Nottingham Contemporary Spotlights the Work of Hamid Zénati

by SHOWstudio on 15 May 2024

Entitled 'Two Steps at a Time', the exhibition chronicles Zénati's near-obsessive creative impulse that drove the artist's entire 60-year career.

Entitled 'Two Steps at a Time', the exhibition chronicles Zénati's near-obsessive creative impulse that drove the artist's entire 60-year career.

Who was Hamid Zénati? Despite the artist's near-obsessive creative output during his nearly 60-year career, it's a question that still puzzles many - even those in the arts - which is why the artist's posthumous exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary Two Steps at a Time, opening next week, is a must-see show.

Hamid Zénati for the 'Two Steps at a Time' exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary

The exhibition marks Zénati's second-ever institutional show; a fact speaking to his largely unknown status that still shadows much of his work. Unfortunately, Zénati died in 2022 but his work still lives on thanks to his ferocious output while alive that led to the artist experimenting across a variety of media and surfaces, from found objects, textiles, walls and ceramics to photography, fashion and even wearable sculpture. While the exhibition documents all this and more, it pays special attention to how Zénati carefully crafted his ‘all over’ style, which quickly became an artist signature of sorts.

Never sticking to one discipline despite coming from a period in time when creative chameleons were seen as less serious than their 'craft-dedicated' contemporaries, Zénati's intense use of colour and cosmology of pattern are also highlighted in this exhibition, tropes that metaphorically speak of the artist's own character; unique, free, distinct and anarchic. Everything from geometric abstraction to indigenous Amazigh signs and Indonesian ornamental design found their way into Zénati's personal portfolio of artwork - one that was the product of a completely self-taught practice and a 60-year career.

Two Steps at a Time will be open to the public from 25 May until 8 September. For more information, click here.

Hamid Zénati for the 'Two Steps at a Time' exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary
Hamid Zénati for the 'Two Steps at a Time' exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary

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