Rachid Koraichi - Contemporary Art Day Sale London Friday, October 17, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Rachid Koraichi is an Algerian artist whose works find their genesis in the vibrant spiritual aesthetic of Sufi mysticism. Sufism itself is a spiritual, esoteric branch of Islam with its own rich artistic legacy. Combining mystical practice with mathematical and astrological observations, Sufi Dervishes often concocted intricate numerological compositions that served both as forms of coded communication and as ritual talismans. Highly symbolic and heavily allegorical, these mystical art forms have played an important role in the development and makeup of Koraichi’s works. Intricately worked onto parchment, these rare examples of Koraichi’s oeuvre consist of dense patchworks of signs and symbols, many of which are drawn from a multiplicity of spiritual traditions and are woven into a coherent, balanced composition. In one work we see references to the three great monotheistic religions of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, reflected in the tripartite depiction of the respective faiths places of worship set beneath the textual repetition of the names of their principal proponents. In another composition we encounter images such as the Eye of Horus, elsewhere known as the Nazar or the Eye of Providence, an apotropaic (protective) symbol which is cross-culturally recognised as a talismanic repellent against evil. Amongst other objects we also come across symbols of fertility and wisdom (the lotus bud) as well as Pseudo-Japanese calligrams that highlight Oriental beliefs regarding calligraphy as a form of meditative practice or hitsuzendo. Ultimately, Koraichi’s works contain depictions which reference the cultural imagery of countless nations and creeds. Furthermore, his compositions point to the significance and depth contained within visual metaphors, affirming the importance of symbolism as a profound and powerful device both in artistic expression and in spiritual belief.



Ink on parchment paper.
100 x 70 cm. (39 1/4 x 27 1/2 in).

£15,000 - 20,000 

Contemporary Art Day Sale

18 Oct 2008 2pm