Frieze New York

Latifa Echakhch

Past
May 18 – May 22, 2022
New York
 
Art Fair Details:

Frieze New York
Booth B12
May 18 – 22, 2022

Connect:

Frieze New York
@friezeofficial
@pacegallery
@latifa.echa

Above: Latifa Echakhch, Night Time (As Seen by Sim Ouch), 2022 © Latifa Echakhch

Pace is pleased to detail its presentation of new paintings by Moroccan-born, Switzerland-based artist Latifa Echakhch at the 2022 edition of Frieze New York.

The gallery’s booth will elaborate on Echakhch’s solo exhibition at Pace’s London space, Latifa Echakhch: Night Time, on view through May 4. The works at the fair also relate thematically to the artist’s presentation, titled The Concert, at the 59th Venice Biennale, where she is representing Switzerland. Spotlighting six paintings created by Echakhch in 2022, Pace’s Frieze New York booth brings to the fore the artist’s distinct visual vocabulary of signs, systems, and allusions.

Echakhch, who joined the gallery’s program in 2021, often explores the ways that everyday objects and images can be transformed—by way of enactments of erasure and destruction—into signifiers of identity, history, and mythology. Her practice spans painting, installation, sculpture, and sound works, and she has said that she has “no other goals but questioning the world around me.” Through sensorial abstractions that meditate on personal and societal conflicts, memory, time, and migration, Echakhch mines the political meanings of a diverse range of materials. In 2015, Echakhch was awarded the Zurich Art Prize and presented the solo exhibition Screen Shot at the Museum Haus Konstruktiv in Zurich. She won the Marcel Duchamp Prize, France’s most vaunted art award, in 2013. Echakhch has exhibited her work at museums around the world including the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Pinault Collection, Venice; and Tate Modern, London, among other institutions.

In her new body of work, Echakhch employs a naive fresco method of painting to transpose images of nightlife in Lausanne, Switzerland—created by photographer Sim Ouch, a friend of the artist—onto canvas. Featuring twisting and contorted limbs, Ouch’s high exposure photographs capture the frenetic energy of nighttime gatherings. Echakhch treats her canvases with a mix of concrete and vinyl glue, which, once set, she cuts in a labor-intensive, highly physical process that leaves cracks and fissures in the composition. These voids reveal images of fragmented bodies in the layer beneath.

Paintings in this series, which is the focus of Pace’s Frieze New York presentation, feature textured, sculptural surfaces that reflect the mountainous landscape surrounding Echakhch’s studio in Switzerland. Engaged with the histories of formalism and abstraction, these works are exhibited in a darkened environment, immersing viewers in enigmatic, disjointed figurative scenes and imposing, rocky formations.

 
Artist Film

Latifa Echakhch's Night Time

Our latest film spotlights the new figurative paintings in Latifa Echakhch's upcoming Frieze New York presentation, which elaborates on the artist's recent solo exhibition Night Time in London. Using a naive fresco method of painting to transpose images of nightlife—captured by photographer Sim Ouch—onto canvas, Echakhch conjures the frenetic energy of nocturnal gatherings in this new body of work. The artist's works at Frieze will also relate thematically to her presentation at the 59th Venice Biennale, where she is representing Switzerland.

 

Featured Works

Latifa Echakhch, Night Time (As Seen by Sim Ouch), 2022, Acrylic and concrete on canvas, 200.2 cm × 150.2 cm × 2.6 cm (78-13/16" × 59-1/8" × 1")

Informed by how everyday objects and imagery can be transfigured into signifiers of identity, history, and mythology, Latifa Echakhch’s practice takes the form of painting, installation, sculpture, and sound. Describing her work as “a question of power and postures,” Echakhch states she has “no other goals but questioning the world around me.” Throughout her career, Echakhch has constructed a visual vocabulary of signs, systems, and references rooted in her impulse to convey the experience of a feeling, transcending that which is easily defined and arriving at the intangible.

Latifa Echakhch, Night Time (As Seen by Sim Ouch) (diptyque), 2022, Acrylic and concrete on canvas, 200.2 cm × 150.2 cm × 2.6 cm (78-13/16" × 59-1/8" × 1") each panel 200.2 cm × 300.4 cm × 2.6 cm (78-13/16" × 9' 10-1/4" × 1") overall
Latifa Echakhch, Night Time (As Seen by Sim Ouch), 2022, Acrylic and concrete on canvas, 200.2 cm × 150.2 cm × 2.6 cm (78-13/16" × 59-1/8" × 1")

The present works belong to her new series, Night Time, and connect to The Concert, her presentation at the Swiss Pavilion in Venice this year, where she employed abstract conditions of light, form, and sound theory to provoke an experience akin to “leaving a concert,” in which a visitor’s “heartbeat [is] transformed, more calm, more intense.” The series, which debuted at Pace’s London gallery, is the artist’s most figurative to date, bringing the presence of the body into her distinctive visual lexicon. Enlisting ideas of theatricality and performativity, this exhibition transforms the galleries into an immersive environment in which Echakhch invites visitors into her world. The physicality of both the material and the artist’s process of making gives the artworks a bodily, quasi-sculptural quality that imbues them with ideas of temporality. By presenting the paintings in a darkened room, Echakhch controls how the works are perceived, extending the atmosphere of the nightlife images into the viewer’s space. The viewer becomes both participant and spectator, at once a part of the mass of bodies and separate from the spectral figures moving mysteriously beneath the paintings’ rocky surface.

Latifa Echakhch, Night Time (As Seen by Sim Ouch) (diptyque), 2022, Acrylic and concrete on canvas, 200.2 cm × 150.2 cm × 2.6 cm (78-13/16" × 59-1/8" × 1") each panel 200.2 cm × 300.4 cm × 2.6 cm (78-13/16" × 9' 10-1/4" × 1") overall

The works begin with photographs taken by Echakhch’s friend, the artist Sim Ouch. Characterized by high exposure and enigmatic compositions where bodies and limbs are entangled or twisted, the images capture the nightlife of their community of friends in Lausanne, Switzerland. Echakhch employs a naive fresco method of painting to transpose these images onto canvas, which she treats with a mix of concrete and vinyl glue. Once set, Echakhch cuts into the dense material, a violent and labor intensive process that leaves cracks and voids in the composition, revealing fragmented bodies in motion below. The striations in the concrete speak at once to geography and the mountainous landscape surrounding her studio in Switzerland, as well as the histories of formalism and abstraction.

Latifa Echakhch, Night Time (As Seen by Sim Ouch), 2022, Acrylic and concrete on canvas, 200.2 cm × 150.2 cm × 2.6 cm (78-13/16" × 59-1/8" × 1")
Latifa Echakhch, Night Time (As Seen by Sim Ouch), 2022, Acrylic and concrete on canvas, 200.2 cm × 150.2 cm × 2.6 cm (78-13/16" × 59-1/8" × 1")
 
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About the Artist

Currently based in the Swiss cities of Martigny and Vevey, Latifa Echakhch was born in 1974 in El Khnansa, Morocco. When she was three, her family relocated to France, where she attended the École supérieure d’Art de Grenoble and later received degrees from the National School of Arts Cergy-Pontoise and the Lyon National School of Fine Arts. She began her studio practice in 2001.

Learn More

To inquire about works by Latifa Echakhch, please email us at inquiries@pacegallery.com.