Los AngelesMaysha Mohamedi: Sacred Witness Sacred Menace
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Maysha Mohamedi’s large-scale abstract paintings energetically fill the gallery with chromatic boldness. Each piece operates using a record of precious symbols and lyrical markings. The discovery of moments imparted by the artist’s personal language presents time and place intertwined with identity. In this new body of work, Mohamedi gestures color in a nuanced way, using paint as a trail that tumbles down the canvas.
Mohamedi applies paint directly to the canvas with her hands, establishing both shapes and amorphic stamps repeatedly in her paintings. The gestural images are spontaneously generated by the process of their creation. The artist releases herself to the vulnerability of the present, providing space for intricacy to emerge.
Mohamedi’s works reflect a fine balance between control and freedom, embracing the raw or imperfect in the variance of her fragmented marks. Energy flows from one piece to the next, the intensity of life translated in line and color. Using a fine tip brush, the artist frees the traditional sense of the line from contour, allowing its own breath to flourish. Thin lines float above a neutral ground or washes of color, giving a sense of weightlessness. The tracings inform their own evolution, allowing the imagery to develop and unfold with naturally occurring distinctions. The viewer’s perceptual understanding of the artist’s work is informed by how she inherently parses together past visual impressions.
At varying stages in her process, Mohamedi uses color in a reductive way by matching the raw canvas ground. She edits moments with a conscious awareness, a palimpsest in essence, visibly adaptive of its history. Each mark becomes emotionally charged and can almost be felt upon sight like the subtle yet potent instant where a line changes color mid-gesture.
Maysha Mohamedi (b. 1980, Los Angeles, CA) received an M.F.A. in painting from the California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA and a B.S. in Cognitive Science, University of California, San Diego, CA. Mohamedi has recently been featured in solo exhibitions at Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York, NY, Halsey McKay Gallery, East Hampton, NY, and group exhibitions at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, CA, Massimo De Carlo, VSpace, Italy, Loyal Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden and Artual Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon. Mohamedi was recently included on a group panel along with Laura Owens and Lisa Diane Wedgeworth at the ICA, Los Angeles, CA, titled Who Are The BIPOC Abstract Artists? a research and discussion session about the creation of a BIPOC abstract artist directory.
Courtesy of the artist and parrasch heijnen gallery, Los Angeles