Gouider Triki

Tunisia 1949. Lives and works outside of Tunis.

"Triki in some ways reminds me of Belkahia. He evokes a world that is vaguely reminiscent of a mythical past yet does not need to do so by relying on preset coordinates. His primary medium is not the actual medium that composes the work, it is rather an abstract one; it is his appropriation of a geography of place that is the medium here.

That place is inhabited by clearly figurative elements that are also stylized (why do I think of Hamed Nada here?); yet it is my argument that although the figures are highly significant they are not the subject of the work but rather the inhabitants of the work itself. Triki achieves that effect by employing specific formal techniques. He creates a field that obeys its own rules. For example, in both etchings shown here a unified homogenous color field is the basic ground. Upon it figures are delineated by another color, and in one case that is surrounded by a variation upon three other colors.

Triki reduces his possibilities through a clearly delineated series of choices. This is a sort of primal formalism, one whose impetus is not an interest in repeating forms as much as the recognition that an artwork is based upon a series of choices and decisions and therefore employing a language. The most efficient way of doing this is by highlighting the presence of that language, alerting the viewer to its presence and asking the viewer to detect variation in the usage of this language as a way of reading the work. This is not just a basic language then but also an actual grammar that relies on a sort of serialism, which is, of course, one of the hallmarks of mid-twentieth century modernism."

- Excerpt from 'The case against continuity, or is it possible to be enchanted?' by Hassan Khan
Arab Art Histories - The Khalid Shoman Collection, published by The Khalid Shoman Foundation, 2013