• International Modern & Contemp auction at Christies

    Sale 7804

    International Modern & Contemporary Art

    27 October 2009, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel

  • Lot 8

    Mahjoub Ben Bella (Algerian, b. 1946)

    Puzzle I

    Price Realised  


    Mahjoub Ben Bella (Algerian, b. 1946)
    Puzzle I
    signed, titled and dated 'Mahjoub Ben Bella Puzzle 1 1996' (o
    acrylic on canvas
    63¾ x 51in. (162 x 130cm.)
    Painted in 1996

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    Ben Bella's compositions are characterized by strong colour and repeated application of sign-like marks which recall script. Colours are concentrated into forms, filled with talismanic script. The symbols are based on Arabic calligraphy, blended with the colours of Western Abstract Expressionism. Ben Bella's signs and symbols have discarded their literal meaning altogether, retaining only pictorial forms. His densely populated works make equal sense in both a European and an Arab context.

    Special Notice

    lots are subject to 5% import Duty on the importation value (low estimate) levied at the time of collection shipment within UAE. For UAE buyers, please note that duty is paid at origin (Dubai) and not in the importing country. As such, duty paid in Dubai is treated as final duty payment. It is the buyer's responsibility to ascertain and pay all taxes due.

    Saleroom Notice

    Please note that the present work is titled, signed and dated twice '"Puzzle I" Mahjoub Ben Bella 1996' on the reverse.


    Canvas Magazine, Vol. 5, No.4, July - August 2009, pp. 108-109 (detail illustrated in colour).


    Tourcoing, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Mahjoub Ben Bella, 18 January - 2 April 1997.
    Roubaix, Musée d'Art et d'Industrie, Mahjoub Ben Bella 18 January - 2 April 1997.
    Sèvres, Musée de la Céramique, Summer 1998, p. 88 (illustated in colour).