Follow us
Dalloul Art Foundation

FOUAD BELLAMINE, Morocco (1950)


Born in 1950 in the imperial city of Fez, Fouad Bellamine grew up in the neighborhoods of the madina – the old city, where he used to look at his grandfather working as a weaver. His father...


Born in 1950 in the imperial city of Fez, Fouad Bellamine grew up in the neighborhoods of the madina – the old city, where he used to look at his grandfather working as a weaver. His father liked to paint in his spare time, and sold some of his woks in the hairdressing salon, that he ran. In 1967, Bellamine enrolled in the École des Arts Appliqués in Casablanca, and acquired a proper education in art History. He could also extend his technical knowledge, by practicing painting, drawing from life, sketching, and working on a wide range of materials. He would eventually specialized in graphic art for advertising. In 1971, he traveled to Europe, where he successively visited by train France, Yugoslavia, and Italy. At that time, the artist could discover Western art, and its paintings, from which he only had known some reproductions in black and white[1]. Back to Rabat, he started a career as a teacher of plastic arts in a secondary school in 1972. The same year, he held an exhibition with three other artists, at the Galerie de La Découverte, and showed the public a particular interest in abstraction, through a series of landscapes paintings. In 1984, he went back to France on a governmental scholarship, and resided at La Cité des Arts in Paris. There, he simultaneously prepared a Degree of in-Depth Studies in art History, and theory of art at Saint-Denis University - Paris VIII; and his doctoral thesis on the concept of ‘murality’ in contemporary art. Yet, Bellamine decided to return to Morocco, without defending his thesis, saying: ‘I refused, because I had the impression that I was betraying my ideals. It was almost as though I was going to give up painting’[2]. In 1989, he established with his French fiancée Elisabeth Belhomme, in the coastal city of Harhoura, near Rabat. He actively dedicated himself to art education, becoming teacher of art History at the Centre Pédagogique Régional (Regional Centre of Education), and contributed to the formation of a generation of Moroccan teachers. To Fouad Bellamine, the role of an artist in Morocco has to be versatile; which means to be practitioner, teacher, as well as curator[3]. He consequently involved in the organization of some exhibitions, being in charge of the curating. In 1980, he set up the tribute exhibition for the artist Jilali Gharbaoui (1930-1971) at the Bab Rouah Gallery, and at L’Oeil Gallery, both located in the Moroccan capital city. However, the artistic environment of his homeland somehow disappointed him, in the sense that he didn’t notice any difference from what he had left in the early 1980s until his return. This environment was not up to his expectations, since very few galleries were opened, and no museum was founded. 

    When he was 10 years old, Fouad Bellamine created his first book of art. He took the Larousse dictionary of his father to tear the pages of black and white illustrations from History of France, landscapes, and religious scenes. He stapled the pages with each other, and covered it with cardboard. He then learnt the illustrations of the paintings from the great European masters[4].

From 1950s to 1980s, the painting in Morocco was partly developed by self-taught artists, who adopted naïve art to produce spontaneous compositions, illustrating a sort of stereotyped image of their country. They used to paint the city scape with public markets, baths – hammam –, the old city, and its daily folk life. Among these artists, Fouad Bellamine had an admiration for the works of Hassan El Glaoui (1924-2018), Chaïbia Talal (1929-2004), and Moulay-Ahmed Drissi (1924-1973). Though, since the beginning of his career in the 1970s, the artist has always been looking for experimentation, rather than a realistic representation, to redefine what he considered to be the Moroccan artistic identity. For example, he likes to work with diverse materials, including fabric, plaster, wood, and chalk, and he also executed some installations – being one of the first painters to do so in Morocco[5]. Besides, Bellamine was aware of the multiple abstract movements, which happened in the United-States, and in Europe, and would move towards a similar style. The painter focused on the relationship between the physical space, and the conceptual space of the canvas. He progressively imposed a certain minimalism in his artworks since then, through a production of different series.

Back in the early 1980s, in parallel with his studies in Paris, Fouad Bellamine worked as a graphic designer for the magazine Guy Sorman, and started exhibiting his works in several galleries. With a growing success, he quickly integrated the Parisian cultural, and artistic scene, to the extent that he signed his first contract at the famous American Nikki Diana Marquardt gallery, in 1985. Nevertheless, the oeuvre of the artist has always remained attached to his Moroccan, and Muslim cultural richness. As of 1984, he began a series of paintings notable for the motif of the arch, seen in the piece entitled Arche (1984), part of the Dalloul Art Foundation’s collection. Using a dark palette of colors, he painted with delicate brushstrokes a yellow semicircular arch, shaping a bridge between the two vertical sides of the canvas. The arch is reminiscent of his childhood, and manifests his attachment to the architectural space from the old city of Fez, with the walls, the doors, and the vaults[6]. Here, he effectively rendered the roughness of a wall, that he pierced with an arch. The latter creates a recess, which symbolically corresponds to a transition to the sublime. In Islamic architectural tradition, the niche formed by the arch is omnipresent, and specifically in the construction of mosques like the mihrab – a semicircular niche giving the direction towards the Kaaba in Mecca. This series of Arches painting highly reveals that Fouad Bellamine rises his art up to a spiritual dimension, and stays close to his Muslim religious culture.

This metaphysical approach of Bellamine to art is also characterized by the work on colors. The painter applies black, and white, but also earthy and warm colors such as ochre, blood red, and yellow, like in the painting Memory (2013), part of the Dalloul Art Foundation’s collection. Again, these colors are inherent to the time of the artist in Morocco, and he relates the natural pigments to the primitive state, and the land. However, the grey is the predominant color in his oeuvre, leading him to play with the light, and the tones, such as in the series of untitled paintings, also present in the DAF’s collection. The grey, that he chooses, is actually colored with hues of bleu, and is very vibrant. In his conceptual research, the artist doesn’t necessarily insist on the visual aspect of the color. He effectively experiments the color to shape the composition in order to embody ‘the spaces by means of colour, giving it a living form, an essential presence’[7], as he stated. Additionally to the color, the light also refers to his old memories, when he saw the rays of light crossing the canopies of straw, and palm leaves, which protect the alleyways from the blazing sun. Starting the 2000s, Fouad Bellamine plays with brightness, and darkness in his paintings – sometimes almost monochromatic –, searching for the transparency to reach the transcendent beauty. Thus, the grey becomes the right color in this quest, because it appears to be the mix, which allows ‘the black and white to gain strength’[8]. The notion of purity, and spirituality recalls the main principle of Sufism, which is the esoteric, and mystical thought of Islam, emerged in the 7th century. This thought encourages to go beyond the physical reality, and to find the hidden ways to get close to the Creator. Although he is detached from any religious practice, Bellamine shows his creative process as Sufi, since he is in a ‘perpetual search of light and elevation’[9].

The oeuvre of Fouad Bellamine has been placed in the debate, which concerns the authenticity of Moroccan art during the 20th century. The artist has always felt enriched by two cultures: the Moroccan, and the Muslim one, which he grew up with; and the Western one, which have nourished his curiosity for a long time. But without favoring one to the other, he preferred to combine each, specificity, to create a painting out of the time, and universal. 

Fouad Bellamine lives and works between Rabat and Paris.


Selected Solo Exhibitions        


Retrospective, musée Mohammed VI d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Rabat, Morocco
Colours of Silence Fouad Bellamine, Kult, Center of Contemporary Art &Editions, Rabat, Morocco


Fragments de vie, L'Atelier 21, Casablanca, Morocco                      


Solo show, Paris Art Fair, Paris, France


Fouad Bellamine, Galerie Frédéric Moisan, Paris, France


Fragments d'un miroir, Kulte Gallery, Rabat, Morocco


Exposition Fouad Bellamine, L'Atelier 21, Casablanca, Morocco                 


Exposition Fouad Bellamine, L'Atelier 21, Casablanca, Morocco


Solo exhibition, Erasto Cortés, museum, Puebla, mexico                


Solo exhibition, Galerie Nationale Bab Rouah Rabat, Morocco


Leçons de Peinture, Abdellah Karroum space, Appt 22, Rabat, Morocco


Solo exhibition, Instituts français de Casablanca, Tanger, Rabat, Marrakech, Tétouan, Morocco


Solo exhibition, Galerie Meltem, Casablanca, Morocco


Solo exhibition, Musée d’art contemporain Mukha, Belgium


Solo exhibition, Galerie Etienne Dinet, Paris, France


Solo exhibition, Galerie Nikki Diana Marquard, Paris, France


Solo exhibition, Musée du Batha, Fès, Morocco
Solo exhibition, Galerie Nadar, Casablanca, Morocco


Solo exhibition, Galerie Jean-Yves Noblet, Paris+C25
Solo exhibition, Galerie Jean-Yves Noblet, Grenoble
Solo exhibition, Galerie choses vues, Valence, France
Solo exhibition, Galerie Passages, Troyes, France


Solo exhibition, Musée des Oudayas, Rabat, Morocco


Praise the Horizontal, Galerie Med’A Mothi, Montpellier, France Atelier 4, Sens, France


Solo exhibition, Galerie Nikki Diana Marquard, Paris, France


Solo exhibition, Galerie L’Atelier, Rabat, Morocco


Solo exhibition, Galerie Structure B.S, Rabat, Morocco


Solo exhibition, Galerie Nationale Bab Rouah, Rabat, Morocco


Solo exhibition, Galerie la Découverte, Rabat, Morocco

Selected Group Exhibitions                       


Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950-1980s, Grey Art Gallery, New York, US
Une nouvelle génération: Carte blanche à Fouad Bellamine, Abla Ababou Gallery, Rabat, Morocco
Colours of Silence, Kulte Gallery, Rabat, Morocco                


A Century in Flux, Barjeel Art Foudation, Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah, UAE


Changer la vie, L'Atelier 21, Casablanca, Morocco               


The Short Century, Barjeel Art Foudation, Sharjah, UAE
Sur la route du chamanisme, Galerie Frédéric Moisan, Paris, France
Partir, L'Atelier 21, Casablanca, Morocco                 


Imane Fares Gallery, Paris, France                


100 ans de création picturale, Mohamed VI Museum, Rabat, Morocco


Tajreed-A SELECTION OF ARAB ABSTRACT ART 19081960, Contemporary Art Platform Kuwait city, Kuwait


Traversées. Art contemporain arabe, Galerie Bab Rouah, Rabat, Morocco


Les racines du ciel, Abouelouakar and Bellamine, the collection of Attijariwafa bank, Batha Museum, Fès, and Casablanca, Morocco


Venise Biennale, Morocco Pavillion, Italy
Morocco: Art & Design 2005, Wereldmuseum Rotterdam, Netherlands


Visions actuelles, Al Akhawayn University, Ifrane, Morocco            


Bagdad mountain, Espace Actua, Casablanca, Galerie Bab El Kebir, Rabat, Morocco
Beyond the Myth, Moroccan contemporary art, The Brunei Gallery, London, UK
Regard sur l’art contemporain marocain, Lycée Descartes, Rabat, Morocco
Hommage à Mohammed Kacimi, Bab Rouah Gallery, Rabat, Morocco                   


Jean Genet Installation, Villa des Arts, Casablanca , ONA Foundation– The Attics Moulay Ismail, Meknès, Morocco
The magic of Morocco, Kerava art museum, Finlande; Kinda Foundation; Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France & Espace Actua, Casablanca, Morocco


Tawasul, House of Madrid, Barcelona, Spain; Art circle, Madrid, Spain
Painters of Morocco, Polytechnical University of Valencia, Spain
L’Eau Installation, Villa of the Arts, ONA Museum, Casablanca
Parcours d’artistes, Rabat, Morocco
Ateliers arabes, 9th Francophonie Summit Art Exhibition, Agial Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
Mona Attassi, Damascus, Syria
Ice Sculptures Quebec, Canada                    


Contemporary art from Morocco, Catalan Mediterranean Institute, Barcelona, Spain
Tawasul, four Moroccan painters and four Spanish painters, Bab Rouah Gallery, Bab El Kebir, Rabat, and Villa des Arts, Casablanca; Contemporary Art Center, Seville, Spain              


Year of Morocco in France, exhibition of former Moroccan residents of the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France
Moroccan painters, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona and Valencia, Spain


Exposition pour l’Algérie, Galerie Nikki Diana Marquart, Paris, France
Festival of sacred music of Fez, Morocco


Présences plastique, Hospital for Sick Children, Rabat, Morocco
6th Alexandria Biennale, Egypt
Itinérances Art Contemporain Marocain, la question de la critique d’art Toulouse le Mirail University, Toulouse, France


La peinture marocaine dans les collections françaises, BMCE, Paris, France
Casablanca, imaginary fragments, French Institute of Casablanca, Morocco; Edinburgh, Great Britain


Painters of the Maghreb, Santiago de Compostela - Madrid, Spain and Ghent             Museum, Belgium


With Kacimi and BelKahia, IPSOS Gallery,  Brussels, Belgium
Tondo organized by the Yonne cultural center in Auxerre, at the Saint-Germain Abbey, and in Avallon at the Saint-Lazare Collegiate Church


Il Sud Del Mondo, Galleria Civica d’Arte Contemporanea ‘ F. Pizzo’, Italy
50 artists for the 25th anniversary of the Cité Internationale des Arts, Saint-Jean room, City Hall, Paris
20 years of Galerie L’Atelier, Rabat, Morocco


Contemporary Moroccan painting, El Conde Duque Cultural Center, Madrid, Spain; Bab Rouah, Rabat, Morocco; Almada Negreiros Gallery, Lisbon, Portugal
Art pour l’Afrique, Musée national des Arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie, Paris, France


São Paulo Biennial, Brazil
Aspects of contemporary Moroccan painting, Museum of Fine Arts of Ixelles, Brussels - Provincial Museum of Ostend, Liège, Belgium
La peinture marocaine au rendez-vous de l’histoire, Wafabank, Casablanca, Morocco
Moroccan presence, Cairo and Alexandria, Egypt


Salon de Montrouge, Paris, France
Salon Comparaison Grand Palais, Paris, France
Moroccan painting, Lisbon, Porto and Faro, Portugal
Trends in Contemporary Art, 100 years of Mercedes, Paris, Lyon, Lille, Nice, Marseille and Bordeaux, France
Nomadic intensities, Fabre museum, Montpellier; Bab Rouah Gallery, Rabat, Morocco, and Yahia Gallery, Tunis, Tunisia


Moroccan presences, Museum of Painting, Grenoble, France
Galerie L’Atelier, Hébert-d'Uckerman Foundation, Grenoble, France
 Group exhibition, Galerie Nikki Diana Marquardt, Paris, France


Ateliers de l’Ourcq, Paris, France


Moroccan exhibition, Disney Hall, Californie, U.S.A
Moroccan Cultural Week, Koweit
Small Formats, Nadar and Alif Ba Galleries, Casablanca, Morocco


XII Biennale of Paris, l’Arc, Paris, France
Collective exhibition, Alif-Ba Gallery, Casablanca, Morocco
Painters and Architects, Oudayas Museum, Rabat, Morocco                       


La peinture marocaine, Gallery of the municipal library, Bordeaux, France
Festival d’Essaouira, Essaouira, Morocco
Dix années de la Galerie l’Atelier, Galerie Nationale Bab Rouah, Rabat, Morocco                       


7th biennial of drawings, Rijeka, Yugoslavia
Eight years of paintings, L’Atelier Gallery, Essaouira, Morocco
Confrontation of traditional and contemporary arts, Faculty of Letters, Fez, Morocco
Contemporary Arab Art Exhibition, Museum of Modern Art, Tunis                       


Moroccan painters, house of Morocco, Paris, France
Second Arab Biennale, Oudayas Museum, Rabat, Morocco
5 Moroccan painters, Milan, Italy
Small Formats, Galerie l’Atelier, Rabat, Morocco
International Artists for Palestine, Beirut, Lebanon


Moroccan Contemporary Painting, Tunis, Tunisia


AMAP National Exhibition, Marrakech, Rabat, Meknes, Fes, Morocco


Moroccan contemporary painting exhibition , Dakar, Senegal


l'Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France
Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris(MAM), Paris, France
Musée national des Arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie, Paris, France
Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, France
Fonds national d’art contemporain, Paris, France
Museum of Contemporary Art, Tangier, Morocco
ONA Fondation, Casablanca, Morocco
Marrakech Museum, Morocco
Moroccan Parliament Rabat, Morocco
Morocco's Minstry of Education, Morocco
Morocco's Ministry of Culture, Morocco
Palais des congrès, Skhrirat, Morocco
Instituts Français, Rabat and  Casablanca, Morocco
Crédit Agricole, Rabat Headquarters, Morocco
Attijariwafa bank (AWB), Morocco
Banque Commerciale du Maroc, Casablanca Headquarters, Morocco
Collection D'art Société générale, Morocco
Banque Centrale Populaire, Casablanca Headquarters, Morocco
Royal Air Maroc, Casablanca, Morocco
Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar
Kinda Foundation, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Ramzi and Saeda Dalloul art foundation, Beirut, Lebanon
Barjeel art foundation Sharjah, UAE
Musée Erasto Cortes, Mexico
Bibliotheque Palafoxiana, Mexico
Ministry of Culture, Dubai, UAE

Fouad Bellamine
Galerie d’art L’Atelier 21, French, 2009


Fouad Bellamine
Taher Ben Jalloun
Galerie d’art L’Atelier 21, French, 2012


Le 360, French, 2015
Une oeuvre de Fouad Bellamin déclenche la colère iranienne, French, 2007
ﻓﻲ ﻟﻮﺣﺎﺗﮫ اﻟﺘﺸﻜﯿﻠﯿﺔ ﻓﺆاد ﺑﻼﻣﯿﻦ ﯾﻌﯿﺪ ﺑﻨﺎء اﻟﺰﻣﻦ
Rajaa Khaled
French, 2009
فؤاد بلامين أو رﺣﻠﺔ الكينونة في أعماق اللوحة
Al Araby, Arabic, 2016
ﻓــــــؤاد ﺑﻼﻣﯾـــــن ... اﻟرﯾـــــــــﺎدة واﻟوﻋـــــد اﻟﻣﺗﺟـــــــــدد
Fouad Chardoudi
ILA, Arabic
Fouad Bellamine: «Le flou règne sur la dernière vente du tableau de Gharbaoui»
Samir El Ouardighi
Medias 24, French, 2015
La Bibliothèque associative internationale d’art moderne et contemporain de Rabat : Un espace collectif d’ouverture sur le monde
Jessica Oublié & Philippe Cazal
Africultures, French, 2007
Penser l’art, L’ART AU MAROC, entretien entre Mohamed Rachdi et Pascal Amel
Mohamed Rachdi
Founoun, French, 2017
Fouad BELLAMINE (1950)
BDA mUSEUM, 2017
Zineb Ibnouzahir
Le 360, French, 2019
فؤاد بلامين رسام تجريدي مغربي يقف عند لحظة الفجيعة
Farouk Youssef
Al Araby, Arabic, 2019
بلامين يعرض جديد أعماله بالبيضاء
Al Sahraa, Arabic, 2009
Exposition Belkahia
Telquel, 2012
Bouthaina Azam
360 Ma, French, 2015
Rétrospective Fouad Bellamine “Entrée en matière” au MMVI
Fondation Nationale des musées, Arabic, 2020
Rétrospective Fouad Bellamine “Entrée en matière” au MMVI
Fondation Nationale des musées, French, 2020
Fouad Bellamine fait son «entrée en matière» au MMVI
Mohamed Nait Youssef
Al Bayane, French, 2020
متحف محمد السادس يحتفي بالتجربة الفنية لـ فؤاد بلامين
Beit Al Fan, Arabic, 2020
«Entrée en matière»: une première rétrospective consacrée à Fouad Bellamine
Al Bayane, French, 2020
Eco Actu, French, 2020
تجليات صوفية في أعمال فؤاد بلامين التشكيلية
Mohammed Njeim
Al Itihad, Arabic, 2020
Avec trois expositions, Rabat célèbre l'artiste peintre Fouad Bellamine
Medias 24, French, 2020
Fouad Bellamine, en toute modestie
R. K. Houdaïfa
Finances News, French, 2020
معرض تشكيلي استعادي يسترجع 50 سنة من مسار فؤاد بلامين
Al Itihad, Arabic, 2020
Fouad Bellamine: De la monumentalité du geste à la lumière apaisante
L'economiste, French, 2020
فؤاد بلامين.. استعادة خمسين عاماً
Al Araby.CO, Arabic, 2020
Fouad Bellamine : le peintre de l’indicible expose à Rabat
Jihane Bougrine
Les eco Ma, French, 2020
Fouad Bellamine : lyrisme en trois actes
Ae Magazine, French, 2020
"فاتحة الإبداع".. أول معرض استعادي لفنان مغربي على قيد الحياة
Al Arab News, Arabic, 2020
Contemporary Moroccan Art and Design
The Power of Culture, English, 2005
Lorsque la peinture devient ascension
Aujoutd'hui Le Maroc, French, 2008
إيف".. فضاء العرب والأفارقة بباريس
Al, Arabic, 2011


Become a Member

Join us in our endless discovery of modern and contemporary Arab art

We’re GDPR compliant.
TermsCookiesPrivacy Policies