Artwork of the month April

Latifa Echakhch, Derives 60, 2015

Latifa Echakhch
* 1974 in El Khnansa, Morocco
Derives 60, 2015
From the series Derives started in 2009
Acrylic on canvas
200 × 150 cm
Purchased with funds from "Stiftung Freunde des Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein"

Latifa Echakhch's work reaches out in different directions, addresses issues of cultural identity, examines authenticity, questions authorship and is full of appropriations, references and allusions that allow a work to be pinpointed precisely in both time and space.

In 2009, the artist created the first paintings in her series Derives. The Situationists in Paris, grouped around the French writer, filmmaker and artist Guy Debord (1931–94) used the term dérive to describe unplanned wandering through an urban landscape. Echakhch’s series is a work in progress, which she continually develops, stage by stage, in her studio. Several canvases of identical size are aligned to form a single surface for the artist to work on. The last canvas in the row forms the starting point from which she then reprises the painterly process at a later time, with the series evolving from right to left. The dialogic principle of the work is evident in the downward sloping network of lines that connect and combine the edges of all the paintings in the series, the number of which could theoretically be infinite.

The purely linear geometric pattern in black follows a classic form of ornament found in Islamic architecture and crafts, but which Echakhch never uses in this way. The ornament is based on a 16-point star whose bilateral symmetry allows it to be endlessly expanded in any direction. Echakhch, however, does not adhere to these structural rules, but works instead with irregular forms. The lines develop a life of their own on the canvas, echoing the urban meanderings of the Situationists. Instead of adopting the existing ornament, which could be copied from canvas to canvas, the result is a series of related yet distinct and unrepeated patterns. Each painting is an autonomous work of art and at the same time, in its respective form, a fragment of a cohesive multipart work. The cultural tradition inherent in the ornament is abrogated in the creative process and transformed in each new painting, without ever cohering into a new order.

Roman Kurzmeyer
<b>Latifa Echakhch, Derives 60, 2015</b>
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein highlights a work from the permanent collection each month throughout the year. Works from the collection of the Hilti Art Foundation are also included in this series on a regular basis.