From 24 October 2015 to 31 January 2016 - La Piscine Museum, Roubaix, France.

  • Ben Bella, Watercolour on etching, 2008.

    Page d'écriture, 2008. Watercolour on etching, 33 x 25 cm. Private Collection. © Mahjoub Ben Bella. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

  • BEN BELLA, Thaï II.

    Thaï II, 2003. Mixed media on thai paper, 79 x 55 cm. Donated by the artist. Museum, Institut du monde arabe, Paris. Fonds Claude & France Lemand-IMA 2019. © Mahjoub Ben Bella. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

  • Ben Bella, Maya.

    Maya, 2009. Mixed media on Nepal paper, 88 x 68 cm. Museum, Institut du monde arabe, Paris. Donation Claude & France Lemand 2019. © Mahjoub Ben Bella. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

Mahjoub Ben Bella, Works on paper. La Piscine Museum, Roubaix, France.

24 OCTOBER 2015 - 31 JANUARY 2016

Museum’s Press Release.

A com­panion of the Roubaix museum long before its premises were estab­lished in the pool of the rue des Champs, Mahjoub Ben Bella will be exhibiting there his graphic works this fall. Although the artist is renowned for his large com­po­si­tions that unveil a per­sis­tent and whim­sical move­ment, La Piscine took the deci­sion of dis­playing the works on paper that accom­pa­nied the painter since the begin­ning of his artistic career.

The signs are still pre­sent in these del­i­cate works. On the works on canvas, the signs could be inter­preted as a song that is to be lis­tened to and looked at, yet on the works on paper, the signs are to be deci­phered and read, like an unfin­ished novel that fol­lows the path of the artist’s life, story, mem­o­ries, cul­ture and pas­sion...

More than a hun­dred works have been brought together on this occa­sion, show­casing Ben Bella’s multi-faceted oeuvre on paper. Even the quality of the paper used adds to the pre­cious dimen­sion of this work. The rich­ness of an unre­strained inspi­ra­tion is exposed to our wide-open eyes through the inti­macy of his sketch­books. The variety of shapes and of ‘art informel’ some­times places us before the vir­tu­osity of an abstract style and at other times we stand before the mag­ical memory of an archi­tec­ture that is just as much sacred than it is imag­i­nary. His graphic oeuvre is char­ac­ter­ized by the water­color’s dis­crete ele­gance, the gouache’s mat thick­ness, the black ink’s graphic stri­dency, the self-cen­tered page lay­outs and the motifs that cover the sur­face of his works.

The exhi­bi­tion is held in the sen­si­tive cocoons of the cabins along the large pool, hence inducing the audi­ence to be in com­mu­nion with the coher­ence and diver­sity of his work, that is rec­og­nized as being today one of the most orig­inal and most varied oeuvre, qual­i­fied by its own inde­pen­dent moder­nity.

Since 1996, the Roubaix Museum has under­taken sev­eral pro­jects with Mahjoub Ben Bella. Through the diver­sity of tech­niques, periods and sup­ports that are rep­re­sented in this exhi­bi­tion, this new adven­ture trig­gers another type of emo­tion and another aspect of an artist, whose ori­gins have superbly nur­tured the aes­thetic land­scape of our region since he arrived in Tourcoing in 1965.

Curators :
Brigitte Ben Bella and Sylvette Botella-Gaudichon.
The Catalogue of this exhi­bi­tion is pub­lished by Atelier Galerie Éditions. Text by Art Historian Alain Jaubert.

Translated from French by Valérie Hess

Copyright © Galerie Claude Lemand 2012.

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