JILALI GHARBAOUI, Morocco (1930 - 1971)
Jilali Gharbaoui was born in Jorf el Melha near Sidi Kacem, Morocco, in 1930. While pursuing his secondary education, he began taking painting courses at l’Académie des Arts in Fes. In 1952 he received a scholarship to study at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris with the help of Ahmed Séfréoui, the director of fine arts in Rabat at the time. Gharbaoui spent three years in Paris, where he was taught by Professor Jean Souverbie, and would frequently visit La Grande Chaumière, before returning to his native country. In 1956 the artist studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma and spent almost a year at the Italian capital where he befriended fellow artist Mohamed Melehi. One of the pioneers of modern Moroccan art, Gharbaoui’s works are abstract and gestural, using earthly local colors and aggressive brush-strokes he emphasizes the movement of the brush and the materiality of the paint. Gharbaoui suffered from grave mental disorders and attempted suicide on several occasions. In 1971, the artist was found dead on a public bench at the Champs de Mars in Paris. His body was returned and buried in Fes, Morocco.
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