• David Eichholtz

Mokha Laget’s Improvisational Approach to Geometry and Color On An Intimate Scale In Third Solo Show


Mokha Laget Capriccio VI, 2019 Acrylic gouache on linen 12 x 16" Click here to view the exhibition





MOKHA LAGET Improvisation: Geometry And Color October 6 through October 29, 2021

Mezzanines David Richard Gallery, LLC 211 East 121st Street | New York, NY 10035 P: (212) 882-1705 www.davidrichardgallery.com

David Richard Gallery is pleased to present Improvisation: Geometry And Color, Mokha Laget’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. This presentation will be on view from October 6 through October 29, 2021 in the Mezzanines at David Richard Gallery located at 211 East 121 Street, New York, NY 10035, Phone: 212-882-1705, email: info@DavidRichardGallery.com and website: DavidRichardGallery.com. A digital exhibition catalog will be available along with images of the artworks, installation views and videos as they become available at the following link: https://www.davidrichardgallery.com/exhibit/566-mokha-laget .





Mokha Laget

Capriccio VIII, 2019

Acrylic gouache on linen

16 x 12"


Click here to view the artwork




Laget’s paintings are typically medium to large size and occasionally, have increased to a monumental scale. All are painted on canvas and mounted on stretcher bars that frequently generate shaped perimeters, which become an integral part of the compositions and resulting illusory effects along with the color palettes and surfaces — each formal element contributing equally to the visual experience. However, Laget also enjoys working on a smaller, more intimate scale, which is the focus of this presentation. Included in this exhibition are selections from two different media and supports: paintings of acrylic and gouache stretched on linen and a series of lithographs printed on Rives BFK paper.






Mokha Laget Capriccio X, 2019 Acrylic gouache on linen 12 x 16" Click here to view the artwork





First, the selections from a recent series of small paintings on linen that measure 12 to16 inches in size: the Capriccio paintings. These small works reference the imaginary architectural landscapes of the 19th century in their complex yet free arrangement of geometric shapes. Like the larger shaped canvases, they are spatial and architectural in nature, but operate more like a language with an underlying syntax. The artist begins with very few specific lines to hinge the first shapes—they are no longer tied to the grid. The shapes are arranged like abstract scenery or visual poems emerging purely from an intuition of the right proportions and formal dynamics. “These paintings follow no particular strategy but rather my internal compass where each new shape grows and develops organically from its own dynamics, like cloud formations.” They address complex relationships of form and color like the rich and diverse language of a contemporary choreography. There is no symmetry, no gravity yet the works are in movement, elegant and balanced. They operate between silence and sensation.






Mokha Laget

Capriccio II, 2019

Acrylic gouache on linen

16 x 12"


Click here to view the artwork




In the artist’s words, Laget further comments on the Capriccio paintings:


“These small linen works are complex articulations of imaginary space through the free arrangement of geometric shapes. Spatial and architectural in nature but without gravity, they operate like a kind of visual poem. Off the grid and hinged together by a few lines, the shapes are arranged like abstract scenery emerging purely from an intuition of right proportions and formal dynamics. They follow an aesthetic strategy similar to the 18th century's imaginary architectural paintings called capriccios. The term also refers to free-form music which is perhaps more closely associated with the process of improvisation. Each shape grows dynamically and organically -- the way cloud formations might develop -- and speaks the language of contemporary dance choreography.”






Mokha Laget Capriccio III, 2019 Acrylic gouache on linen 12 x 16" Click here to view the artwork





The second body of work is a suite of seven colored lithographs titled Off The Grid, each printed on Rives BFK paper in 2016 by Landfall Press, Inc. in New Mexico and presented in a handsome box set as an edition of thirty. The imagery in this series bridges Laget’s larger shaped canvases and the newer, more architectural Capriccio paintings. The colorful geometric shapes in the lithographs are connected one to the other and the combined forms float on the page, which has a grided ground that reads as graph paper. The final shapes are clearly not conventional grids and hence, the title. In fact, a couple of these structures have been realized as large-scale shaped canvases, such as Catwalk, 2017 (see below).






Mokha Laget Catwalk, 2017 Flashe and pigment on shaped canvas 42.5 x 99 x 2" Click here to view the exhibition





The lithographs predate and, in many ways prefigure the Capriccio paintings. In particular, the singular floating structures comprised of geometric structures such as cubes, rectangles and flanged appendages have an architectural air about them, just as those in the Capriccio paintings.







Mokha Laget Off The Grid #1, 2016 Lithography on Rives BFK paper Edition of 30 19.75 x 22" Click here to view the artwork





About Laget’s Painting:


Laget’s paintings are rooted first and foremost in color and color theory. The artist pairs an innate color memory with an intuitive sense of corresponding hues to leverage her work in visual dimensionality. "I have near perfect recall to match the colors in my mind, like perfect ear pitch for sound,” the artist states. Laget’s paintings are distinctive for their impeccable surfaces, built up with multiple layers of paint yielding a perfect flatness. Relying on perspective, extreme vector geometry, and the oscillation of color temperature through adjacency, Laget conveys a sense of volume and illusory space by keying up the internal compositional dynamics in conjunction with the shape of the canvas’ outer perimeter. Her approach is clean, reductive and elegant.







Mokha Laget Off The Grid #2, 2016 Lithography on Rives BFK paper Edition of 30 19.75 x 22" Click here to view the artwork






About Mokha Laget:


Born in North Africa, schooled in France and the US, the artist travelled extensively as an international simultaneous interpreter. Her compositions and color palette are richly informed by foreign geography, cultures, and historical art movements. Laget studied at the Corcoran College of Fine Art in Washington, DC with Paul Reed as well as notable Washington DC artists: Leon Berkowitz and Tom Green. She worked as a studio assistant to Gene Davis for many years. As a painter living and working in Washington DC, she assimilated the works of the founding painters of the Washington Color School including Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, Gene Davis, Thomas Downing, Howard Mehring and Paul Reed. Their approach to non-objective painting explored the use of translucent colors layered on unprimed canvas to create a brilliant range of hues with the greatest economy of means. While those works remained essentially flat, their ingenious combination of shifting color values created a sense of expansive space with minimal colors and at times, on shaped canvas. Laget’s work consistently pushes the boundaries of the Color School aesthetic and concerns, defying Clement Greenberg’s Modernist orientation of depicted flatness. While her historical and technical knowledge of the Washington Color School and international geometric movements runs deep, her divergent experiences have enabled her to find her singular voice and create a unique and fresh body of work.






Mokha Laget Off The Grid #3, 2016 Lithography on Rives BFK paper Edition of 30 19.75 x 22" Click here to view the artwork





Mokha Laget has exhibited internationally for the past 30 years, including in France, Spain, Japan, Italy, Canada, Egypt, England and the United States. Her work has been covered in Art in America, The New Art Examiner, The Washington Post, Art, Ltd, The New Mexican, THE magazine, Dallas Morning News, TREND Magazine, The Washington Review, and the Santa Fean. Her work is in the collections of the Ulrich Museum, Art in Embassies, The George Washington Collection, The University of Texas, The Museum of Geometric and Madi Art, The Artery Collection, The National Institutes of Health and included in many prominent national and international private and corporate collections. Laget lives and works “off the grid” in her studio in the mountains of New Mexico.






Mokha Laget Off The Grid #4, 2016 Lithography on Rives BFK paper Edition of 30 19.75 x 22" Click here to view the artwork





About David Richard Gallery:


Since its inception in 2010, David Richard Gallery has produced museum quality exhibitions that feature Post War abstraction in the US. The presentations have addressed specific decades and geographies as well as certain movements and tendencies. While the gallery has long been recognized as an important proponent of post-1960s abstraction—including both the influential pioneers as well as a younger generation of practitioners in this field—in keeping with this spirit of nurture and development the gallery also presents established artists who embrace more gestural and representational approaches to the making of art as well as young emerging artists.






Mokha Laget

Off The Grid #5, 2016

Lithography on Rives BFK paper

Edition of 30

19.75 x 22"


Click here to view the artwork





In 2015 David Richard Gallery launched DR Art Projects to provide a platform for artists of all stripes—international, national, local, emerging and established—to present special solo projects or to participate in unique collaborations or thematic exhibitions. The goal is to offer a fresh look at contemporary art practice from a broad spectrum of artists and presentations. The Gallery opened its current location in New York in 2017.






Mokha Laget

Off The Grid #6, 2016

Lithography on Rives BFK paper

Edition of 30

19.75 x 22"


Click here to view the artwork





All Artwork Copyright © Mokha Laget, Courtesy David Richard Gallery All photographs by Yao Zu Lu






Mokha Laget

Off The Grid #7, 2016

Lithography on Rives BFK paper

Edition of 30

19.75 x 22"


Click here to view the artwork

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