Djamel Tatah

Solitary Figures

New York, Bienvenu Steinberg & J
dal 8 Giugno al 15 Luglio 2023

The exhibition

From June 8 to July 15, 2023, the Art Gallery Bienvenu Steinberg & J in New York is pleased to present the exhibition Solitary Figures, Franco-Algerian artist Djamel Tatah’s first solo exhibition in the United States.
Curated by Richard Vine, the exhibition will showcase eleven of Tatah’s full-size figurative paintings, produced between 2011 and 2021. These works question our presence in the world and our relationship to the humanity that surrounds us. A fully illustrated catalogue by Silvana Editoriale with essays by Richard Vine and art historian Barbara Stehle will accompany the exhibition.

Reflecting both modernity and hybridization, Tatah’s paintings of isolated figures or groups of people engaged in subtle psychological interactions recall Eugène Delacroix, Édouard Manet, Eadweard Muybridge, Edward Hopper and Alex Katz. Elements from Islamic art, Byzantine icons and Fayum mummy portraits as well as motifs from Persian, Indian and Arabic illuminations are also present.
The genesis of Tatah’s paintings is a digital-image archive that includes family photographs, news shots and historical works. He manipulates these images to create line drawings that he then projects and traces on the canvas. Painted with a mixture of oil and wax, the figures attain life-size proportions against abstract backgrounds flooded with color. Tatah’s alterations seek to rid the original figures of all superficiality and give them a timelessness. The chalkiness of his white mask-like faces conceal personal identities. The artist has withdrawn all forms of accessory to concentrate solely on movements, postures and backgrounds. The generic nature of the figures’ gazes, their facial expressions, and body gestures invites the viewer’s personal interpretation.

Opening Reception Thursday, June 8, from 6 to 8pm

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