Rachid Koraïchi (Algerian, b. 1947)
Rachid Koraïchi (Algerian, b. 1947)

Gardien de l'arrière saison

Rachid Koraïchi (Algerian, b. 1947)
Gardien de l'arrière saison
(i) incised with the artist's signature in Arabic, number and date 'Rachid Koraichi 2/8 2012' and with the Fonderie Deroyaume foundry mark, (on the base)
(ii) signed and dated in Arabic, signed, titled, numbered and dated '111/150 Rachid Koraichi 1995 Gardien de l'arrière saison' (along the margin)
(i) bronze with green and gold patina
(ii) lithography
(i) 55 ½ x 22 7/8 x 13in. (141 x 58 x 33cm.)
(ii) 35 7/8 x 30 1/8in. (91 x 76.4cm.)
(2)(i) Conceived in 1995 and cast in 2012, this work is number two from an edition of eight
(ii) Executed in 1995, this work is number one hundred and eleven from an edition of one hundred and fifty
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner.
(i) Dubai, Elmarsa Gallery, Il n'est d'autres souverains que ceux qui me regardent, 2015.

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Lot Essay

Encompassing a sense of intriguing interpretation of modernity and universality, Algerian artist Rachid Koraïchi works with effortless facility in several contrasting mediums, producing pieces that belong firmly within the Sufi tradition as a descendent of an old Sufi family himself.

Characteristic of North African artistic practice, Berber symbols, talismanic squares and Islamic motifs are incorporated into mainstream art whilst drawing west and North African indigenous icons and beliefs. In a charming use and application of Arabic calligraphy combined with symbols of ancient cultures, Koraïchi’s work remains a reflection of a continued fascination with signs and symbols of all kinds, both real and imaginary that are an intrinsic base for the works in his oeuvre.

Christie’s is proud to be offering a sculptural work entitled Gardien de l'arriere saison, alongside a lithograph from the same series that captures Koraïchi’s composition of symbols, glyphs and ciphers drawn from a wide variety of other languages and cultures as well as his own Arab and North African identity. Whether the source is numerological perceptions of ancient cultures or his inventive Chinese ideograms that appear to share similar forms, Koraïchi’s eclectic work integrates these crossing systems of signs into an organised and fascinating description of the diverse world that surrounds us.

Although an individual and highly esoteric symbol, Koraïchi’s guardian, holding with pride a spear that signifies the consequent protection that is afforded the very talismans the artist references in his practice, becomes emblematic of peace and simultaneous revolution, of peace and of loss, of magic and spirit and of Arabia and the Orient. By freeing the letter form that he uses to make up his guardian’s figure from any sort of decipherable meaning, Koraïchi thus transforms his symbol into a universal pictogram understood and appreciated by all.

Fusing ancient techniques and modern practices such as scroll paintings as well as iron sculptural crafts, Koraïchi’s intention is to use Islamic rituals and mysticism as an ode to his ancestor’s spirituality; the repetition of the non-decipherable words on the lithograph exemplifying this notion of a Sufi meditative trance. Pushing the viewer to go on a voyage through history and time, Koraïchi pays homage to a venerable cultural past, producing what is to be the guardian of his own historical and cultural identity.

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