Initiative Münchner Galerien zeitgenößischer Kunst


Youssef Abdelké

Bleak and Black
11.11.2016 - 14.01.2017
Youssef Abdelké

“Abdelke`s fish is not a fish: it is an arrow, a beam, a breath, a whispered call of life. Yet it is also a fish. But it flies like a bird in the night in which we find ourselves once again immersed. In a large charcoal drawing on canvas, he stares at us, as if the image of death was more alive for Abdelké than that of life.” Alain Jouffroy

Youssef Abdelké’s highly acclaimed work is renowned for its sin­ister under­tones and unique sym­bolism which expose the bru­tal­i­ties of life. The Syrian painter breaks with tra­di­tion through his unique approach to still life drawing. Trivial items such as a flower, a fish or a shoe are the focal point of Abdelké’s works.
“In order for a bone frag­ment, a dish or an empty sar­dine to do what a king and his horse or a woman and her pos­ses­sions usu­ally did, the artist is required to exert excep­tional efforts and to dis­play great skills,” art critic Emil Manaem writes in his intro­duc­tion to Abdelké’s book. “In his draw­ings, Abdelké allows simple things in life to impose their sovereignty over spaces, pushing them from the very begin­ning from the realm of realism to the realm of sym­bolism.”

Youssef Abdelké was born in Qameshli (Syria) in 1951. He studied at the Faculty of Arts in Damascus and at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
After more than 25 years of com­pelled exile and of being for­bidden to go back to Syria, it was finally pos­sible for him to go to Damascus in 2005 and to organise a large exhi­bi­tion there.

Youssef Abdelke’s works are part of a large number of museums and insti­tu­tions, including The British Museum in London and the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris.


Taking place at

Galerie Tanit

Maximilianstr. 45 • 80538 M
Tel. +49 89 29 22 33 • Fax +49 89 29 57 92
Tue–Fri 11 am – 6 pm

Galerie Tanit project room 5
Maximilianstr. 45 • 5. Stock
Open Art 2020:
Friday, september 11       6–9 pm
Saturday, september 12  11 am–6 pm
Sunday, september 13    11 am–6 pm