BENANTEUR, THE TESTAMENT. Paintings from 2003 to 2011.

From 19 February to 2 April 2017 - Galerie Claude Lemand

  • Benanteur, The Wreck.

    The Wreck, 2009. Diptych, oil on canvas, 150 x 300 cm. Donation Claude & France Lemand. Museum, Institut du monde arabe, Paris. © Abdallah Benanteur. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

BENANTEUR, THE TESTAMENT. Paintings from 2003 to 2011.

Lydia Harambourg.

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.

Copyright © Galerie Claude Lemand 2012.

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