Capriccio XXVII
2019
16" x 20"
Painting, Gouache and clear gesso on linen
Signed, dated and titled verso
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.

About the Artist
Mokha Laget was born in Algeria and spent her early life in North Africa, France, and the United States.

"I manipulate spatial conventions within the confines of geometric abstraction and engage the viewer in an interactive exploration of perceptual ambiguity within the shaped canvas as object and its embedded planes.

I use a highly refined chromatic sensibility (developed in my formative years in the Mediterranean desert and later as studio assistant to Washington Color School Painter Gene Davis), to alternatively support or undermine the illusionistic spatial constructs of the painting. To that effect, I have developed a clay-based paint with a deeply flat matte and tactile surface which I layer for maximum light absorption.

I create shaped canvases to eliminate the traditional rectilinear boundary, and allow the internal dynamics of the piece to extend beyond the painting to external vanishing points.

My work expands on the WCS and Colorfield painters who avoided techniques suggesting depth, preferring planar surfaces and repetitive elements, whereas I deliberately explore perceptual mechanisms to create scale, spatial disruption and color ambiguity."