Tahar Ben Jelloun will present his recent works, from May 10 to 30, 2022, at the L’Atelier 21 art gallery on the occasion of an individual exhibition entitled The color of words.
Best known as a writer and poet, Tahar Ben Jelloun maintains a very special relationship with painting. The paintings exhibited at L’Atelier 21, “painted in Morocco, under the sun of Marrakech, with its superb light, its pure air, have something different compared to those made under the gray Parisian sky”as described by Tahar Ben Jelloun, all exude a sweet enchantment and communicate a retinal joy.
These paintings reflect the pleasure, the greedy happiness, that their author had to paint them. Around these canvases, the artist has inscribed phrases, often poetic flashes, which add to the pleasure of the eyes the intensity of the shock of the words.
Renowned writer, one of the best known and most translated in the world, Tahar Ben Jelloun is a fan of the plastic arts. First through his writings on various Moroccan painters and sculptors such as Farid Belkahia, Mohamed Melehi, Mohamed Chabâa, Fouad Bellamine, Chaïbia Talal, Jilali Gharbaoui, Mohamed Kacimi and on several foreign artists such as Henri Matisse, Alberto Giacometti, Claudio Bravo, Mimmo Rotelle.
Then, by the attraction he has always had for painting, an activity that he exercises with pleasure, in counterpoint to his profession as a writer.
In his preface to the exhibition catalogue, he explains how his activity as a writer and painter became consubstantial with his equilibrium.
“Each time, I explain how I go from writing about what I call “the pain of the world” to its “light”. I have often written about injustice, loneliness, abandonment. But I needed to explore the other side of this dark universe. This is where painting, as I like it, imposed itself on me like an evidence, like an old meeting, a friend lighting my way.he says.
Tahar Ben Jelloun’s paintings have entered numerous private and public collections, including that of the Yannick and Ben Jakober Foundation (Spain), the San Salvatore In Lauro Museum (Italy), the Institut du monde arabe (France) and the Villa Harris, Museum of Tangier (Morocco).