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Frieze Seoul: Sahara Longe
Frieze Seoul: Sahara Longe, 69 September 2023, Seoul, Korea

Timothy Taylor is pleased to return to Frieze Seoul with a booth dedicated to new paintings by Sahara Longe (b. 1994, London). This is the first solo presentation of Longe’s work in Asia, following the artist’s debut exhibition with Timothy Taylor, London in June 2023.

Longe is known for her paintings of semi-abstract figures painted in rich hues. Characterized by a stylized flatness and uncanny quality, the paintings on view at Frieze Seoul feature intimate portraits of figures who never quite meet the eye of the viewer. Longe’s subjects appear distracted, vaguely haunted by something out of frame. Some are isolated, and others are lost in thought within social environments. Her figures stand before gestural suggestions of landscapes and enigmatic interiors—where they withhold emotion, the vibrant hues of their surroundings and simple garments convey multitudes.

Longe studied the traditions of classical portraiture at Charles H. Cecil Studios, an atelier in Florence, where she was trained in the techniques and styles of old-master paintings. She continues to employ materials that would have been used in that era, painting on a thick grain linen with raw pigment in a distinct palette of vermillion, lilac, raw sienna, and ochre, even as her work metabolizes later centuries of the Western art historical canon.

Contextualizing her recent work, Longe has described the pleasure of observing a party, where one might see “strings of people set in distinct poses, some knotted together chatting, occasionally a figure or two who stand looking around, alone and apart.” In the paintings at Frieze Seoul, Longe shifts her interest to these characters who are set apart, suggesting the vividness of their inner worlds. In compositions that move from spare, decisive brushwork to searching expressive marks, Longe captures scenes that simmer with a contemplative tension. Integrating historical strategies of abstraction into portraiture, Longe offers up a startling alternate realism.


Man in Suit, 2023, Oil on linen
Mirror, 2023, Oil on linen
Yellow and Black Sketch, 2023, Oil on linen
Argument, 2023, Oil on linen
Frieze Seoul: Sahara Longe – Timothy Taylor