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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 old orientalism, when everything was texture and what wasn’t texture was veiled, a reincarnation of old spirits, drapery, orientalist motifs and the things of a once powerful civilization, suggesting 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.


Text Anita Coppet 2015, translation Roger Salloch
”It all starts with a word. For Katherine Bakhoum, painter of an Orient steeped in mystery, everything begins with this base. An initial confrontation with the canvas and its transformation is one of the keys to her work, and constitutes an essential part of its originality. For this new exhibition in Egypt the country where she was born, Katherine Bakhoum continues to mine this vein, adding visual supports to her incomparable pastel technique, with an obsession for detail that is increasingly emphasized. A story-teller, a bearer of History, Katherine Bakhoum uses old writings, calligraphies from yesterday’s world that she retraces with the end of her brush, like scribes of old, reinventing the signs and the language. Her large works, including the surprising "Triptych with dervish", constitute an explosive revelation, marrying form and content, collage and pigments. The themes of this new collection have not changed and it is with pleasure that one rediscovers the painter’s obsessions. Dance is one of them. She renders homage to it, placing her dancers up in the clouds, painting them in the same spirit as her portraits of women, themselves like ghosts, evanescent, or, on the contrary, grounded earthlings. Finally there are the incredible landscapes, into which she slips silhouettes, witnesses to dreams that have sprung to life. Katherine Bakhoum has not finished astonishing us. The thirty two canvases being shown in Cairo will be accompanied by a different kind of creation -- "my crushed cans", treasures picked up on the side of the road in Egypt, containers of canned goods flattened by trucks and then painted over in an improvised way to become small tableaux of extraordinary vitality. Miniatures or large format, whatever the support, Bakhoum’s work is a color cosmos, vibrating, resonating. If a certain red could easily bear her name, other tints invite themselves into her work. Solar, mineral, vegetable, everything leads to the light.”

 
 
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