Monday, November 27, 2006
New Talent | Anagossi Gratien | Grek
Grek | Anagossi Gratien
Republic of Benin
b.1974 - Present
Grek is one of the exciting young talented artists of West Africa from the Republic of Benin. Originally from the Republic of Togo he moved to neighbouring Benin in his teens and is now in his early 30`s. He has worked for the French Cultural Centre in Cotonou and most recently, has set-up a design group in the Port of Cotonou.
His work is similar to Alberto Burni and Antoni Tapies of the Art Informel Movement of the 1950`s but I believe this is more by accident rather than design. I use the term Art Informel from the French informe, meaning unformed or formless to refer to the antigeometric, antinaturalistic, and nonfigurative formal preoccupations which is so obvious in Grek`s work, stressing his pursuit for spontaneity, looseness of form, and the irrational. His work is pushing forward new ideas of seeing and using whatever materials are closest at hand. His work is extensively about the plight of the empoverished and his inventive techniques of leaving painted canvas in the sun for weeks on end is extremely effective. The end product is a painting that looks like it`s about to fall to pieces, which is purposefully symbolic in the way in which he chooses to reflect his own condition.
Grek`s work leans towards the gestural and expressive, with repetitive anticompositional formats related to Abstract Expressionism. If ever there was an artist who represented African modernity it is Grek.
He is a dedicated artist and we are delighted to represent him on the site.