Abdelkader Benchamma French, b. 1975

1975 Born in Mazamet, France
Lives and works Montpellier and Paris, France


Abdelkader Benchamma imposes constraints upon his process to create delicately executed and dynamic drawings of states of matter. His drawings take their inspiration from visual scenarios that stem from reflections on space and its physical reality, its limits and its zones of contact with mental space. They operate with diversions, modulating objects to testify of possible malfunctions in our relationship with the other and with things. Shifting of reality, intrusion of the invisible, indeterminate matters undergoing transformation, minuscule catastrophes are at the heart of Benchamma’s work.
Inspired by many different thought processes, that go from science to esotericism, from literature to history of art, the artist creates artworks with uncertain boundaries, and whose movement destabilises the visitor by playing namely with the codes of figuration and abstraction. These organic ensembles can make us think of landscapes, not in the traditional sense of the term but more because the flow they outline brings to mind the movement of natural elements, like air, clouds, earth, space. Often using black and white for its simplicity and graphic strength, the artist develops a language through which he gets the visitor to doubt of the reality of his/her perception, by making him/her penetrate into unstable, dynamic and elusive worlds. Moving matter that enveloped us at the Drawing Centre in New York (2015-2016), a cave animated by a furious circular vortex at the Sharjah Biennial (2017), these installations, that one could call metaphysical, question our relationship to what is imperceptible, infinite and invisible. His works were also included in Future of a Promise, a Pan Arab exhibition during the 54th Venice Biennale, Told / Untold / Retold at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, and Constantine, Capital of Arab Culture festival in Algeria. Recipient of the Paris-based The Drawing Now Prize, he was also nominated for the Le Meurice Prize in 2015. In 2018, he presented a solo exhibition at the CENTQUATRE-PARIS.


2003 Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris, Paris, France


Selected Solo Exhibitions
Abdelkader Benchamma, Power Plant, Toronto, Canada
Symetrie et soupirs, In Situ : Art Contemporain et Patrimoine, Abbaye de Lagrasse, Lagrasse, France
Abdelkader Benchamma, MRAC, Sérignan, France
Engramme, Galerie Templon, Paris, France
Rumeur des cercles, Galerie les Chantiers Boite Noire, Montpellier, France
Un artiste, une oeuvre, Fondation Hélénis special commission, Montpellier, France
L’horizon des évènements, CENTQUATRE-Paris, France
Echos de la Naissance des Mondes, Collège des Bernardins, on the occasion of the Nuit Blanche, curated by Gaël, Charbau, Paris, France
Sous la terre, des étoiles, Art Kulte, Rabat, Morocco
Abdelkader Benchamma, Islands, Maison du livre de l’image et du son, Villeurbanne, France
The Great Invisible Battle, The Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona, Spain
The Unbearable Likeness, Gallery Isabelle Van Den Eynde, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Curiosité & Merveilles, Christie’s, Paris, France
Abdelkader Benchamma : Representation of Dark Matter, The Stairway Project, The Wall Drawing Commission, The Drawing Center, New York, USA
Random, FRAC Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France
Le soleil comme une plaque d’argent mat, Carré Sainte-Anne, Montpellier, France
Simulacrum, Gallery agnes b, New York, USA
Le soleil comme une plaque d’argent, Commissariat Daria de Beauvais, Galerie St-Séverin, Paris, France
Abdelkader Benchamma, Gallery Federico Luger, Milan, Italy
The Invention of the Cave, Gallery agnes b, Honk Kong
Corrupted Theories, Gallery Isabel Van Den Eynde, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Le signal faible, ADN Galeria, Barcelona, Spain
Bruits de Fond, Frueshorge Contemporary, Berlin, Germany
Dark Matter, galerie du jour agnes b., Paris, France
La ligne de base du hasard, Galerie Chantiers Boite Noire, Montpellier, France
The Apparent Stability of Things, Galerie Chantiers Boite Noire, Montpellier, France
All these masses are just pieces from the same…- Gallery Federico Luger, Milan, Italy
Même les choses invisibles se cachent. Part 2 – CAC, Istres, France
Même les choses invisibles se cachent. Part 1 – ADN Galeria, Barcelona, Spain
Abdelkader Benchamma, Centre d’art contemporain La galerie, Vitry-sur-Seine, France
Abdelkader Benchamma, Galerie du Jour agnés.b, Paris, France
They think that once they are here, it will be … , Gallery agnes.b, Honk Kong
Incidents (Invisibles), Project Room, galerie du jour agnes b., Paris, France

Selected Group Exhibitions
Syncopation: Contemporary encounters with the Modern Masters, The Pola Museum of Art, Japan 
Symétries et soupirs, IN SITU Patrimoine et Art Contemporain, Abbaye de Lagrasse, France
Un autre monde dans notre monde, Frac PACA, Marseille, France
Eldorado – Lille 3000, Le Tripostal, Lille, France
Syncopation, Pola Museum of Art, Hakone, Japan
100 artistes dans la ville, Montpellier, France
Air, stone, water, X, Fondation Helenis, Montpellier, France
Melancholia, Fondation Boghossian, Brussels, Belgium
(Un)conscious: A series of small serendipities, Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
On aime l’art…!, Collection agnes b., Fondation Yvon Lambert, Avignon, France
Tamawuj, Sharjah Biennal 13, Commisaire : Christine Tohmé, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
EcoSystéme, commissaire : Mohamed Bourouissa, Château d’Oiron, France Monts et Merveilles, Le Bel
Ordinaire, Pau, France
Épreuves uniques, Atelier Michael Woolworth, Paris, France
Le nom d’une île, Le Pavillon Blanc, Printemps de septembre de Toulouse, Colomiers, France
A quoi tient la beauté des étreintes, FRAC Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France
Se souvenir des Belles Choses, MRAC, Sérignan, France
a_i_d_e_-_m_ém_o_i_r_e_:_ _f_o_o_t_n_o_t_e_s_ _(_P_a_r_t_ _I_I_)_, Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, United
Arab Emirates
Un regard sur la collection d’agnes b., LAM, Villeneuve d’Ascq Traits d’esprit, Galerie du jour agnes b – Paris
Après avoir tout oublié, Asterides – Friche Belle de mai, Marseille, France
ROC, Commissariat Hughes Reip, Galerie du jour agnes b., Paris, France
Nice Drawings, Galerie Isabelle Van den Eynde – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Enigme au Club de la Compagnie, Centre d’art le LAIT, Albi, France
Dans ma cellule, une silhouette, La Ferme du Buisson, Noisiel, France
Chromophobia, Gallery Isabelle Van Den Eynde, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Turbulences II – Espace culturel Louis Vuitton/ Fondation Boghossian, Villa Empain, Commissariat : David
Rosenberg et Pierre Sterckx, Brussels, Belgium
The Immigrants, Giudecca – 56e Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
Graphic, Phakt, Centre Culturel Contemporain, Rennes, Paris
Paper Trail, The Barjeel Foundation, Katara, Doha, United Arab Emirates
Collectionner aujourd’hui, Collection Philipe Piguet, Centre d’art contemporain, Saint-Restitut
The Island/A Game of Life, Manarat al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi
The Future of a Promise, 54e Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
Music Covers ! , Point Ephémère, Paris, France
Told/ Untold/ Retold, MATHAF, Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar
Biennale d’art contemporain Le Havre 2010, Musée Maritime, Le Havre, France
Reading Room, Nomas Foundation, Roma, Italy
Fabula Graphica, Grandes Galeries des Beaux arts, Rouen, France

Public Collections
Musée régional d’art contemporain, Sérignan, France
FRAC Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France
MATHAF, Musée Arabe d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Doha, Qatar
FRAC Occitanie Montpellier, Montpellier, France
DRAC Centre, Orléans, France
FRAC Languedoc Roussillon, Montpellier, France
Musée des Beaux Arts, Orléans, France
Barjeel Foundation, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Winner of the Occitanie-Médicis Price, France
Winner of the Drawing Now Price, France
Art Collector Price, France

2018-19 VillaMedicis, Rome, Italy
2017 Beirut Art Residency, Lebanon
2016 a.r.i.a Residency, Algeria