"La femme aux perles" Painting in Glass Frame 25x25in by Katherine Bakhoum Tisné
Bakhoum often paints on canvases that have been prepared with various materials. She generally makes use of rough cloth or sanded ground on which the pastel can hang, then covers them with a palette knife a bit like a plasterer. Thus, accidents are created. When she paints characters, she loads the canvas using collage, stamps or materials such as marble powder that thicken the canvas and interact with the pastel. While the material is wet, she then incorporates pigments then wipes the surface to obtain a distressed, old effect. If you look closely, you’ll notice all of her colours have a distinctive shimmer. This is created by mixing the paint with ground marble.
Katherine Bakhoum represents art that has been forgotten for a long while. She draws upon the concept and the subject of the orientalism and the enchantment of that period. Through her work we can feel the researches she has done to reveal her Egyptian origins and the magic and power of the bygone times. Katherine Bakhoum has succeeded in imprinting her own stamp to evoke a new world full of charm, nostalgia and magic that is deeply implanted in her canvas. Her power dwells in creating her own style of contemporary expressionism building upon the old orientalism.
Katherine Bakhoum’s art comes up out of an Egyptian childhood and from the distance of a life spent in France. What is left unsaid is as important as what is shown. Decorative yes, as in old orientalism, when everything was texture and what wasn’t texture was veiled, a reincarnation of old spirits, dervishes, orientalist motifs and the stuff of a once powerful civilization, the better to suggest it all might just come to life again.
The choice of ancient subject matters, the echo of orientalist pieces in the collages, like the echo of the appeal of ancient gestures, of foreign lands, and domestic tapestries, all this weaves up out of Katherine Bakhoum’s creations. Sometimes we only have the line of a horizon on which to hang our imagination, sometimes we only have the trace of a profile in the shadows. What we always have is a persistent belief in beauty.
Where there is beauty, there is hope. Katherine Bakhoum has abandoned neither.
Claudine Legrand Gallery: Annual exhibitions from 1996 to 2016
Safar Khan Gallery, Cairo: Annual exhibitions from 1999 to 2018
Galerie la Sirène, Le Mans 2010
Galerie Ghislaine Eonnet-Dupuy, St Briac 2008 2009
Green art gallery Dubai 2009
Galerie La Medina, Tunis 2001
Italian Cultural Institute, Cairo 1999
Gallery Lézard d'Ailleurs 1998
Influence Gallery 1997
Bruno Delarue Gallery Etretat 1997
Jolymont workshops in Brussels 1996
Gallery Lézard d'Ailleurs St Rémy de Provence 1995
Etienne Causans Gallery 1995
Gallery Art 50 1994
Gallery Art 50 1993
Anne Vignial Gallery 1992
Galerie Escalier Rouge, Ouagadougou 2002
City of Arts, Florence Foundation 1992
Galerie Peinture Fraiche 1991
Agency Le Bélier 1986