(Re)Discover the work of one of the artists in our Collection at the Frédéric Moisan Gallery stand at the Art Paris Art Fair!
The Art Paris Art Fair from 26 to 29 March 2015 is a major event in the Parisian art world. The Art Paris Art Fair invites visitors to discover and uncover new landscapes, from Casablanca to Bangkok, Moscow, Munich, Sarajevo, Zürich or Singapore… The art fair will play host to some 145 galleries from 20 countries who will exhibit a vast array of modern and contemporary art, including photography, design and print art.
Fouad Bellamine will not be presenting at the Contemporary Morocco exhibition at the Paris Arab World Institute because the organisation has decided to focus on younger artists in this lesser-known art scene. This in no way diminishes the vital importance of Fouad Bellamine as one of the founders and precursors of contemporary Moroccan painting. He remains the vital link in the image chain through blazing a trail that other artists could follow. After journeying to Paris to learn painting, he returned to Morocco to paint afresh his country’s cultural history and develop a unique style that future generations of Moroccan artists would emulate. We now have the opportunity to study his work at leisure at the Frédéric Moisan Gallery stand at the Art Paris Art Fair, which has offered him a solo show. As the linchpin between cultures and generations, Fouad Bellamine lives and works between Paris and Rabat, and sees painting as a form of expression. Although literary tradition dominates the Arab world, and the visual arts are often considered less worthy, Bellamine has elevated his art to noble heights. He expertly plays with mystery in his artistic process. The search for light is fundamental. His art is implicit, fluctuating between the desire to shroud or reveal traces or relationships with the environment, architecture and memories of home. Few elements of the outside world are represented in his work, yet neither is it fully abstract, as physical components seem present but obscured. It leads us to believe that we can pick out architectural details; his canvases which at first glance seem abstract inevitably reveal urban landscapes, with almost indistinguishable arches, alcoves, vaults, doorways, walls of houses and silhouettes of buildings. All of these elements are reminiscent of the narrow streets of the artist’s hometown of Fez, and the paintings act in the same way as Proust’s madeleine – conjuring snippets of hidden memory. However, nothing is certain, and Bellamine prefers to describe his art as non-figurative since it always in some way gives a nod to design. He patiently obscures the subject of the painting to prevent it from being named. His work is based on the interplay between the visible and the invisible. The artist uses subtle shades to transport us into a world of the senses, taking us to a place where thought and gesture intertwine. When visible elements are displayed, they are therefore used to paradoxically reveal the invisible. “I am not interested in paintings that reveal the production process. I prefer creative and spontaneous movements. Art doesn’t exist without that impulse,” explains Bellamine. The mastery of combining tones, building up thick layers, using clusters of pigments, colours, subject matter and the body of the painting shows the artist’s intimate relationship with his medium after a long friendship. Bodily movements therefore reign supreme, and the artist’s only subject of attention is the painting itself.
Fouad Bellamine’s paintings will be exhibited in a solo show at the Frédéric Moisan Gallery stand at the Art Paris Art Fair from 26 to 29 March 2015 in the Grand Palais, and year-long at the Frédéric Moisan Gallery, 72 Rue Mazarine, 75006 Paris.