Maysha Mohamedi


May 12 – Jul 1, 2023
New York
Exhibition Details:

Maysha Mohamedi
May 12 – July 1, 2023


540 West 25th Street
New York


Press Release


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Above: Maysha Mohamedi, Mrs. Law, 2023 © Maysha Mohamedi

Pace is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Maysha Mohamedi at its 540 West 25th Street gallery in New York.

On view from May 12 to July 1, this show, titled Gamebreaker, will mark the artist’s debut exhibition with Pace and her first-ever solo presentation in New York. Gamebreaker will coincide with the 2023 editions of Frieze New York and TEFAF New York.

Mohamedi, who joined the gallery’s program in 2022, is known for her singular approach to Color Field painting. A self-taught artist raised in San Luis Obispo, California and now based in Los Angeles, Mohamedi has developed a new mode of atmospheric abstraction that reflects the patchwork of scenes, objects, and environments that comprise her life, creating paintings that function as maps of sensation, cognition, and experience. Through a distinct visual lexicon of forms, symbols, and marks, the artist infuses her canvases with a rhythmic energy that suggests unfolding poetry. The calligraphic lines that proliferate across her compositions possess an oneiric quality, as if the complex layers of form and color are part of an arcane choreography. Replete with personal resonances and liberated from the constraints of the three-dimensional world, Mohamedi’s immersive, illimitable works invite viewers into a spirited exchange and communion.

Investigations into the expressive possibilities of color are central to the artist’s practice. Each of her works begins with two fixed variables: a color palette that she has culled from printed ephemera or found objects, along with an encounter, experience, feeling, or idea. As part of her process, Mohamedi records the formulas for her paintings in notebooks, documenting the colors and conceptual underpinnings of every artwork she produces. From that point, she takes an intuitive approach, eschewing preliminary sketching to forge lyrical choreographies of color and form directly onto her canvases. Line is a central component of the artist’s work—early in her process, she uses a mechanical pencil to draw standalone linear forms, as well as the individual marks that comprise various shapes, on her paintings. Employing subtractive and additive techniques, Mohamedi foregrounds enactments of fragmentation and cohesion in her networks of shape and line. Her paintings are spaces for exploring qualities of contact and touch, and the surfaces of her works become tactile expressions of immediate encounters in the present moment.

Mohamedi’s upcoming exhibition with Pace in New York will spotlight a selection of new paintings varying in scale. While some of these works chronicle the artist’s experience or interpretation of specific situations, others can be understood as portraits of people in her life. Cheers to My Children (2022), the largest work Mohamedi has ever produced, will figure prominently in her show. As its title suggests, the artist created this work as a monumental and deeply personal expression of love for her two young sons.

With a color palette derived from a children’s poetry book dating to the 1960s, Cheers to My Children centers on formal pairings. Each abstraction bears subtle but unmistakable differences from its counterpart, and no two forms in a pairing are rendered in the same color. Delicate lines cut around and across these constellations, giving the composition a buoyant, energetic quality. This emotionally resonant work brims with visual idiosyncrasies that reveal themselves to viewers through thoughtful looking.

In Gifted and Moody on Torrey Pines Beach (2022), another work in the exhibition, the artist brings her abstract forms into close conversation, capturing the intimacy that comes with the discovery of a shared experience between acquaintances. The largest form in the painting is also the work’s most vibrant element, executed in a luscious red tone, while other abstractions are presented in muted green, yellow, grey, and the artist’s signature black pigment. At once lively and harmonious, Gifted and Moody on Torrey Pines Beach evokes the attendant gratitude and joy of an unexpected interpersonal connection.

Mohamedi’s layered paintings, which she constructs through a series of ritual gestures, can be understood in conversation with those of Abstract Expressionist forebears like Willem de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, and Joan Mitchell, as well as Color Field painters like Mark Rothko, and a range of other pioneering abstractionists that have blurred the line between the graphic and painterly mark, in particular Cy Twombly. Her vibrant and innovative works register certain conditions specific to Los Angeles—and to American life as a whole—in the early 21st century.

Exhibition Film

Maysha Mohamedi on Cheers to My Children

Maysha Mohamedi offers a behind-the-scenes look at the processes and inspirations behind her painting "Cheers to My Children," a monumental and deeply personal expression of love for her two young sons.


Featured Works

Maysha Mohamedi, Gifted and Moody on Torrey Pines Beach, 2022, oil on canvas © Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 83" × 73" × 1-1/2" (210.8 cm × 185.4 cm × 3.8 cm)
Maysha Mohamedi, My Sam, 2022, oil on canvas, 83" × 73" (210.8 cm × 185.4 cm)
Maysha Mohamedi, Arrakis, 2023, oil on canvas, 77" × 88" × 1-1/2" (195.6 cm × 223.5 cm × 3.8 cm)
Maysha Mohamedi, Mrs. Law, 2023, oil on canvas, 63" × 51" (160 cm × 129.5 cm)
Maysha Mohamedi, God Makes Rivers in My Dessert, 2023, oil on canvas, 71-1/8" × 61" × 1-1/2" (180.7 cm × 154.9 cm × 3.8 cm)

Installation Views


About the Artist

Maysha Mohamedi’s works are reflections of her own thinking, crystallized as moments of haptic communion. The artist’s academic background in neuroscience is found in the liveliness and expansiveness of her paintings. Liberated from the constraints and dictates of the three-dimensional world, her immersive works exude a sense of freedom and illimitability.

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