L’Ecole de Tunis: an introduction
12 November 2018 – 12 January 2019
Unit 23, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai
Elmarsa is pleased to present L’Ecole de Tunis: an introduction, a group exhibition of the most influential artists in Tunisian early history. The exhibition brings together a selection of important paintings and drawings by the pioneers of the Ecole de Tunis, an artistic movement from the mid-twentieth century that sought a new alignment with the experience and values of Tunisian society and culture.
The origins of Tunisian painting goes back to the middle of the 19th century with orientalist painting and the travelling painters coming from different horizons to discover the East. Around 1920, Tunisian painters begun to move away from the rigorous style of the French Academie that was reigning at the time. Through the representation of typical scenes of daily life, Tunisian artists, either native-born or not, were showing greater freedom in their artistic expression and form. Until the independence in 1956, the established artistic styles, mainly narrative figuration, were strongly influenced by the rigorous style of the Academie, thus reflecting an idealized image of reality.
Pierre Boucherle (1894-1988) founded the Group of Four with other painters, which quickly became the Group of Ten, and then evolved into the Ecole de Tunis which held its first exhibition in 1949, including artists Moses Levy (1885-1968), Yahia Turki (1902-1969), Ammar Farhat (1911-1987), Abdelaziz Gorgi (1928-2008), Jellal Ben Abdallah (1921-2017),Edgard Naccache (1917-2006),Antonio Corpora (1909-2004), Jules Lellouche (1903-1963),Aly Ben Salem (1910-2001) and Hatim El Mekki (1918-2003). The group was joined shortly after by artists Nello Levy (1921-1992) (son of Moses Levy), Hedi Turki (b. 1922), Zoubeir Turki (1924-2009), Safia Farhat (1924-2004), Aly Bellagha (1924-2006)and Brahim Dhahak (1938-2011).