunity to share in his narrative.

The Story of the Evolution of a Falling Star is on view at Trotter&Sholer Gallery through October 2, 2021.

Virtual Tour