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How it all actually started - MoMA, Yassine Mekhnache and a gallery in construction

The opening of Catherine Ahnell Gallery | freerunning art corp started with a Pop-Up Event in collaboration with MoMA FIlm Festival in the Spring of 2013. The event took place at 29 Mercer Street in New York and presented the award winning film Rengaine (Hold Back) directed by Rachid Djaïdani.

Featured in the film was French artist YASSINE “YAZE” MEKHNACHE, and showcased at the opening were work from Yaze's Solo Exhibition Wandering, which later opened the gallery at 66 Grand street in New York.

But at that moment the gallery space was still under construction fighting against the clock to be ready to host the opening of Yassine Mekhnache's New York debut - Wandering.

All the paintings from the solo exhibition “Wandering" were made during Yaze’s residence at Catherine Ahnell Gallery at 66 Grand street, and realized when the gallery was still in construction. This became part of Rachid Djaïdani's next film project and the acclaimed documentary film ”Encre” (Colorbox) about Yassine Mekhache. The film follows Yaze for one year from Paris to Morocco, Algeria, and the French Alps, to Catherine Ahnell Gallery in New York starting with a difficult break up with his gallerist in Paris.

A true behind-the-scenes-story that gives a real picture of how it is to break through the competetive and sometimes very abstract world of the art industry and it's business. We can follow Yaze's struggles and achievements, personally and professionally, for him to be able to give himself the chance and opportunity to evolve his work and career.

You can now exclusively watch the documentry, Encré, in it's whole here by using the password: encrelefilm.

Left: Documentury Encré about Yassine Meckhnache. Right: Yassine Mekhnache in residence at Catherine Ahnell Galleri

Yassine Mekhnache is a self-taught painter born in Lyon, France, in 1979. He currently lives and works in Paris, France. Mekhnache emerged as a graffiti artist in the early 2000’s, later developing a more classical painting technique using more traditionally established materials. In 2007, Mekhnache started painting on canvases of woven cotton, hand-made by women embroiderers in Tamesloht near Marrakech in Morocco and by embroiderers from Pondicherry in India. His works are hybrids combinding the delicacy of religious embroidery with vibrant expressive painted elements. In these paintings, Mekhnache also incorporates elements drawn with marker pen and dripping paint evoking a spirit found in his earlier street works.

Mekhnache’s work can be found in numerous public and private collections around the world. In 2000 he was awarded the UNESCO ‘Special Jury Prize’ at the Paris / Berlin International Meeting.

In conjuction with our online exhibition "Retrospective 1", you will be able to follow and discover the story of the four artists: Yassine Mekhnache, TANC, Jonas SUN7 and LMDLDZR_ZeeR, through a series of blog posts related to the retrospective.

First out is Yassine "Yaze" Meckhanche. There will be exclusive behind the scenes material released for the first time, and close ups of his unique work techniques and artistic process.

Next up 9/22:

Yassine Mekhnache Part 2 - An artistic medium that unites craftmanship, art, cultures and people from all over the world.

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