JILALI GHARBAOUI (1930, JORF EL MELHA - 1971, PARIS)
JILALI GHARBAOUI (1930, JORF EL MELHA - 1971, PARIS)
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JILALI GHARBAOUI (1930, JORF EL MELHA - 1971, PARIS)

Composition

Details
JILALI GHARBAOUI (1930, JORF EL MELHA - 1971, PARIS)
Composition
oil on canvas
23 x 35 5⁄8in. (58.5 x 90.4cm)
Painted in the 1960s
Provenance
Jilali Gharbaoui and Therese Boersma Collection.
Their sale, Compagnie marocaine des œuvres et objets d'art Casablanca, 22 March 2014, lot 18.
Dr Ramzi and Saeda Dalloul Collection, Beirut.
Thence by descent to the present owner.

Brought to you by

Marie-Claire Thijsen
Marie-Claire Thijsen Head of Sale, Associate Specialist

Lot Essay

Painted in the 1960s, Composition is a representative work of Jilali Gharbaoui’s unique abstract and geometrical oeuvre. The focus of the composition lays onto the two oval shapes and surrounding spirals with clearly defined edges around its circular dynamic core. Its composition projects a strong axial orientation as the massed forms extend in the horizontal and vertical dimensions of the picture plane, creating complex and rhythmic kaleidoscopic contours in a flattened illusionistic profile. To the viewer, the painting simultaneously holds out the promise of simplifying spatial perspective while complicating and thwarting that desire. Superimposed planes create an alternative space in Gharbaoui’s canvas, leading the thought towards the faraway horizons of the celestial. He attached significant importance to his selection of colours, favouring the predominant use of blue in his artworks. During his studies in Rome, he visited its glorious churches, immersing himself in the Italian Renaissance paintings where the application of the colour blue is a profound signifier of tranquility. This experience impacted on his subsequent choice of colours.

Born in the town of Jorf El Melh in Sidi Kacem, Morocco, along with Ahmed Cherkaoui, Gharbaoui played a pivotal role in shaping the discourse of Moroccan modernism. Working with sculpture and painting, he gained prominence for his gestural style of painting with forceful brushwork and vivid hues. He began studying art at the Académie des Arts in Fes while still in secondary school. Art critic Pierre Restany introduced Gharbaoui as a member of the pioneering Groupe des Informels at the Salon Comparaison in Paris in 1959. Despite his brief career, Gharbaoui's legacy has been celebrated globally, including a retrospective in 1993 at Institut du monde arabe, Paris.

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