Spotlight Visual Artist Sasha Ferré
“My practice is an investigation into those relationships that shape us (humans and more-than-humans such as plants, animals, microbes, fungi). Considering that painting can become a space to celebrate aliveness as awareness of the many relations upon which we depend to be alive.”
She adds: “The current show at Unit London feels to me like the outcome of several years of intensive practice and research. I feel the work is now at a point where it should be. A year ago, I was preparing a solo show in Tokyo. The show took place in summer 2022 during the pandemic, so I could not go. This was very challenging but it ended up being a great experience, one that allowed me to meet incredible people, such as [this week’s champion] Mariane Ibrahim.”
Ever since their first encounter, Mariane Ibrahim, who founded her namesake gallery in 2012, has been an avid collector and champion of Ferré’s paintings. She was therefore the natural choice to shine a spotlight on her work this week.
Ibrahim says: “Sasha Ferré’s work is an amalgamation of illusory and abstract landscapes. When I first encountered her paintings, I felt a sense of otherworldly energy, presented in a rich colour palette filled with energy stemming from gestural strokes and vegetal forms. Her ability to use colour to subject an amount of improvisation is interesting and draws viewers into her world. It is refreshing to see work that feels as if a form will grow off the canvas at any moment.”
In a process comparable to jazz music, Ferré allows abstraction to unfold uninhibited and encourages viewers to form their own interpretations of her artworks. While working on ‘Morphogenesis’, Ferré also became increasingly aware of the environmental damage that is caused from the solvents in oil painting. Wanting to be part of the solution, she now uses oil sticks instead, using her fingers to blend the creamy viscous material onto each canvas.
You can see the result at Unit London gallery until May 20.
About the champion
Seven years after launching her namesake gallery in Seattle, Mariane Ibrahim moved their space to Chicago in 2019. In September 2021, the gallery opened their inaugural European space in Paris and in 2023 opened a location in Mexico City.
The gallery has hosted acclaimed exhibitions, with a founding focus on the African diaspora, from leading and emerging artists. The gallery has worked with global renowned institutions and have had an international presence at art fairs with acclaimed and prize-winning presentations.
In 2021 Ibrahim was awarded The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of the Arts and the Letters) on behalf of the Ministry of culture in France. Notable prizes and appointments include the Prize Winner from Presents Section, The Armory Show 2017, current Selection Committee, The Armory Show, current Visionaries Committee, Performa Arts and member of the Art Dealers Association of America.