The obsession of expressing all emotion in plastic writing, a kind of aggravated malady, or a kind of aggravated state of grace.
MASSIMODECARLO Pièce Unique is very pleased to present What If, the first chapter of Ludovic Nkoth’s forthcoming exhibition at Maison La Roche, opening October 17th 2023.
Black experience. An experience that is often reduced as a site of struggle. Nkoth seeks reconciliation by depicting subjects in mental repose. Given the artist’s diasporic background, having been born in Cameroon and then spending a better part of his teenage years in South Carolina, he understands that interiorities can contain multitudes.
During the course of his year-long residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, Nkoth delved into the archives of Maison La Roche, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, exploring the relationship between Le Corbusier and collector Raoul La Roche who together created the Maison. The home, which embodies the cardinal points of Le Corbusier’s architectural vision, was conceived specifically for La Roche’s collection, acting as an exhibition space for his acclaimed collection of avant-garde artwork. It also forms a pure assemblage of spatial volumes in which domicile and gallery intertwine within a model example of a “promenade architecturale.”
Playing with our expectations, Nkoth conjectures: what if a family of color had lived at Maison La Roche? The paintings rearrange the La Roche “household” physically and visually in order to showcase alternative narratives of home life. Painting for Nkoth grounds this tension, and yet a new narrative is created through it. One pertaining to a sense of belonging and alienation. The ground for his images enfolds within it a surrounding room, its history, and its limitations; just as the ground for the room contains the whole history of architecture. Figuration, materiality, the movement in brushstrokes, the room, and the building: all of them are widening concentric circles in the matrix of sensation within this imaginary. Nkoth arrives at making sense of this sensation.