Gallery  April 6, 2018  Chandra Noyes

Pace Presents Far-Reaching Survey of Yto Barrada

© Yto Barrada, courtesy Pace Gallery; Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, Beirut; and Galerie Polaris, ParisPhotography by Damian Griffiths

Yto Barrada, "Blue Palm," 2016, steel structure with galvanised sheet metal and coloured electrical bulbs with sound, media player, sound bar, electrical wiring and Oak Base. 95-11/16" x 55-7/8" x 26-3/8" (243 cm x 142 cm x 67 cm).

Opening this week at Pace Gallery, is the gallery’s first New York showing of the artist Yto Barrada. “How to Do Nothing with Nobody All Alone by Yourself” is no simple gallery show, either. Spanning three floors of Pace’s 32 East 57 Street location, Barrada’s diverse practice and body of work is fully represented in this survey. Featuring collages, a diverse range of sculptures, dyed and sewn fabric compositions, prints, and films, the exhibition is far-reaching. Head of Pace Marc Glimcher, positions Barrada as "a disruptor," an artist who rejects art world norms, thus forcing the audience to question our own expectations and reality.

© Yto Barrada, courtesy Pace Gallery; Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, Beirut; and Galerie Polaris, Paris

Yto Barrada, "Autocar-Tangier, Figs. 1-4," 2004, C-prints, 34-5/8" x 34-5/8" (87.9 cm x 87.9 cm), each.

Yto Barrada is a French-born and Moroccan-raised multi-media artist, living and working in New York and Tangiers. Barrada is the artistic director and co-founder of Cinémathèque de Tanger, North Africa’s premier cinema cultural center and film archive. Included among her many accolades is being named Deutsche Bank Artist of the Year in 2011. Her work is in the collections of major institutions around the world and includes books, films, photography, and print, which often explores themes surrounding her hometown of Tangiers, its culture, and recent growth. Barrada currently has a major commission on view at the Barbican Curve in London. The installation, “Agadir,” includes a film, mural, and sculptures, inspired by a Moroccan novel of that title, on view through May 20.

Yto Barrada, "Untitled (After Stella, Tangier II)," 2018
© Yto Barrada, courtesy Pace Gallery; Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, Beirut; and Galerie Polaris, ParisPhotography by Mark Waldhauser

Yto Barrada, "Untitled (After Stella, Tangier II)," 2018, cotton, cochineal, madder, indigo, 60" x 60" (152.4 cm x 152.4 cm).

Yto Barrada, "Untitled (Dye filter collage 1)," 2018
© Yto Barrada, courtesy Pace Gallery; Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, Beirut; and Galerie Polaris, ParisPhotography by Mark Waldhauser

Yto Barrada, "Untitled (Dye filter collage 1)," 2018, coffee filters, natural dyes, 9-3/4" x 8-5/8" x 1-1/4" (24.8 cm x 21.9 cm x 3.2 cm).

Yto Barrada, "Untitled (painted educational boards found in Natural History Museum project, Azilal; fig. 5 of 6)," 2013-2015
© Yto Barrada, courtesy Pace Gallery; Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, Beirut; and Galerie Polaris, Paris

Yto Barrada, "Untitled (painted educational boards found in Natural History Museum project, Azilal; fig. 5 of 6)," 2013-2015, chromogenic print, 27-9/16" x 27-9/16" (70 cm x 70 cm).

Yto Barrada, "Untitled (After Stella, Tetuan III)," 2018
© Yto Barrada, courtesy Pace Gallery; Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, Beirut; and Galerie Polaris, ParisPhotography by Mark Waldhauser

Yto Barrada, "Untitled (After Stella, Tetuan III)," 2018, cotton, indigo, annatto, 29" x 30" (73.7 cm x 76.2 cm.

Yto Barrada, "Ornament repertoire of all the Moroccan terra cotta tilework pieces (Zellige), CC," 2013
© Yto Barrada, courtesy Pace Gallery; Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, Beirut; and Galerie Polaris, ParisPhotography by Damian Griffiths

Yto Barrada, "Ornament repertoire of all the Moroccan terra cotta tilework pieces (Zellige), CC," 2013, collage on paper, 23-1/4" x 16-9/16" (59.1 cm x 42.1 cm).

Yto Barrada, "Untitled (North African Toys Series, dolls, © Musée du quai Branly, Mission Dakar-Dijbouti, Mission, Mission Charles le Coeur Paris, Mission Therese Riviere; c. 1930s)," 2014-2015
© Yto Barrada, courtesy Pace Gallery; Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, Beirut; and Galerie Polaris, Paris

Yto Barrada, "Untitled (North African Toys Series, dolls, © Musée du quai Branly, Mission Dakar-Dijbouti, Mission, Mission Charles le Coeur Paris, Mission Therese Riviere; c. 1930s)," 2014-2015, archival pigment print, 23-5/8" x 23-5/8"(60 cm x 60 cm), each of 16 prints.

This exhibition is an eclectic sampling of Barrada’s diverse artistic practice. Two films are featured. “Tree Identification for Beginners” (2017), initially developed for Performa 17, explores Africans’ views of America using a State Department-sponsored trip her mother took to the U.S. in 1966 as a basis. Also showing is her short film “Ether Reveries (Suite for Thérèse Rivière no. 2)” (2017), an homage to and exploration of the French anthropologist Thérèse Rivière (1901–70). Sculptural works include “Play,” oversized wooden toy blocks, a dinosaur mobile, and Barrada’s light-up palm trees. Recent hand-dyed textile compositions inspired by the works of Frank Stella are on display, as are a range of prints.

Yto Barrada's "How to Do Nothing with Nobody All Alone by Yourself" is on view at Pace Gallery, NY through May 5.

About the Author

Chandra Noyes

Chandra is Managing Editor for Art & Object.

Related Stories