KAMAL BOULLATA (Jérusalem, 1942 - Berlin, 2019) repose dans sa ville natale JERUSALEM.

Du 7 août au 6 septembre 2019 - Espace Claude Lemand

  • BOULLATA, Le Nombril de la Terre 1.

    Le Nombril de la Terre 1, 1997. Acrylique sur carton, 17 x 17 cm. Donation Claude & France Lemand. Musée, Institut du monde arabe, Paris. © Succession Kamal Boullata. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

  • BOULLATA, Le Nombril de la Terre 2.

    Le Nombril de la Terre 2, 1997. Donation Claude & France Lemand. Musée, Institut du monde arabe, Paris. © Succession Kamal Boullata. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

  • BOULLATA, Le Nombril de la Terre 3.

    Le Nombril de la Terre 3, 1997. Donation Claude & France Lemand. Musée, Institut du monde arabe, Paris. © Succession Kamal Boullata. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

Berlin, le 6 août 2019.
Décès de KAMAL BOULLATA, artiste et écrivain d’art pales­ti­nien.
Né à Jérusalem en 1942.

Après ses études à l’Académie des beaux-arts de Rome (1961-1965) et l’occu­pa­tion de Jérusalem-Est en 1967, il s’établit aux USA (1968-1992), mène un pro­gramme de recher­ches au Maroc (1993-1996), vit en France (1997-2012), puis à Berlin.

Kamal Boullata avait exprimé le voeu d’être enterré à Jérusalem, dans le caveau fami­lial. Après une semaine de refus caté­go­ri­que, les Autorités israé­lien­nes d’occu­pa­tion ont fini par accor­der à sa famille l’auto­ri­sa­tion de l’inhu­mer à Jérusalem, sa ville natale, ber­ceau de sa famille depuis plus de 600 ans.

Kamal Boullata Family Statement.

Kamal Boullata, the son of Jerusalem, will finally make it back to his home­land for burial at the Cemetery of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem at Mt. Zion next to his family and ances­tors.

Kamal was born in Jerusalem, and grew up in the Old City. His family traces their his­tory in the Old City for over 600 years, accor­ding to the Records of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem and the Arab Orthodox Mukhtar for the Old City, the late Mr. Mitri Toubbeh.

For half a cen­tury, since 1967, he was barred from Jerusalem because he hap­pe­ned to be out of the coun­try, for an exhi­bit in Beirut in 1967 when the Occupation star­ted. All his efforts to return to Jerusalem failed, except for a brief visit in 1984 which was memo­ria­li­zed in the film “Stranger at Home”. However, Jerusalem always stayed in his heart, and in his art.

His wish was to return and be buried in Jerusalem. After a week of stre­nuous effort by his family and their lawyers, the family was finally gran­ted per­mis­sion today to have his body trans­por­ted and buried in Jerusalem.

The right of every Palestinian to return to his home­land is a sacred right. It is par­ti­cu­larly impor­tant for Jerusalemites, for whom the Holy City is part of their lives and essence. It is sad that so many are denied this right, but it is a bitter satis­fac­tion when someone of his sta­ture and world-known res­pect is finally allo­wed his last wish.

May He Rest in Peace, and may his Memory be Forever.

Biography, from web­site pal­jour­neys.org

Kamal Boullata was born in Jerusalem. His mother was Burbara Ibrahim Atalla and his father was Yusuf Isa Boullata, both of whom were born in Jerusalem. Kamal has three bro­thers and two sis­ters : Isa, Renée, André, Jamil, and Su‘ad. He is the youn­gest in his family. His wife is Lily Farhoud.

Boullata grew up in the Christian Quarter of the Old City, which fell under Jordanian rule after the Israeli occu­pa­tion of West Jerusalem in 1948. He com­ple­ted his ele­men­tary edu­ca­tion at the Collège des Frères and his secondary edu­ca­tion at the St. George’s School ; he gra­dua­ted from it in 1960.

In the absence of an art school in Jerusalem, Boullata deve­lo­ped his artis­tic talent by him­self. During the summer holi­days his parents would send him to the work­shop of Khalil al-Halabi (1889–1964), well known for his pain­ting of icons, in the quar­ter where they lived. There, he lear­ned the art of icon pain­ting. But his real pas­sion was to draw scenes from life and the street where he lived. When he was still an ado­les­cent, art col­lec­tors in the Jordanian diplo­ma­tic corps sought to acquire his water­co­lors, which he pain­ted in their pre­sence. The money he made sel­ling his pain­tings at exhi­bi­tions in Jerusalem and Amman ena­bled him to travel to Italy where he spent four years (1961–65) stu­dying art, gra­dua­ting from Rome’s Academia di Belle Arti, fol­lo­wed by three years (1968–71) at the Corcoran Art Museum School in Washington, DC.

In 1974 he inter­rup­ted his stay in Washington to go to Beirut where, for a short period, he was appoin­ted art direc­tor of a publi­shing house, Dar al-fata al-‘Arabi, a pio­nee­ring ini­tia­tive by the Palestinian Planning Center in Beirut. As senior artist and member of the edi­to­rial board of that house, he desi­gned all the basic tem­pla­tes of the various publi­ca­tions that appea­red in later years.

Boullata has lived in the United States (1968–92), Morocco (1993–96), and France (1997–2012). In 2012–13 he was elec­ted as Fellow of the Wissenschaftkolleg in Berlin, and he lived and worked with his wife in Germany.

Kamal Boullata died on 6 August 2019 in Berlin, Germany.

His works are found in both pri­vate and public col­lec­tions, inclu­ding the British Museum ; the Museum of the Alhambra in Granada ; the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris ; the New York Public Library ; the Bibliothèque Louis Notari in Monaco ; the Zimmerli Art Museum in New Brunswick, NJ ; and Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts in Amman.

In 1993 and 1994, Boullata pur­sued field research on Islamic art in Morocco and Spain as a Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellow. In 2001, and with a grant from the Ford Foundation, he conduc­ted field research on post-Byzantine pain­ting in Palestine.
Moroccan lite­rary critic Abdelkebir Khatibi wrote in his intro­duc­tion to the cata­lo­gue of Boullata’s Surrat al-ard (Navel of the Earth) exhi­bi­tion (Darat al-Funun, Amman, 1998) : “Behind this pas­sion for geo­me­try lies the tra­di­tion of icon-pain­ting, which forged the begin­nings of his artis­tic trai­ning, a tra­di­tion that has main­tai­ned a vene­ra­ble conti­nuity bet­ween Byzantium and the Arabo-Islamic civi­li­za­tion of the Middle East. But Boullata does not content him­self with explo­ring this double tra­di­tion, he dis­pla­ces it, as an artist and as aes­the­ti­cian.”

José Miguel Puerta Vilchez, a Spanish pro­fes­sor of Arab aes­the­tics at Granada University, wrote in his intro­duc­tion to the cata­lo­gue of Boullata’s Bilqis exhi­bi­tion (Meem Gallery, Dubai, 2014) : “Appreciated inter­na­tio­nally, these works were crea­ted using a selec­tion of Arabic maxims and apho­risms extrac­ted from Holy Scriptures and Sufi sour­ces. … The issuing com­po­si­tion of geo­me­tric pat­terns fuses the verbal and the visual in a purely Arab art that is refre­shin­gly modern.”

Introducing Boullata’s exhi­bi­tion … And There Was Light (Berloni Gallery, London, 2015), British art critic Jean Fisher wrote : “Boullata’s entire aes­the­tic output, visual and tex­tual, reflects a life­time devo­ted to resis­ting by subtle, non-vio­lent but fier­cely single-minded means, the forces that seek to extin­guish the Palestinian spirit and its capa­city for joy.”

Kamal Boullata’s arti­cles (in both Arabic and English) have appea­red in exhi­bi­tion cata­lo­gues, antho­lo­gies, and aca­de­mic jour­nals, inclu­ding The Muslim World, Journal of Palestine Studies, Third Text, Cuadernos de Arte, Peuples Méditerranéens, Mundus Artium, and Michigan Quarterly Review. His works have been trans­la­ted into French, German, Italian, Hebrew, and Spanish.

Copyright © Galerie Claude Lemand 2012.

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