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Athena LaTocha’s large works on paper explore the relationship between natural and man-made environments.

Made from ink, lead, earth and wood, her works are inspired by her upbringing in Alaska, as well as how our contemporary perception of landscape has changed in the wake of earthworks artists of the sixties and seventies.

Installation view, JDJ, Garrison, NY, 2019

LaTocha unfurls large rolls of paper on the floor and immerses herself in the painting, working from the inside out and using earth-toned inks, soil, and industrial solvents that she applies to the surface using tools such as tire shreds, scrap metal, and bricks.

Installation view, JDJ, Garrison, NY, 2019

Much of LaTocha’s artistic practice is rooted in the direct experience of wilderness, the untrampled landscape, and the unyielding power of nature. Equally, she feels an affinity for industrial sites, such as quarries and gravel pits, which represent human intervention and a reworking of the natural world.

Installation view, JDJ, Garrison, NY, 2019

Thirteen Days was initiated outdoors on the desert floor near Santa Fe, NM, retains a trace of the weather and natural elements in the gestures captured on paper.

Athena LaTocha
Thirteen Days, 2017-2019
ink and earth on paper
44 × 120 × 2 inches

Two new works in this exhibition feature supple sheets of lead that were hand-molded around decaying trees on the property of Wave Hill in the Bronx during a 2018 residency, propped up by large branches she collected from the shores of the Hudson River.

Athena LaTocha
Winterkill, 2018-2019
ink and earth on paper, lead, steel, wood
47 × 101 ½ × 58 inches

Athena LaTocha
Winterkill, 2018-2019
ink and earth on paper, lead, steel, wood
47 × 101 ½ × 58 inches (detail)

Athena LaTocha
Murderers Creek, 2018-2019
ink and earth on paper, lead, steel, wood
signature on verso
44 × 84 × 39 inches

Athena LaTocha
Murderers Creek, 2018-2019
ink and earth on paper, lead, steel, wood
signature on verso
44 × 84 × 39 inches (detail)

Athena LaTocha is the recipient of prestigious artist grants, residencies and awards, among them the Joan Mitchell Foundation in 2019 and 2016, Wave Hill in 2018, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in 2013. She has recently exhibited at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; International Gallery of Contemporary Art, Anchorage, AK; CUE Art Foundation, New York; Artists Space, New York; New York State Museum; South Dakota Art Museum; and the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, NM.

Press Release