Abu Dhabi Art
November 15 – 17, 2018
Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Cultural District
Elmarsa is pleased to participate in the tenth edition of Abu Dhabi Art with a group exhibition of leading Modern and Contemporary artists from North Africa. Through a selection of important diverse works, the exhibition offers a perspective on the development of modern art from the region during the second half of the twentieth century up until today.
While working in their respective visual languages and unique mixed media practices, as well as belonging to different generations, Baya (1931-1998), Gouider Triki (b. 1949), Khaled Ben Slimane (b. 1951), Nja Mahdaoui (b.1937) and Samir Triki (b.1950) share a passionate and intellectual engagement in defining their individual and artistic identity through rich and varied influences from their Mediterranean, African and Arab heritage. Inspired by the spirit of self-determination that still animates the whole Arab region as it undergoes historic change, these works offer a lens on rich visual languages composed of folk symbols, geometric forms and abstract compositions influenced by calligraphy, while widening their exploration of the world and diverse aesthetic traditions to give rise to a more universal potential for North African art.
The exhibition continues with the figurative paintings of early Tunisian modernists from pioneers Aly Ben Salem (1910-2001) and Ammar Farhat (1911-1987) to Jellal Ben Abdallah (b. 1921), Aly Bellagha (1924-2006) and Abdelaziz Gorgi (1928-2008) whose realist representations of life in the Maghreb mark a shift away from the orientalist academic style of painting taught in local art schools established by the French Protectorate. A period of experimentation follows with works by prominent postmodernists such as Nejib Belkhodja (1933-2007) who explores abstraction through traditional Tunisian architecture or Hatim Elmekki (1918-2003) whose expressive style became more politically-charged at the end of colonial empires in Tunisia and Algeria.