Abdelkader Benchamma

In making this highly detailed and meticulously-executed drawing, Benchamma reflects on the challenges of a process with one overarching constraint: to create a colourful drawing using only black. Finding inspiration in Chinese scroll works from the 18th century, the work appears to be an ethereal scene of a tree, where biomorphic, natural elements intermingle with unidentifiable, abstract objects, which appear to be sculptures. In Who tries to Escape to his Becoming, the 17th century Book of Miracles, which covered supernatural apparitions and cosmic observations, was a strong point of inspiration for Benchamma when creating this piece. Comprised out of acrylic and felt-tip pen on black paper, an explosive, apparition-like, large tree form takes centre stage and appears to be rising from a pastoral landscape below. This landscape is filled with trees and shrubs, suggesting the cycle of life and nature of transformation, rebirth, and renewal. Benchamma, whose primary technique is drawing, is interested in imposing constraints as part of his process. Amalgamating a variety of artistic references and techniques, such as printing, engraving, landscape and scientific drawing, Benchamma’s process results in intricate and detailed drawings, which often hover between the abstract and natural world. Abounding in much of his work are frequent references to dreamlike trees and landscapes. Widely exhibited, he has shown his work at the Boghossian Foundation (Brussels, Belgium), the Louis Vuitton Foundation (Paris, France), Mathaf Museum (Doha, Qatar), in addition to the 54th Venice Biennale.