“These works give a luminous image of Arab culture”, enthuses Claude Lemand this Thursday, February 2. With his wife, France Lemand, the collector donated 1,877 works to the Institut du monde arabe (IMA) in 2018, bringing the number of pieces in its collections to 3,400. Arab contemporary in the West”, assures Jack Lang, president of the cultural institution, campaigning for a fourth term.
Among these recently acquired works, great signatures of the 20th and 21st centuries, such as the Algerian Abdallah Benanteur, the Syrian Youssef Abdelké or the American-Lebanese Etel Adnan. The museum, which occupies four floors of the IMA, will be completely redesigned in order to bring together old and new collections. Construction should begin in 2023 for a period of three years.
In this new setting, contemporary creations will be put into perspective with the history of Arab countries, in order to show “how artists have reinvested their culture”, analyzes Nathalie Bondil, director of the museum and exhibitions. Such as this oil on canvas, Africa before 1 (1963), by the Algerian Mohammed Kadda, an abstract painting tinted with ocher and brown representing a prehistoric fresco, like those of the Sahara desert dating back more than eight thousand years. Or the painting on metal LOVE blue white red (2014) by the Franco-Algerian visual artist Zoulikha Bouabdellah. Words in Arabic are written there in the three colors making up the French flag.
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