Khaled Ben Slimane, White Vase, 2016. Glazed ceramic, 68 x 27 x 27 cm. Photo credit: Firas Ben Khelifa. Courtesy of the artist and Elmarsa Gallery

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KHALED BEN SLIMANE
Bio: Tunisian, b. 1951
Title: White Vase, 2016
Medium: Glazed ceramic
Size: 68 x 27 x 27 cm
Acquired by: Permanent collection of the Minneapolis
Institute of Art, Minneapolis
Artist represented by: Elmarsa Gallery, Tunis | Dubai
Acquisition date: 2018

Khaled Ben Slimane is a seeker whose dynamic artistic works embody his ongoing spiritual journey. Like Jalal al-Din Rumi, the greatest of the Sufi mystics, Khaled’s generous cosmopolitan outlook is informed by diverse sources: Sufi humanism; Zen philosophy; a modern sensibility tempered by a compelling appreciation of tradition.

His ceramics and paintings embody the meaningful and meditative gesture. Circular forms, repeated in the turning of the potter’s wheel, inscription-like concentric circles and the invocation “Howa” (him) recall the endless gyre of the sema dance practiced by Rumi’s followers to the rhythms of drums and ney. His preference for simple geometric forms and the texture of the brush rather than the firm control of the traditional Arabic qalam (pen) arose through his studies under Japanese master potters and calligraphers. Bold forms and colours have evolved from the principles he was introduced to as a young artist within the artistic community of Barcelona inspired by Joan Miro. In this vase, Khaled’s works balance the fragility and the earthiness of the ceramic medium.

Photo credit: Firas Ben Khelifa
Courtesy of the artist and Elmarsa Gallery
Gift of funds from Tamara and Michael Root and the
Norman Gabrick Endowment for African Art
© Khaled Ben Slimane

A VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE APPEARED IN PRINT IN SELECTIONS #55

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