Biography

Abdelkébir RABI’ is born on November 26thof 1944 in Boulemane.

He grew up in a warm and godly family, within a home atmosphere imbued with the nostalgia of a respected bloodline dating back to ancient times and originally rooted in the Tafilalet, a far-remote region located in the deep South-East of Morocco.

His childhood and boyhood were quite serene in the middle of these highlands, among the pines and the deciduous oaks magnificently spreading across the thrilling mountaintops of the Middle Atlas steep hills.

In that plain and untouched environment he grew up in, human life was ruled by the only nature and the whims of its changing seasons. He developed a delicate sensibility which triggered his early inclination for contemplation and loneliness. Even as a little boy, he expressed a growing interest in drawing and painting. Once a young man, his interest turned into a passion which was definitively going to determine his whole future. He chose to follow his craze wherever it may lead him, doing so despite his formalist and religious family, whose members could not consider any other future for their elder son but a life in line with their principles and beliefs.

Day in, day out, he learned to live in two unmixed worlds. The first one was that of a traditional background, living according to the same unchanged values dating back to ancient times, a world expressly forbidding any artistic depiction of living beings. While his other life was that of an imaginary world, and in this other world, the depiction was the golden bar-line for every sensation making the world playing a kind of visual music which tempo would be set only by our eyes.

A fateful moment that has been shaking the delicate balance of his carefree teen years was for sure his leap into the unknown when he had to leave the overprotected environment he always lived in, so as to continue his studies in Sefrou. This small town was the nearest one hosting a big high school besides a hostel school for the students coming from the region all around. He never could get over this hard separation which might explain this lasting homesickness shining through his mind each time he calls out to his memory for this slice of his pretty young life.

Imagine the terrible dismay of this backcountry boy who has been left to his own devices in a pitchy urban environment and completely directionless in this rough-and-tumble little city; he who never left home, he who never strayed far from the place he was born and where he spent all his years as a kid and then as a teenager. Lost and confused, he decided to grin and bear it and he struggled as selflessly as he could, totally determined to unswervingly cope with it all, until he is done with his secondary school studies.

All the more so as he was dealing with financial hardships; not only he ought to figure out something for getting enough money to cover his own needs, but he also wanted to provide some substantial aid to his parents who were going through difficult times. As soon as he reached the needed level of schooling, he joined the Ecole Normale de Fèsfor a pedagogical training diploma leading him at working for the public service, in the education sector.

All the while confirming his vocation as a painter, he dashed with a lot of zeal into his new job as a teacher, which happily built another bridge between the artistic creation and his daily life as he has been appointed very soon to the function of drawing teacher. He didn’t last at all for making his warhorse the art lessons he was providing, and he did it with great passion.

At this time, he was living in Fès and one day, outside a conference held in 1968 about the beginnings of modern art at the French Cultural center, he happened to meet Bernard Dorival, a great art historian. Mister Dorival got him a scholarship and invited him to frequent stays in Paris, so as he can learn more about art. As well, he connected him with some painters in Paris belonging to the new-school movement, whom the historian knew through his function of Curator for the Museum of Modern Art.

The periodic visits he was paying to the Parisian workshops of these pioneering artists were inspiriting his mind and he was more and more getting used to the artistic trends of the sixties. In addition to this chance of a lifetime, his frequent forays into the museums and his deep interest in the great art of the top masters through the centuries led him at sharpening his skills for analysis and appreciation. All of these new means and experiences in a row widened his scope of artistic exploration, to finally lead him beyond the post-impressionist world with orientalism overtone which, by dint of application, provided him the expertise needed for expressing the full span of his talent.

His opening on the multifaceted sides of a universally-recognized art of painting prepared his mind to a logic that made him get on to the fundamental questions which are the spring of nowadays creative reflection. That way, the innovative concept of the so-called “Art Informel” did open up a quite interesting path for his self-fulfillment, especially as he personally knew some of the artists who launched this new artistic movement.

In 1988, he joined the higher education department, within the scope of a pilot program for experimenting new educational methods. He partook very proactively in the implementation of a theoretical approach to art, advocating for a confrontation between the practical knowledge and a certain sense of esthetics. He made this new approach his own, by building bottomless relations made of dialogue and exchange with some expert teachers of philosophy who were very attentive to the artistic issue, paying special attention to the spiritual side of the creation process

As part of this ambitious project, he co-supervised the reform of the teaching provided at the Fine Arts institute of Casablanca, by including a theoretical course adapted to arts practice. This operation ended in the creation of the “Bachelor in Applied Arts” degree, the very-first diploma wholly dedicated to arts, in compliance with a partnership concluded between the relevant authorities and the University institutions. This intensive pedagogical activity sharpened his taste in research and experimentation by opening wide his mind to an approach of his art that would be more and more fertile.

As from 2003, he retired from teaching for good, with a feeling of satisfaction as for his mission, accomplished and carried out with a lot of passion and commitment, and the absolute certainty that the best teaching ever could fit in few words, “Just convey your passion”.

Once he is completely settled in his new environment as pensioner, he drastically squared his life by getting rid of all the extra or unneeded things around him. And now that he had plenty of free time for self-reflection, he timidly started setting down in writing all of his thoughts, as he has always wanted to. The subjective impetus of his writings refers to the latent states of his memory, with an obvious bent towards spiritual conjecture. They are mainly made of unwonted reckonings that keep on questioning the process of creation as a basic expression of a certain state of being, where the supposed ideal is always at hand.

In the days when he was targeted by a certain group of critics, his art was the subject of talks which set off a bunch of questionings. While he was at it, he drew on these very questions to develop and detail his own outlook within a long document dotted here and there with autobiographical overtones. He did so because he was trying to define the basis of his art approach by underpinning the insight which explains such approach, with no preconceptions or shams. Doing it this way would give meaning to the specifics of his creative outcome, since its effect turned out to be, rightly or wrongly, quite polemical.

Every now and then, you come across his artworks, presented only in individual exhibitions. His art is now part of the Moroccan artistic landscape and his works are often showcased outside many international events.

Most of his paintings belong now to private collections of local and global art lovers, and a retrospective of his works has been organized from 2008 to 2009 at the “Espace d’Art of the Société Générale” in Casablanca by one of the biggest banking groups of Morocco.

For the time being, the more he goes his way along, the more he tries to stay away from the shaky bustle of the artistic world, seriously restricting his circle of acquaintances to keep away as much as possible from any public life.

Clearheaded as for the frailty of the human being and the vanity fair of life, most of his time is dedicated to his artworks, his beloved family and some few friends whose kindness and sweet amity are dear to his heart.

At this time, he was living in Fès and one day, outside a conference held in 1968 about the beginnings of modern art at the French Cultural center, he happened to meet Bernard Dorival, a great art historian. Mister Dorival got him a scholarship and invited him to frequent stays in Paris, so as he can learn more about art. As well, he connected him with some painters in Paris belonging to the new-school movement, whom the historian knew through his function of Curator for the Museum of Modern Art.

The periodic visits he was paying to the Parisian workshops of these pioneering artists were inspiriting his mind and he was more and more getting used to the artistic trends of the sixties. In addition to this chance of a lifetime, his frequent forays into the museums and his deep interest in the great art of the top masters through the centuries led him at sharpening his skills for analysis and appreciation. All of these new means and experiences in a row widened his scope of artistic exploration, to finally lead him beyond the post-impressionist world with orientalism overtone which, by dint of application, provided him the expertise needed for expressing the full span of his talent.

His opening on the multifaceted sides of a universally-recognized art of painting prepared his mind to a logic that made him get on to the fundamental questions which are the spring of nowadays creative reflection. That way, the innovative concept of the so-called “Art Informel” did open up a quite interesting path for his self-fulfillment, especially as he personally knew some of the artists who launched this new artistic movement.

As from 2003, he retired from teaching for good, with a feeling of satisfaction as for his mission, accomplished and carried out with a lot of passion and commitment, and the absolute certainty that the best teaching ever could fit in few words, “Just convey your passion”.

Once he is completely settled in his new environment as pensioner, he drastically squared his life by getting rid of all the extra or unneeded things around him. And now that he had plenty of free time for self-reflection, he timidly started setting down in writing all of his thoughts, as he has always wanted to. The subjective impetus of his writings refers to the latent states of his memory, with an obvious bent towards spiritual conjecture. They are mainly made of unwonted reckonings that keep on questioning the process of creation as a basic expression of a certain state of being, where the supposed ideal is always at hand.

In the days when he was targeted by a certain group of critics, his art was the subject of talks which set off a bunch of questionings. While he was at it, he drew on these very questions to develop and detail his own outlook within a long document dotted here and there with autobiographical overtones. He did so because he was trying to define the basis of his art approach by underpinning the insight which explains such approach, with no preconceptions or shams. Doing it this way would give meaning to the specifics of his creative outcome, since its effect turned out to be, rightly or wrongly, quite polemical.

Every now and then, you come across his artworks, presented only in individual exhibitions. His art is now part of the Moroccan artistic landscape and his works are often showcased outside many international events.

Most of his paintings belong now to private collections of local and global art lovers, and a retrospective of his works has been organized from 2008 to 2009 at the “Espace d’Art of the Société Générale” in Casablanca by one of the biggest banking groups of Morocco.

For the time being, the more he goes his way along, the more he tries to stay away from the shaky bustle of the artistic world, seriously restricting his circle of acquaintances to keep away as much as possible from any public life.

Clearheaded as for the frailty of the human being and the vanity fair of life, most of his time is dedicated to his artworks, his beloved family and some few friends whose kindness and sweet amity are dear to his heart.

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