News

18 September 2015

ABDALLAH BENANTEUR . Art Dubai Modern 2015 - Booth M7 .

ABDALLAH BENANTEUR. Masterpieces from 1982 to 1992.

Claude Lemand.

Born in 1931 in Mostaghanem, Abdallah Benanteur was brought up in an Algerian family and cultural environment, specifically enthralled by writing and illuminated manuscripts, by mystic Muslim poetry, by Andalusian music and songs. He settled in Paris in 1953.

Lacking his native Mediterranean light, Benanteur did not seek out, unlike so many other painters, a similar, physical quality of light, in the South, in Spain or Greece ; rather, he sought out a different light, a complementary one, that of painting, of his painting. The natural ideal of his previous life environment, a ceaseless object of nostalgia, was replaced by an environment suited to his creations : he spent his summer holidays in Brittany and not in the warm and sunny climes of the South. When he paints, engraves or creates books, he isolates himself within a filtered light, whether in his painting studio or in his graphic arts workshop. When he spent four successive months of August in Italy, his eyes perceived the country’s light but his vision was entranced by the light in ancient Italian paintings, which enhanced his palette from 1981 onwards.

Raoul-Jean Moulin.

Among the contemporary painters of the Maghreb, Abdallah Benanteur occupies a singular and exemplary place from an international point of view, through his legitimate and radical refusal of any form of academism, be it figurative, abstract, or post-modern, as well as any folkloric arrangements which would betray the authentic Arabic-Islamic tradition, which invariably ends up, notwithstanding its manner or know-how, within a reductive and normalising impoverishment of genuine popular creativity. On the other hand, he called upon painting, to endow it with a gesture taken from calligraphic principles, and which he always maintained concise, dense, imperiously rhythmic, never tempted to let itself be enclosed or subjected to the sign. It launched forth into the movements of a metaphorical and non-symbolical writing, delving deep into the painter’s background to freight itself with meaning and manifest itself in the men’s world, its only aim being to awaken in each of us the celebration of the imaginary. Because it was in his terrible loneliness, his obstinate silence, his abrupt mysticism and his instinct for transcendence, that he was able to find his genius, his passion for the upsurge and his innate taste for the stroke and the incision, his friend Rachid Boujedra wrote about him in 1987.

Marc Hérissé.
The underlying nostalgia of lost horizons, like in those “Pays - Paysages”, painted by the great Algerian artist, is but one of the facets of his inner world. His splendid oeuvre, universal in its reach, is not only limited to the recurrent viewing of the surroundings of Mostaganem. That is the departure point for a journeying which the artist invites us to share with him. Our eye is forever flickering, marvelling, unable to distinguish the abstract from the figurative, every canvas providing, from one moment to another, a new approach: and so they are revealed to us, multiple, polymorphs, harbingers of mystery, which, like every major work of art be it dramatic, symphonic, poetic or literary, is so rich that one can decode it and interpret it in various ways. Here the tondos, shown among the large square canvases, are not an aesthete’s entertainment, but a focal point, a symbol for the eye and its iris. The palette is iridescent, diaphanous, airy, transparently vibrant, maintained through a very sure touch, masterly, poetic and virile. Flashes of light, be they sunny or stormy, take you beyond the painting’s confines. One is reminded of Turner when faced with these shimmering lights. It is quite another world, but it holds the same magical quality.

Benanteur’s paintings have formal and sensitive beauties, with a strong visual impact, being neither figurative, insofar as the image could replace a photographic object, nor abstract, because there are always rooted within the elements of a deeply observed and felt nature. The recent works are lyrical landscapes, in which the imaginary struggles with deeply buried memories. A floating world, close to that of Chinese painting, in which top and bottom are interchangeable within a limitless space. But Benanteur never leaves any empty spaces, and his surface is worked over with coloured inflections, recalling air’s transparencies, or water’s motions, or else that of scudding clouds, leading to liquid and atmospheric fusion. All of these pictorial sensitivities are obtained from a fine scrumbling, worked over like watercolour with a very sure hand. His colours, sometimes diaphanous, sometimes opaque, provide all the changing beauties of the sun’s spectrum. The light emanating from them is finally the incarnation of the earth’s song.

Available Publications:

BENANTEUR, Paintings. Volume 1 of his monograph, prepared and published by Claude Lemand. Hard cover, 224 pages in colour, 25 x 33 cm. Texts in English and French. ISBN 2-910263-00-2

BENANTEUR, Graphic Works. Volume 2 of his monograph, prepared and published by Claude Lemand. Hard cover 288 pages in colour, 25 x 33 cm. Texts in English and French. ISBN 2-910263-02-9.

30 August 2019

VLADIMIR VELICKOVIC PASSED AWAY ON AUGUST 28, 2019.

10 August 2019

KAMAL BOULLATA (Jerusalem, 1942 - Berlin, 2019) buried in his homeland JERUSALEM.

28 January 2019

DIA AL-AZZAWI, Bilâd al-Sawâd (Black Land) - LE MONDE, 28.01.2019

22 October 2018

A PASSION TO SHARE. The CLAUDE & FRANCE LEMAND DONATION of 1300 artworks to the Institut du monde arabe MUSEUM, Paris.

29 August 2018

NUIT BLANCHE 2018 - YOUSSEF ABDELKE - A DONATION TO FIGHT DEATH IN SYRIA. - Institut du monde arabe, Museum. - 6 OCTOBER 2018.

25 May 2018

ETEL ADNAN - Exhibition from June 15, to October 7, 2018. - ZENTRUM PAUL KLEE, Bern, Switzeland.

16 May 2018

ABDALLAH BENANTEUR, THE SONG OF THE EARTH. Retrospective-Tribute. Exhibition from June 9, to September 9, 2018.

1 March 2018

AZZAWI, SABRA AND SHATILA. Exhibition from April 11 to September 16. 2018. - Musée. Institut du Monde arabe, Paris.

4 February 2018

PICASSO, GUERNICA. - Musée national Picasso-Paris.

22 January 2018

PORTRAIT OF THE-NON-EXISTENT-BIRD. Maison des Arts, ANTONY.

14 January 2018

ABDALLAH BENANTEUR PASSED AWAY ON 31 DECEMBER 2017.

12 June 2017

TONDO INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION - City of Issoudun Museum - France.

7 August 2016

DIA AL-AZZAWI TO LAUNCH RETROSPECTIVE IN DOHA.

24 February 2016

SEGUÍ, PAINTING IN MIRRORS. Musée de l’Hospice Saint-Roch, ISSOUDUN. From 27 February to 22 May 2016.

30 September 2015

MAHJOUB BEN BELLA, WORKS ON PAPER. La Piscine Museum, Roubaix, France. 24 OCTOBER 2015 - 31 JANUARY 2016

24 September 2015

FATIMA EL-HAJJ, THE SONG OF THE EARTH.

18 September 2015

MANABU KOCHI . Art Paris Art Fair 2015 .

18 September 2015

KEVORK MOURAD . Art Paris Art Fair 2015 - Mucem 2015 .

18 September 2015

ABDALLAH BENANTEUR . Art Dubai Modern 2015 - Booth M7 .

27 February 2015

SHAFIC ABBOUD . The Armory Show 2015 + Art Dubai Modern 2015.

25 February 2015

THE AL-AZZAWI EPIC . New York. The Armory Show 2015.

7 November 2014

ETEL ADNAN, Writing Mountains. Museum der Moderne Salzburg. Retrospective, 15 Nov. 2014 - 08 March 2015.

1 September 2014

GERD LANGE DESIGN. In the Context of Serial production. 1962-2007.

3 July 2014

ISSOUDUN - Musée de l’Hospice Saint Roch - Conversation between Claude Lemand and Tom Laurent - Art Absolument - July 2014

21 May 2014

City of ISSOUDUN - PORTRAIT OF THE NON-EXISTENT-BIRD - Exhibition from 22 May to 31 August 2014 .

8 May 2014

ETEL ADNAN AND THE ARAB MODERNITY .

19 March 2014

YOUSSEF ABDELKE - 2 EXHIBITIONS IN PARIS : GRAND PALAIS + GALERIE CLAUDE LEMAND

9 March 2014

TONDO INTERNATIONAL - ART BAHRAIN - ART PARIS ART FAIR 2014

10 January 2014

SHAFIC ABBOUD, THE PROPHET .

28 October 2013

ABDALLAH BENANTEUR. The River and the Volcano. Text by Claude Lemand.

16 October 2013

BENANTEUR, Paintings. LA GAZETTE DROUOT. Exhibitions by Lydia Harambourg.

5 March 2013

Grand Palais - Art Paris Art Fair - C21 Galerie Claude Lemand - 27 mars - 1er avril 2013. Dia Al-Azzawi, Bilad al-Sawad & other works, 1978-2011.

15 November 2012

Claude Lemand. A Passion to share.

20 May 2011

Spring in Paris, next year in Beirut.

Copyright © Galerie Claude Lemand 2012.

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