Abderrazak Sahli (1941–2009)
Tolerance and Peace
13 November – 24 December 2016
23, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai
Elmarsa is pleased to present the work of Abderrazak Sahli (1941–2009), one of the most important Tunisian abstract painters of the 20th century. Through a selection of paintings, sculptures and installation works, this exhibition offers to see an oeuvre that remains little known to the public at large.
Artist and poet, Abderrazak Sahli, who was educated in the Koranic school of Zeitouniyya, explored the “defiguration” and “sonorisation” of words and texts as early as 1965. From then onwards he has worked in media as varied as photography, poetry, prints, paintings, books, boxes, bamboo sticks, sculpture, installations. His early figurative paintings later led to more conceptual exhibitions in Paris; combining old photographs and texts in Latin scripts of sonor poetry; other times his works were presented as part of a performance, with paintings and sculptures. His paintings react to a variety of stimuli, mixing unconscious elements with what is conscious, vigorous, and spontaneous. Sahli studied the visual arts and engraving in Tunis and Paris. Since 1970, he started exhibiting his work in Tunis and Paris and then across Africa, Europe and the Middle East. His painting is the link between some of the most important art movements of modern art, American Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism and Russian Suprematism.
His painting is based on a multitude of objects and forms; it translates diversity. The clutter of objects in his canvases and installations is nothing but a representation of the crowd, the dense crowd that is force and movement. “I work to open a dialogue whose key words are Tolerance and Peace. They are at work in the dynamic of mutual enrichment.”