Artist Ali Mourabet - critical analysis by Timothy Warrington

Artist Ali Mourabet

"Structures ii" by Ali Mourabet

Ali Mourabet is a true artist, possessing a rare ability to stimulate viewers as he conveys artistic ideas that are communicated and encapsulated as a direct consequence of an inner journey that explores the very essence of beauty through shape, colour and the essential relationship between forms. The artist’s broad and intricate cultural foundations stemming from architecture are apparent by virtue of assertive use of line and visual experimentations of mathematics, as well as the curious philosophical connections to diverse dimensions of art history ranging as wide as the Metaphysics, Optical art, Futurism, De Stijl and perspective itself.

The development of Mourabet’s work presents fascinating insight into the mind and technical approach of the artist - an exceptionally versatile painter able to channel artistic creativity in very distinct directions. However, there is an interesting underlying thought process in relation to compositional elements that often transcends the subject matter. It seems as though, through the evolution and inspection of his own work, the artist gradually distances himself from the need to portray recognisable components in his paintings. In fact, the intellectual process that commenced with capturing what he effectively saw, whether quaint Lebanese scenes or nature, is transformed into a different type of sensory evaluation. The artist looks beyond frivolous and superficial meaning towards the more profound visual ingredients that constitute the actual infrastructure on which visual ideas of art are entrenched.

From a historical perspective, there are conceptual parallels with Cezanne who also incorporated an analysis of geometry in otherwise natural and spontaneous scenes although, with the benefit of the wealth of 20th Century developments, Mourabet contributes to the collective cultural development and proffers a direction of artistic perception of the utmost profundity. From shared ideals with artists that broadly span, from the likes of De Chirico to Mondrian himself, to a unique interpretation and integration of powerful and provocative notions that unite with an almost industrial and mechanical portrayal of mathematics, the viewer can see as well as feel the innate power in the compositions in a manner that has a common rooted perception of reality as seen with movements such as Futurism and Constructivism. Yet, the emotions transferred by Mourabet are in contrast with much of what related visual ideas were utilised to convey in the past. Rather, an approach to art previously and inherently connected to social development and theories of future utopian balance is now presented in a conceptually different manner. It is as though the artist wishes to dispense with preconception contingent on the affinity between certain visual representations of strength and power and, in contrast, conceptual standards are transformed and are no longer tied to authority but eloquently and profoundly connected to the exact opposite; hope, serenity and even humanity, catalysed by a gentle and soft use of colour, are the elating protagonists of the artist’s creations.

On a multitude of fronts, Mourabet challenges ideological norms through a transformation in which he is able to endow a graceful and delicate softness to otherwise sharp and angular compositions. It is as though the artist is bridging ideas of architectural planning and imposing forms in the direction of more optical and ethereal realms, with some correlation to the visionary artist Vassarely, in the execution and sensory interpretation of shapes and lines. The viewer speedily reaches the realisation, whether consciously or emotionally, that the structural tools exploited by Mourabet, that are either requisitioned from reality or conceived by the mind’s eye, are not the artist’s intended port of arrival but rather his platform from which his intended expressive quality can penetrate.

Graceful balance and an almost visceral sense of peace are crystalised by an underlying joyous optimism expertly conveyed via Mourabet’s stimulating translation of his profound academic study and innate creative talent. Mourabet has broken and simultaneously reinterpreted various significant historical references combining his acute artistic ability, broad mind and compelling visual study on the evocative dimensions of compositional plasticity.


Timothy Warrington
International Confederation of Art Critics