Lire la biographie en franais Read biography in english
 

1930.

ɡ 1948.

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El salahi, a painter from Sudan in African Arts, vol 1, No. 1, 1967.

Ulli Beier, Contemporary Art in Africa, London, 1964.

Ulli Beier, Conversation with Ibrahim Elsalahi, Iwalewa Haus, University of Bayreuth, 1983.

Robert Serumaga,Conversation with Ibrahim Elsalahi, in Topic, No. 24, 1967.

:

C. Friend, Salahi Le Peintre, in La Revue Franaise de lElite Europenne, No. 199, Mai 1967.

- Ahmed Bechir Bola, Art et Identit Culturelle Au Soudan, Thse de doctorat, Universit de Paris I, Dcembre 1984

Hassan Musa, La Mutation des rfrences Culturelles chez les Citadins du Soudan Septentrional, Le cas des Arts Plastiques,Thse de Doctorat, Universit de Montpellier III, 1990
 

. ѡ ˡ 1965

ɡ ϡ 1986.

ɡ ѡ ϡ 1981.

͡ 1974.

1975.

"" 22 ӡ 2003.
 

2004

 

 
Ibrahim El-Salahi

Ibrahim El-Salahi est n le 5 septembre 1930 Omdurman (Soudan) o il a poursuivi ses tudes primaires et secondaires avant dtudier les Beaux Arts lEcole de Design au Collge Mmorial de Gordon (1948-1951). En 1954, il est envoy la Slade School of Arts de lUniversit de Londres. A son retour au Soudan, il enseigne le dessin et la peinture lEcole des Beaux Arts et des Arts Appliqus. Il part ensuite New York pour tudier la photographie pendant un an lUniversit de Colombie.

Il est trs difficile de rsumer la formation artistique de Salahi au vue de son seul cursus scolaire, puisquil considre lducation comme une pratique vitale quotidienne qui fait partie de lexistence organique de lindividu. Dans un interview avec son ami chercheur et critique dart, lafricaniste allemand Ulli Beier, loccasion de son exposition organise par la galerie Iwalewa Haus, Bayreuth (Allemagne), en 1983, Salahi explique quil a commenc sa formation artistique lage de deux ans lcole coranique de son pre, le Sheikh El-Salahi en essayant de recopier lcriture sur les petits tableaux en bois des lves de lcole coranique. En regardant les uvres de Salahi, quelles soient rcentes ou anciennes, on est frapp par son incessant apprentissage de nouvelles techniques et par son exploration continuelle, travers des visions cratives diffrentes, de ses pratiques passes. Tout cela a contribu faire de lui une des rares personnes de sa gnration pour qui lart reprsente une proccupation quotidienne. Limportance de Salahi sur la scne des arts plastiques au Soudan provient avant tout de son style avant-gardiste grce auquel il aborde la pratique artistique avec une conscience veille de la dimension sociale de celle-ci ; ce dont les peintres de la gnration prcdente, voire de la gnration mme de Salahi, nont pas t conscients.

La pratique de lart chez Salahi ne se limite pas la dimension esthtique de luvre, mais la dpasse dans la mesure o elle sarticule sur une volont intellectuelle de fonder une problmatique philosophique centre sur le rle que lartiste doit jouer dans sa socit.

Salahi prcise que la premire exposition quil avait organise Khartoum son retour de la Slade School of Art, navait pas suscit lintrt du public soudanais, car les uvres exposes nexprimaient pas lhritage plastique soudanais. Cette exprience la incit rechercher les composantes soudanaises de lexprience plastique des Soudanais afin dy puiser pour crer un style plastique soudanais et actuel au mme temps. Dans ce contexte, Salahi a voulu, travers sa recherche, dfinir un style dcriture visuelle qui reflte les composantes de la culture visuelle soudanaise. Cest ainsi que les uvres de Salahi ont t marques aprs son retour dAngleterre, par des motifs qui sinspirent de la dimension culturelle arabe (calligraphie) et par dautres qui sont issus de la dimension culturelle africaine (dcoration duvres artisanales populaires). Salahi fut suivi dans cette dmarche par un certain nombre de peintres de sa gnration pour crer un courant spontan qui va tre rapidement appel lEcole de Khartoum. On peut interprter lacceptation officielle du courant de lcole de Khartoum par le fait que loffre de Salahi de fonder un art plastique soudanais rpondait spontanment au dbut une demande politique de lEtat de la classe moyenne citadine : Etat qui a hrit des colonisateurs dune patrie disparate dans sa composition ethnique et culturelle et qui a inaugur lre de lindpendance politique par une guerre civile dans le sud du pays. Les autorits officielles ont donc trouv dans cette offre de Salahi -et de ceux qui sont devenus par la suite ses partenaires une sorte de rcipient culturelle soudanais soudaniste plus tard- dont personne ne peut contester lutilit politique sur le plan du projet de construction dune unit nationale sans laquelle il est impossible denvisager un dveloppement social et conomique du pays.

Cest ainsi que Salahi est devenu partir du dbut des annes 1970 priode partir de laquelle il sest impos comme un artiste africain contemporain de renomme internationale une icne nationale tel point que son portrait figurait sur les posters du Ministre du Tourisme. Il est certain que son poids mdiatique a inspir aux autorits lide de lutiliser dans la politique de lEtat de la classe moyenne citadine.

Cest pour cette raison que lEtat de Jaafar Nemeiry la nomm aux postes les plus levs dans le domaine de la culture, et quil a mme occup le poste de vice-ministre de la culture.

Du fait de sa trs forte conscience patriotique, Salahi na pas hsit consacrer toute son nergie pour asseoir une politique culturelle srieuse, la premire du genre dans les pays dAfrique et du Moyen Orient. Bien que les vicissitudes de la lutte politique au Soudan aient conduit Salahi en prison au milieu des annes 1970, son exprience avant-gardiste dans la fondation et lorganisation de structures daction culturelle au Soudan, mrite une tude approfondie pour en tirer les enseignements ncessaires llaboration dune politique de dveloppement durable pour un pays comme le Soudan.

Salahi expose ses uvres depuis les annes 1960 partout dans le monde, dans de nombreuses expositions individuelles et collectives. Parmi les muses qui ont acquis ses ouvres, on peut compter Le Muse dArt Moderne New York, le Metropolitan Museum, New York, La Galerie de la Chase Manhattan Bank, New York, le Muse dArt africain, Washington, la Bibliothque du Congress, National Gallery of Victoria, Sydney, la Galerie Lambert, Paris, la Galerie Nationale, Berlin et le Dpartement de la Culture, Khartoum.

Sur luvre de Salahi, on trouve de nombreux crits, riches et varis dans plusieurs langues ; en anglais, on peut citer :

- Thse de doctorat, prsente par Dr. Ahmed El Zain Saghyroun, sur le mouvement contemporain dart au Soudan, Universit de Varsovie, au milieu des annes 1960.
- El- Salahi, a painter from Sudan in African Arts, vol 1, No. 1, 1967.
- Ulli Beier, Contemporary Art in Africa, London, 1964.
- Ulli Beier, Conversation with Ibrahim Elsalahi, Iwalewa Haus, University of Bayreuth, 1983.
- Robert Serumaga, Conversation with Ibrahim Elsalahi, in Topic, No. 24, 1967.

En langue franaise on peut citer:

- C. Friend, Salahi Le Peintre, in La Revue Franaise de lElite Europenne, No. 199, Mai 1967.
- Abdalla Ahmed Bashir (Bola), Art et Identit Culturelle Au Soudan, Thse de doctorat, Universit de Paris I, Dcembre 1984
- Hassan Musa, La Mutation des rfrences Culturelles chez les Citadins du Soudan Septentrional, Le cas des Arts Plastiques,Thse de Doctorat, Universit de Montpellier III, 1990

Il existe galement de nombreux crits rcents sur Salahi que je ne suis pas en mesure de mentionner actuellement. Je nai cit que les crits le plus anciens mais je vous communiquerai la suite ultrieurement.

- lArtiste Soudanais Ibrahim-Salahi, in Hiwar (Dbat), N 3, mars ou avril 1965.
- Salih El Rabii, lArt contemporain dans les pays arabes, Bagdad, 1986.
- Baland Al-Haydari, le Temps de tous les temps, recueil de textes sur lart arabe contemporain, Bagdad, 1981.
- Hashim Mohamed Salih, entretien avec El-Salahi, Quotidien soudanais Alayyam, N du 27 novembre 1974.
- Hassan Musa, luvre de Salahi vue par Saghayroun, Quotidien soudanais Alayyam, N du avril 1975.
- Correspondance avec Salahi publie dans Jahannam, Bulletin priv dit par Hassan Musa, N 22, mars 2003.

Hassan Musa, avril 2004

 

Ibrahim El-Salahi

Ibrahim El-Salahi was born in the city of Omdurman on the 5th of September of the year 1930. There, he went to primary and secondary schools, then in 1948, he joined the school of Design at The Gordon Memorial College in Khartoum.
El-Salahi has spent three years studying painting and drawing at the school of design, and eventually, joined the teaching staff in the school afterwards for a period of time before leaving to Britain in the second half of the fifties. In Britain, he joined Slade School of Fine Arts of the University of London. On successfully finishing his studies there, he returned to Sudan to spend the first half of the sixties teaching drawing and painting to students of fine arts at the College of Fine and Applied Arts in Khartoum. Then he left to New York to study photography for one year at the University of Colombia.
It is very difficult to reduce El-salahis artistic training to his formal education alone, for the man and the artist in him envisage education as a life-long practical experience which is organically incorporated into the existential evolution of the person. In an interview with his friend the art critic and researcher, Ulli Beier, on the occasion of an art exhibition organized by Iwalewa Haus Gallery in the early eighties in Bayreuth, Germany, El-salahi said that his artistic training was actually initiated as early as when he was only two years old. It was in his fathers Quranic school when he started copying the writings and ornamental decorations on the wooden slate, on which pupils write the verses of the Quran. Contemplating the old and new works of El-Salahi, one would very easily realize that the artist has never ceased learning new techniques and styles and exploring creative visions which are in contradistinction with what he used to create in the past. All this qualified him to be one of the few amongst his generation who still take creative activity as a daily concern. The significance of the work of El-Salahi within the panorama of Sudanese fine arts resides in his pioneering approach to practicing artistic creation with dedicated qualitative attention to the social dimension, an issue which many of the artists before El-Salahis generation and many others belonging to his own generation have failed to appreciate.
The practicing of artistic creativity for El-Salahi extents beyond the aesthetic dimension to embrace the strive to establish a problematic philosophical understanding of the role of the artist in society.
El-Salahi says that the very first exhibition he organized, on his return to Khartoum from Slade School of Art, didnt attract a big Sudanese audience, for the works shown did not actually expose the artistic heritage of the people of the Sudan. This first encounter has inspired him to look deep into the Sudanese components in the Sudanese artistic experience in order to employ that in instituting a typically Sudanese, yet modern, artistic style. Within this terrain, El-Salahi endeavored, through his research, to define a type of visual alphabet that genuinely reflects the components of the Sudanese visual culture. Thus , so many of his works , since his return from Britain ,portray Sudanese motifs inspired by African cultural dimension , such as ornamental decorations of local craft items. El-Salahis style attracted a big following amongst artists of his generation , which spontaneously lead to the creation of a trend, to be eventually identified as Khartoum School The official endorsement of the Khartoum School could only be understood in the following terms : the proposal of El-Salahi to establish what might be called Sudanese Plastic Art answered , instinctively , in the first place, a political demand of the urban middle class state which has , then freshly, inherited a home of incongruent and diverse ethnic and cultural identities, and which has started the national political independence era with a civil war in the South. The authorities found in El-Salahis proposal and his later associates, a sort of a Sudanese (and later Sudanic) cultural substance, which will be of an indisputable political benefit in the process of building (according to their own concept) a national unity essential for social and economic development of the country.
Hence, by the beginning of the seventies , the period during which he was established as a modern African artist, with an international acclaim behind him, El-Salahi has attained a national iconic stature. His photograph, identifying him as the national artist of the Sudan, was published in posters decorating the ministry of tourism. The promotional media weight of the man, was a persuasive justification for the authorities to exploit his image in the political adventure of the urban middle class state. Niemris totalitarian regime appointed El-Salahi in the most prestigious executive positions as the under-secretary of the ministry of Culture. Yet, thanks to his very high nationalistic sense of responsibility, he didnt refrain, under the suppressive policies of that regime, from devoting all his energy and efforts to construct a serious cultural policy, the first of its kind in all of the African and the Middle Eastern countries. Although, the convoluted political maneuvering then, lead to his arrest and imprisonment in the mid-seventies, it remains to be admitted that his pioneering experiment in the institutionalization and organization of the structures of cultural work in Sudan is worthy of careful and patient study to mine lessons and examples, necessary for the collective strive for sustainable development in a country like Sudan.
El- Salahis works have been on show all over the world, since the early sixties, organized on individual or collective bases. Some of the most celebrated museums have acquired some of his works , such as the Museum of Modern Art , the Metropolitan and The Chase Manhattan Gallery in New York ; The African Art Museum in Washington ; The Congress Library and the National gallery of Victoria in Sidney , The Lambert Gallery in Paris; The National Gallery in Berlin and the department of Culture in Khartoum.
The published material on El-Salahis work is in abundance and in more than one language. Here we will just mention a few:
A PhD thesis on the modern Art movement in Sudan, prepared by Dr. Ahmed El-Zain Sagyroun. This work is written during the mid sixties at Warsaw University.
El-Salahi, a painter from Sudan published in African Art , Vol.No. 1 , 1967
Ulli Beier: Contemporary Art in Africa, London, 1964
Ulli Beier: conversation with Ibrahim Elsalahi, Iwalewa Haus, University of Bayreuth, 1983
Rober Serumagea : Conversation with Ibrahim Elsalahi, in Topic, No. 24 , 1967.
Material published in French:
C. Friend, Salahi Le Peintre, in La Revue Franaise de lElite Europenne, No. 199, Mai 1967.
- Abdalla Ahmed Bashir (Bola), Art et Identit Culturelle Au Soudan, Thse de doctorat, Universit de la Sorbonne, Paris I, Dcembre 1984
Hassan Musa, La Mutation des rfrences Culturelles chez les Citadins du Soudan Septentrional, Le cas des Arts Plastiques,Thse de Doctorat, Universit de Montpellier III, 1990

As for Arabic, the huge number of material published on El-salahi recently is not available for classification now, so Ill mention here the old references. Later we promise to list a full bibliography when the material is made available for classification:
Hiwar (dialogue): Artist Ibrahim Elsalahi . Vol. No. 3 March &April 1965
Salih El-rabeii: Contemporary Art in Arabic Countries. Baghdad 1986
Hashim Mohammed Salih: Interview with El-Slahi. AlAyamm Newspaper Issue dated 27th of November 1974
Hasan Musa: The work of Salahi in the eyes of Sagyroun. AlAyyam Newspaper issue dated 24th of April 1975
Hasan Musa: El-Salahis correspondence with Musa published in Jahanam, a private publication by Hasan Musa, No. 22 March 2003.

Written by:
Hasan Musa , April 2004