Fouad Bellamine has established himself with major works that constitute an intimate interweaving of aesthetics and memory and assert a sovereign autonomy of painting in the Arab world, where literature has traditionally predominated over the visual culture. He chose to combine the act with thought in the early years of his career in an effort to bring painting to a high level of expressivity.
His work has since revealed great pictorial mastery while conveying the deep emotion of the painter’s memories. There are recurrent references in his painting to the architectural elements of Fez his birthplace, such as domes, vaults, arches and niches. Like the madeleine of Proust, one of his favorite authors, they encapsulate “the huge edifice of memory”.
Pascale Le Thorel, the author of this broad study, was engaged in discussions with the artist for over a year so as to present a clear picture of his personal trajectory and analysis of his artistic development. The aesthetic concerns of Fouad Bellamine and the contemporary art scene are illustrated from the 1970s up to the present.
The author thus places the depth and richness of the artist’s work in perspective through the interplay between his culture of origin and his references to the history of Western art as well as his reflections on the relationship between the visible, which he “veils”, and the invisible, which he seeks to “unveil”.
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Pascale Le Thorel
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