PARIS.- Imane Farès
is presenting the fourth solo exhibition of Younès Rahmoun at the gallery. A journal with a text by Sandrine Wymann, director of the Kunsthalle Mulhouse, accompanies the exhibition.
It would be tempting to say that Younès Rahmouns art is about traveling, that he is a pilgrim in a quest for the absolute who wanders with his feet on the ground and wisdom in his mind. Ever since the first drawings he made while living with his older brother in the family home of Tétouan, in Morocco, up until the new artworks and installations of this latest exhibition, he has been traveling in an infinite space, seeking transcendence. He patiently progresses through a mystical and artistic practice, keen to attain moments of grace and to foster such moments within the viewer. Each of Younès Rahmouns artworks and exhibitions is a new spiritual experience.
It all begins with the house. A recurring motif in his work, the house is first of all the family home where he had a tiny bedroom under the stairs, which he rapidly sublimed in his early artistic research. He first recreated this bedroom in lifesize, in various places, thus composing a continuous project with the Ghorfa series. Today, the living space appears in the more generic form of the house as a reference point that connects the artist with his childhood. The house is a reassuring space where he retreats to meditate and recapture the lost serenity of the maternal womb. It is also a universal reference that opens his practice to dialogue and defines it as a practice of sharing. In the past few years, the house has taken a simpler form with material qualities that evoke spiritual values: it is often transparent, elevated and luminous."
Sandrine Wymann, excerpt from the exhibition journal
Younès Rahmoun typically begins an artwork by collecting numbers, shapes, and objects from his surroundings. He then uses repetitive, familiar gestures to manipulate these elements and give form to everyday, ephemeral, or barely visible activities, such as praying, rolling dough, and breathing. His religious beliefs and his identification as a practicing Muslim also inform his work. He repeatedly employs numbers that are significant in Islam, such as seven and ninety-nine, and chooses to orient his installations in the direction of Mecca. His artistic practice cannot be reduced to, or fully explained by, his religious beliefs and their attendant symbolism. His longstanding interests in Buddhism, meditation, and Sufism are equally visible, as are the basic shapes and materials of everyday life: cones, cylinders, grids, and spheres and light, brick, jute, and earth. While he works primarily in sculpture, his exhibitions also include photographs, drawings, preparatory plans, videos, and other objects that relate to the sculptures place of production or that document artworks made outside of the gallery or museum walls. These elements allow Rahmoun to experiment with connecting the place of an artworks production to the site of its exhibition. Emma Chubb
Younès Rahmoun (b. 1975 in Tétouan, Morocco, where he lives and works) is one of the most widely exhibited North African artists of his generation. He and his art school cohort were the first in the country to have formal training in lart contemporain, thanks to his mentor, Faouzi Laatiris.
Recent museum exhibitions include Little Worlds, Complex Structures, VCUarts Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (2018), De la mer à locéan, Lappartement 22, Rabat (2016). His work has recently been shown at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Tripostal (Lille), Victoria & Albert Museum (London), Lheure rouge, the Dakar Biennale (2018) and Viva Arte Viva, the 57th Venice Biennale (2017).
A forthcoming retrospective of his work since 1996, curated by Emma Chubb, will be held at the Smith College Museum of Art (Northhampton, USA) in 2024.