AHMED CHERKAOUI, Morocco (1934 - 1967)
Ahmed Cherkaoui was born in Boujad, Morocco, in 1934. In 1959 he graduated from the École des Métiers d’Arts de Paris specializing in Graphics and later continued his education at the Aujame Atelier at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris for one year. In 1961 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and later returned to Paris, where he won a research grant from UNESCO to study signs and symbols in Amazigh art and Arab-Islamic calligraphy. One of the pioneers of Moroccan art after the 1956 independence, Cherkaoui produced large-scale abstract and symbolic paintings referring to Amazigh art, inspired by his mother’s tattoos he encountered a child, through his depiction of bare geometric shapes. His works are also inspired by Roger Bissière, Paul Klee, and Surrealism. In his paintings, the artist covers the canvas with a rough cloth called burlap, onto which he often depicts black outlined geometric shapes painted in bright, luminous colors. He passed away suddenly due to complications from an appendectomy in Casablanca, 1967.
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