As part of our inaugural program at 540 West 25th Street, we will present a site-specific installation of custom wallpaper and framed paste paper works by Yto Barrada in the first-floor library.
Inspired by designs that the artist discovered in the endpapers of books within the library of the late architect Luis Barragán at his home in Mexico City, Barrada created a wallpaper that covers the entire south wall of the library. Additionally, the exhibition will feature a series of smaller framed works on paper that influenced Barrada's special commission for Pace.
Barrada's wallpaper employs the techniques of paste paper-a centuries old practice used to embellish book covers and end papers with decorative patterns and abstract designs. This paper fills the wall of the gallery's new research library which holds Pace's vast archival materials and catalogues produced throughout its nearly six-decade history. Dating back to the 16th century, paste paper is one of the oldest decorated-paper forms used by bookbinders, a connection that ties to the library as the exhibition space for the work. This traditional technique consists of applying paint in one or more colours to a sheet of paper with a brush or sponge. Directly after the application of the paint, decorative patterns are made using various tools. Deviating from the traditional technique, Barrada's wallpaper was made using everyday objects, a comb, keys, a twig, fingers. Enrolling the help of friends, kids, and collaborators, the artist's paste papers let go of the traditional precision of the technique in favour of moments of play and spontaneity.
A series of framed practice pieces will be installed directly over the wallpaper, referencing the endpapers found in Luis Barragán's studio library in Mexico City. The artist found these papers in books with titles such as: The Art of Gardens; The Grain Silo-Citadels of Morocco; Coatlicue; Max Ernst; Spanish Andalucia and Parables and Evangelical Allegories, among others, will be installed directly over the wallpaper. In conjunction with the exhibition at the gallery, Pace will also highlight Barrada's work during its first year participating in Printed Matter's New York Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1, taking place from September 21-September 22. The booth will feature Barrada's Mnemonic Phrases [Formules mnémotechniques], a set of ten letterpress prints, and will celebrate the Swiss Office of Culture's award for Tree Identification for Beginners as one of the Most Beautiful Swiss Books of 2018. Yto will be signing books in the booth on the evening of Thursday, September 19th.
Press release courtesy Pace Gallery.