• #visual art


03.17 > 2018.05.06

with the galerie du jour agnes b.

Going beyond the limits of drawing, Abdelkader Benchamma creates huge mural drawings that modify and upset our relationship to space as well as our perceptions.


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Abdelkader Benchamma’s drawings take their inspiration from visual scenarios that stem from reflections on space and its physical reality, its limits and its zones of contact with mental space. They operate with diversions, modulating objects to testify of possible malfunctions in our relationship with the other and with things. Shifting of reality, intrusion of the invisible, indeterminate matters undergoing transformation, minuscule catastrophes are at the heart of Abdelkader Benchamma’s work.

Inspired by many different thought processes, that go from science to esotericism, from literature to history of art, the artist creates artworks with uncertain boundaries, and whose movement destabilises the visitor by playing namely with the codes of figuration and abstraction. These organic ensembles can make us think of landscapes, not in the traditional sense of the term but more because the flow they outline brings to mind the movement of natural elements, like air, clouds, earth, space. Often using black and white for its simplicity and graphic strength, the artist develops a language through which he gets the visitor to doubt of the reality of his/her perception, by making him/her penetrate into unstable, dynamic and elusive worlds. Moving matter that enveloped us at the Drawing Center in New York (2015-2016), a cave animated by a furious circular vortex at the Sharjah Biennial (2017), these installations, that one could call metaphysical, question our relationship to what is imperceptible, infinite and invisible.

His drawing questions emptiness and absence, creating in this way a density, a depth. Far from being reductive, this simplicity touches the essence of things. Playing with the support can give the visitor the impression of plunging into the infinitely small or perceiving the infinitely big. Representing what cannot be could be one of the artist’s many research processes. Beyond the subject, the medium itself is transformed. Under his fingers, the drawings gain volume, becoming sculptures or applying themselves as filters onto an engraving. Each installation is a new experimentation. A large part of his work is indeed linked to the practice of an original mural drawing. These ephemeral drawings, despite their great meticulousness, are destined to disappear, and like their subjects, they remain fleeting and elusive.


Born in 1975 in Mazamet (France), Abdelkader Benchamma is a graduate of the Ecole nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in Montpellier and in Paris (2003). Invited by the Drawing Center in New York to inaugurate a new programme of mural drawings, he presented Representation of Dark Matter, a monumental and immersive piece created on site (2015-2016). His work has been presented on the occasion of many solo exhibitions, namely at the Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona (2016), the FRAC Auvergne (2015), the galerie du jour agnès b. (2011) as well as for group shows: On aime l’art…!, etc


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