Lot 29
  • 29

Adel Abdessemed

50,000 - 70,000 EUR
bidding is closed


  • Adel Abdessemed
  • Lampedusa
  • signed Adel Abdessemed (along the right edge)
  • black chalk on paper
  • 51 1/8 x 74 3/4 in.


Private collection, Paris


P.L. Pizzi (ed.), Adel AbdessemedWorks 1988–2015 (Drawings),  New York, 2017, vol. 3, illustrated p. 381

Catalogue Note

Lampedusa, the title of this large black chalk drawing refers to the tragically notorious island situated to the South of Sicily which has become the arrival point for migrants crossing the sea from North Africa. As early as 2011, three years before the phenomenon reached today’s scale, Adel Abdessemed, inspired by the first dramatic images broadcast on the internet and in the media, created his work Hope, exhibited at the Centre Pompidou in 2012, and simultaneously began the Lampedusa drawings.

By transfiguring the image of a tragic news event, the artist draws an absolute vision of the destiny of all migrants in the world and across history.  Through his application of black chalk and the simplification of line, the image of this sea crossing of anonymous people crammed in a boat concentrates all the violence of this human tragedy. The Lampedusa series deliberately refers to Gericault’s famous Radeau de la méduse, which itself relates to an event that had a tremendous political and social impact at the time. Abdessemed assumes and renews this legacy. With the same force, he confronts us with a current event, whilst evoking an eternal human drama.