«Chaïbia Talal, Fatima Hassan El Farrouj, Radia Bent Lhoucine: journey to the sources of art». An exposition organized by the National Foundation of Museums highlights 75 works by three late female artists, pioneers of the spontaneous artistic expression in Morocco, with three comparable but slightly different paths.
What do these artists have in common? the same identity. Indeed, all three of them are of rural origin, they are thus imbued with the oral tradition, and the traditional know-how related to crafts and popular expressions including, henna, tattooing, weaving, and embroidery. All of which are strikingly apparent in their respective works.
Another common trait between the three women is their activism for women empowerment through art. Although they were introduced to colors through contact with academic painters; the son in the case of Chaïbia and Radia Bent Lhoucine, or the husband painter for Fatima Hassan, their own practice came in a discontinuous and empirical manner. Their self- education allowed them, with intelligence and finesse, to give birth to a non-academic art.
Their art comes out of norms, of instituted patterns, of rules and out of boundaries, it is precisely this spontaneous expression that draws us in to appreciate and allows us to grasp the dazzle of what is beyond the ordinary.
Influenced by rites, landscapes and faces that inhabited their visual memories, Chaïbia Talal, Fatima Hassan El Ferrouj and Radia Bent Lhoucine painted scenes from daily life: whether they were festive and ritual scenes that recounted the wedding ceremonies, or rustic landscapes exhibiting human, animal and plant forms often mixed, colored and decorated until saturation. The portrait category also seems to be an integral part of the artistic concerns of the three artists who represented individual faces or group portraits that reflect how they perceived the human being.
The work of these three artists is nonetheless specific. Their respective approaches reveal the simplicity of the technical and pictorial solutions adopted by each of them. Do not miss this exhibition that aims to appreciate spontaneous art.
Exhibition running until January 23, 2019 , at the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rabat.