Bilal Hamdad

Reflets

Galerie Templon’s Brussels space is inaugurating the new art season with an exhibition of work by ultra-realist painter Bilal Hamdad.

Born in 1987, Bilal Hamdad trained as a painter in Sidi Bel Abbes before moving to France to study. He graduated from the Beaux-Arts in Paris in 2018, and quickly made a name for himself with his strikingly naturalistic canvases exploring contemporary solitude. He borrowed to socialist realism to develop a body of work marked by a long process of observation and exploration of society. Often haunted by the question of isolation in the public space, his paintings tackle crowd phenomena as well as themes of intimacy, sharing and mixing.

The artist unveils a dozen brand-new canvases, including four large format and a handful of medium format pieces. Created during his residency at Casa de Velázquez in Madrid, Hamdad found inspiration in the Spanish masters – Velázquez to Goya – as well as artists influenced by Hispanic culture, such as Rubens and Manet. Reminiscences of their works – café scenes, opulent draperies, ghostly figures – appear in disturbing chiaroscuro effects. By combining scenes of urban gatherings with the issues of the great masters, Bilal Hamdad builds bridges between past and present, and opens up his painting to a multitude of interpretations. Beyond the homage, his canvases evoke visual palimpsests of a new kind that question both the ambiguity of our times and the relevance of painting today.

 

Bilal Hamdad’s work has featured in a wide range of solo and group exhibitions, including at the Louvre Lens (2024), Mo.Co Panacée, Montpellier (2023), La Biennale de Paname, Paris (2023), Le Suquet des Artistes, Cannes (2022) and École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris (2018). His art has been awarded numerous prizes, including the Prix Fondation François Schneider (2023) and Prix Fondation Colas (2020), and features in several collections, including at the Fondation François Schneider, Wattwiller, northeast France (2023), Musée National de l’Histoire de l’Immigration, Paris (2022), Fondation Colas, Paris (2020) and The Sarr Collection (2019).

An exhibition of his work at the Fondation François Schneider will open on 25 October 2024, and in November 2025 his piece Rive droite will be shown as part of an exhibition celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Musée de l’Immigration collection.

Lueurs d’un soir

Details

The artist

Born in Sidi Bel Abbes, Algeria, in 1987, Bilal Hamdad lives and works in Paris.
His large-scale oil paintings, based on photographs, serve as contemporary interpretations of urban scenes. By contrasting anonymity and intimacy, his work portrays a poignantly realistic, universal metropolitan experience. The latter, is paired with a commitment to shed light on the invisible, with a technique formed through a variety of inspirations, from Hopper to Rubens, via the Impressionists. In this way, he explores the complexities of Parisian society, from solitude to cultural diversity.

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