Marrakech’s Yves Saint Laurent Museum celebrates the highly anticipated opening of the French painter Jacques Azéma (1910-1979). The exhibition commemorates his lifetime achievements and unique body of work to be shown from October 27 – February 2019.
This unique exhibition will introduce themes from Azéma’s creations that inspired dozens of Moroccan artists during the 1930s. These include his fascination with geometric patterns throughout Morocco in mosques, tile patterns, and architecture. His surrealist approach includes street scenes from Marrakech, artisans, entertainers in Jemma el Fna square, and other local traditions. Azéma’s dream-like lends insight into his passion for Morocco.
Jacques Azéma moved to Marrakech in 1930. He was a professor of drawing in Mangin and Winner of the Decorative Arts of Paris. As part of a Mahjoub Benseddik’s team, Azéma taught painting workshops at Casablanca’s Ecole des Beaux-Arts and from 1962 to 1974. Benseddik was the historical leader of the Moroccan Labor Union. He also made an impact on art students from Marrakech’s Lycée Mangin High School to whom he taught animated painting workshops.
Upon his passing in 1979, many of his former Moroccan students and friends expressed publicly how he served as their inspiration. “Azéma had finesse and clarity. He captured people in a state that eternalized them in an ideal world between reality and perfection. Azema was a man with a good heart. He was gentle and his words were full of meaning. He really loved Morocco,” shared his friend Mustapha Mekaoui.