Opened by Hans Sizoo: Art Historian, Lecturer, Collector
The Suzanne Biederberg Gallery is pleased to exhibit the most recent work of Bouchaib Dihaj, in his second solo exhibition with the gallery.
“If I paint, I am happy.”
Growing up in Casablanca, Bouchaib Dihaj dreamt of becoming an artist. This led to him enrolling in the École Supérieure des Beaux Arts, where he received a Master of Arts. However, with the school’s classical art curriculum he soon felt the need for more artistic freedom, and with a scholarship to study in Europe, he chose the Netherlands —first the AKI (Akademie voor Kunst en Industrie) in Enschede (NL), followed by the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, both considered at the time the most dynamic academies in the country.
Bouchaib is a painter “pur sang”. His material is timeless and not restricted to the subject only. For him it is important to share his passion for painting and continually stimulate discussion of its essence.
The duality of existence and nature in all its facets is a recurring theme in his work. The viewer is taken into his personal universe in which seemingly opposing forces go hand in hand. He is fascinated in how processes and objects observable by the naked eye are transformed into the great unknown. He describes this phenomenon as a relationship between the micro- and macrocosmos, the visible and invisible.
In his paintings and works on paper, various worlds come to life and he tries to capture the twilight zone. For Dihaj, art is a personal experience in relation to time, space and societal context.
His new work is influenced by a recent hospital stay; while lying on a table and as an object for study by medical students, his insides projected on screens, he was fascinated by the forms that revealed themselves to him. It was as if he had stepped out of his own body—simultaneously object and subject. Given the fascination for science, his experiences also raise the question of how these images relate to the greater whole.
For an in-depth study of the artist, please see the recent essay (in Dutch) by art historians Ingrid Braam en Roel Hijink, “Een schilder pur sang”