Andrews, Beverly, The Middle East
September will see the launch, in London, of one of the largest and most comprehensive African arts exhibitions ever to take place anywhere in the world, writes Beverley Andrews.
AFRICA 95 will encompass music, film, theatre and the visual arts. This monumental event will include the work of many North African artists. The acclaimed Tunisian painter Abdelrassak Sahli is one of those who will be taking part. From London's Delfina Studios where he is involved in final preparations for his exhibit he talked about his work and this groundbreaking event.
"Many people think of Africa ... as a place where Europeans came for inspiration. Many art critics and historians have looked no further than that. But recently I feel there has been a change, more contemporary African art is being shown which marks a major breakthrough. This in turn has allowed more painters from the region to show their work.
"In Spain I took part in an exhibit at Madrid's Museum of Modern Art with other painters from Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. The exhibit was a revelation. Firstly, it was very representative of the Northern African art scene because of the context in which it was placed. But what really surprised us as artists was the enthusiasm with which the work was received by the general public."
Abdelrazzak Sahli has been painting for over 30 years. Beginning his studies in Tunisia and than moving on to France where he has lived for 17 years. He had a fine art and classical training but later moved on to a more lyrical abstract style. He began working mostly in oils on canvas but quickly moved on to etchings as well as experimenting with photography. These days he also works with everyday objects such as brooms and tables, turning them into pieces of art. …