This is a rare early painting from Abdallah Benanteur's Desert Period of 1959-60. Other paintings from this phase are found in important museums such as Musee d'Art Contemporain Val-de-Marne and the Institut du Monde Arabe, and in a few private collections in France.
In this, his most minimalist series, "the painter seeks his sources in the very heart of his original culture, rooted in an Arabic-Islamic tradition. At the very core of the painter's work, providing texture for the intricacies of a chromatic scale reduced to its essence, carrying within it all the violence of a masterful gesture purely in order to let the tenuous and persistent rhythm rise from the depths, wherein varied cadences resonate their vibrating waves within the fizzing light spaces. A limitless and distance-less painting, a monumental detail beyond any kind of deliberate framing, which breathes and resounds deeply before us just like the martyred earth and which I believe to be the painter's genuine self-portrait. Undoubtedly, this man's work never went so far, within his rigorous and scrupulous approach, as far as the extreme starkness where painting unclothes itself and shows itself within the abrupt truth of its previous territory. ... Coming at the end of a first and fundamental period, this painting is not closure but the anticipation of a great oeuvre."
(Raoul-Jean Moulin, 'Benanteur's own Imaginary', in Claude Lemand (ed.), Benanteur, Volume 1: Paintings, Paris, 2002, p. 17)