Informed by the issues surrounding Western Art, drawing from a literary and poetic tradition, the work of Yazid Oulab is a quest for meaning. In his sculptures, videos, installations and also his drawings, the artist declines an iconography linked to his own experience: everyday objects (jars, scales, crates, carpets) , sometimes with a sacred association (incense sticks, sacrificial knives), or to the building trade which he practised in order to finance his studies (trowel, carpenter’s pencil, scaffolding).
Simple, pared down, the forms he creates can never be reduced to mere signs however, since their physicality and the gestures they elicit hold a power and nobility of their own. The artist’s work bridges the gap between feeling and symbolism, symbol and text, craft and ritual, it accompanies a move towards spiritual knowledge, going beyond surface appearance.
Born in 1958 in the Constantine region of Algeria, Yazid Oulab has lived and worked in Marseilles since 1988. Graduating from the School of Fine Arts in Algiers in 1985, then the National School of Fine Arts in Marseilles in 1992, he has exhibited since the beginning of the ‘eighties on both sides of the Mediterranean, but also in Ankara, in Dubai and in New York. He has taken part in numerous exhibitions at major institutions such as the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris) The Grand Palais (Paris), the Musée des Abattoirs (Toulouse), the MUDAM (Luxembourg) and the MNAC (Bucharest). He was also invited in 2009 to be artist in residence at the atelier Calder in Saché, in the Touraine.