Warith Taha: 9 Failed Attempts at the Self-Portrait

M+is pleased to present 9 Failed Attempts at the Self-Portrait, an exhibition of new works by Warith Taha. This is the artist's first show with the gallery, and his solo debut in Los Angeles. The exhibition opens October 23 and will run through December 4, 2021, with an opening reception on Saturday, October 23 from 6 to 8 pm.


Warith Taha's practice is based on healing through self-inquiry. Through processes of material experimentation and abstraction, Taha creates intimate and emotionally-charged autobiographical paintings that explore his own connections to universal themes of history, race, gender, sexuality and class. Many of the works were made during a recent year-long residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts in his hometown of Oakland, California. The close proximity to his childhood home allowed Taha to make work that drew directly from a material archive steeped in personal connection, including family photos, rocks collected from his childhood home, and remnants of his father’s work shirts. In these multi-textured pieces, there is an emphasis on touch and the reworking of materials  canvases are cut-up and then woven together to create a new surface, puncture holes scratch open the picture plane, pennies are embedded into layers of paint. 

Taha's interrogation of the medium of painting offers an example of what it might look like for one to decolonize the medium through a Black and Queer lens. This endeavor often includes a reimagining of traditional painting materials, canon, technique and processes. Included in the show are works on glass which dematerialize the layers of painting. Works on paper and canvas explore the relationship between figuration and geometric abstraction. Collectively, the works offer viewers a materially-grounded, often figureless approach to painting’s long legacy of self-portraiture.


Warith Taha (b. Oakland, CA) received his M.F.A in Painting from Tyler School of Art and Architecture in Philadelphia, PA and a B.S. in Sociology from Boston College. Taha’s work has been exhibited in group shows at Flxst Contemporary (Chicago, IL), Cherry Street Pier (Philadelphia, PA), and Hiestand Gallery (Oxford, OH). Taha was the 2020 awardee of Headland Center for the Art’s Tournesol Award and the 2021/2022 NXTHVN Fellowship Award. 9 Failed Attempts at the Self-Portrait is his first exhibition with M+B. His work has been written about in New City Art and New American Paintings. Warith Taha lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.


For all inquires, please contact info@mbart.com.