“Hicham Berrada”

Hicham Berrada or the world of potentials

He’s a “chemical-reaction manager” who explores scientific protocols. Through his revisited Land Art, Hicham Berrada mingles with living things, but often on a molecular scale. An artist with a yen for chemistry, he reinvents a number of natural processes to create highly original landscapes. Situated somewhere between nature and artifice…   Have you ever seen a field of dandelions releasing white haloes in the middle of the night? Or a blue cloud forming in a matter of seconds, like a turbulent sky painted by eighteenth-century French artist François Boucher? Or else timeless landscapes materialising from fragile aquatic gardens, or abstract galaxies being born before your eyes? What, you might ask, is the key to this magic? Yet Hicham Berrada is not a magician but a virtuoso in physics experiments. An alchemist-artist, he orchestrates chemical combinations in the way that a painter will play with the colours on his palette. In his studio, there are no canvases but little boxes stacked up on top of one another. Waiting to be activated to express their magic and to unfurl dreamlike landscapes.   I discovered your work in 2013 at a collective exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo. How has your practice evolved since? In 2013, I spent a year at the Villa Medici. This is where I started off a number of research projects. The experience allowed me to go on to produce Mesk-Ellil (2015), and Masse et martyr (2017), artificial bronze creations that I presented at the Abbaye de Maubuisson until April. Creation is often a very long process. The time factor is a key component of my work. These objects evolve, I have to keep them in my studio for one or even two years before I can show them.   Do you mean that you don’t know the...

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Wentrup Gallery now represents Hicham Berrada

The Morrocan artist Hicham Berrada is now being represented by Wentrup Gallery, Berlin. Born in Casablanca, Morocco in 1986, Hicham Berrada studied at Beaux Arts (Paris), graduating in 2011 and continuing his studies at France’s National Studio of contemporary arts, Le Fresnoy, and then moving to the Villa Medicis in Rome in 2013. His works combine science and poetry, intricately weaving together the beauty of the visible world and the scientific phenomenae invisible to the naked eye. Berrada uses a range of media, including photography, video, installations, performance art and sculpture. He even incorporates his subject matter into the media themselves, comparing a bare canvas to the ‘visible reality’ and the paint and brush to the ‘physical elements’. Wentrup Gallery was founded in 2004. The gallery’s first home was a former stable in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg district. It was designed as a space that reacted to Berlin’s young, emerging at scene, offering the first commercial platform for many artists of the gallery’s early days. Since 2009, it has been located in a former couture factory building from the 1950s at the northwest end of Kreuzberg,...

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