Selected Works

Installation Shots

Taher JAOUI was born in 1978 in Tunisia and he lives and works in Madrid, Spain

Creating captivating and labor-intensive work with an idea of continuing the legacy of  abstract expressionism movement from the 50s and 60s, Taher Jaoui’s paintings are  rich assemblages of layered forms, vibrant colors, expressive gestures, and  mathematics signs and formulas. Applied on canvas through a dynamic interaction, a  physical back and forth dialogue in which perspective and orientation continuously  change until all the elements are balanced right, these opulent creations are the  artist’s personal way of expressing himself. 

Through a series of spontaneous movements, directly inspired by the way canvas  responds to layers of paint and gestures applied to it, Jaoui compares his work to a  dance routine with a familiar partner. And while impulsive and unconstrained in its  core, the familiarity with materials is essential for the creative process that strongly  depends on the ability to respond quickly and foresee the way the elements will work  together. Layering pastels, oils, and acrylics, the artist accents the richness of his  work by constructing a raw texture which directly captures the physical energy put  into each piece. Serving as a channel to convey his thoughts, emotions, and visions,  the artistic practice is Jaoui’s source of confidence and peace, while the finished work  becomes a documentation of the process of achieving those feelings. 

Without any formal art education, his artistic practice is influenced by African primitive  art, graffiti, glitch art, COBRA movement as well as the philosophy and attitude of  post-war abstract expressionism. Varying from simple forms and patterns over  familiar shapes that reminiscent of abstracted skulls, all the way to chalkboard-like  scribble sections, the canvas surface becomes the workspace through which the  artist exercises his ways of expression.  

The concept of building something from a variety of singular elements is a direct  result of computer science and engineering studies, parts of which are coming to life  through abstract mathematics signs and formulas sometimes incorporated into  Jaoui’s entrancing compositions. This element, along with the spatial vision of the  surface, once again makes a strong connection with early abstract expressionism  concepts which considered ideas of quantum mechanics in their conceptualization.  Regularly working on a large scale, the works which are exclusively built in an  automatic or subconscious manner, are actually demanding careful planning and  utilization of space and materials. While balancing between his thoughts and feelings while creating, Jaoui’s work carries that sense of rebellious, anarchic, highly  idiosyncratic and, some might say nihilistic feel to it, yet still constructing an endless  base for viewer-dependent interpretation and experience.