BENANTEUR, THE TESTAMENT. Paintings from 2003 to 2011.
Abdellah Benanteur’s blazing landscapes are rooted in a two-folded anchoring. The great Algerian painter, born in Mostaganem in 1931, arrived in Paris in 1953. Following the Arab-Islamic tradition, his culture fuses non-figurative art with a personal lyricism, which reflects the beauty of a lost nature that has been found again. The nostalgia of the deserts’ and the Mediterranean’s far away horizons is transposed into Brittany’s vast seascapes. With honeycombed touches of paint, he recreates the shifting beauty of the spectrum of the sun, which transform the landscape, unsettled like its imaginary world. His painting is polymorphous as it is penetrated by scansions, formal elements harmoniously put together and painted with a carefully mastered freedom. His accomplished skills as a painter bear witness of his familiarity of the great masters, which he had seen at the Louvre and in Italy.
There are no empty spaces in his vibrant paintings bursting with translucent and opaque colours, making way for the light of the sun or of the twilight to pierce through the canvas. His painting is universal and reveals itself as a broad touch with symphonic accents that celebrate the great original forces, hinted by iridescent, marbled, aerial textures in unison with the sky, clouds, ocean and wide cosmic areas enshrouded with transparencies. Nor high, neither low, similar to Chinese painting, in his visual poems with its lyrical arborescence constantly expanding. His paintings are executed with a movement reminiscent of calligraphy cherished by a fine glazing. They are metaphorical, symbolical. They are an ode to life."
(Lydia Harambourg, Gazette Drouot, 4 October 2013, page 231).
Translated from French by Valérie Didier Hess.