Art Reviews

Art Reviews

Abstracts?????“Marc Eliany touches the heroic, the power of the symbol? His painting reduces rhythms to their essential. From his native Morocco, he does not paint the concrete object but powerful symbols, a transformation of his childhood milieu? In his allegory on canvases, Marc Eliany, does not express nostalgia but a desire to repossess the doors, the walls and landscapes of his native Morocco? His work expresses his deep and colorful spirituality, and his fierce sensuality??? a review from Gates of Welcome by Dr. Serge Ouaknine, Universit? du Qu?b?c 1994

“In his exhibition ‘Eroba Eroba’, Marc Eliany uses colors and forms as symbols to tell a story about Europe from a non-European point of view? He expresses: hope for a better future? deception… persecutions… and he turns back to hope… Using a language of Symbolic Expressionists, this artist tells a painted tale in which he bridges between two worlds” Exerts from a review of Eroba Eroba by Dr Gabriele Kohlbauer, Vienna Jewish Museum, 1997


National Archive, Ottawa, Canada
January 20, 2005

C’est au Maroc, a Beni Mellal, qu’ Eliany a vu le jour en 1948. Il restera très attaché à son pays natal, qu’il quitte dès 1961, et y retournera régulièrement.
Son travail, reflète le retour constant vers les lieux de son enfance et la recherche de ses racines. Dans sa peinture ‘Orange en Vert,’ Beni Melal qui l’a vu naître, au coeur de ses vergers, forment un océan vert sur lequel flottent des oranges mythique. Sa peinture, comme sa poesie reduit les rythmes et les elans a l’essentiel.Il a participé à plusieurs expositions au Canada, aux États-Unis et en Europe. Ses œuvres figurent dans plusieurs collections publiques et privées.

The Lands within me
Canadian Museum of Civilization, 2001


Marc Eliany was born in the town of Beni Mellal, Morocco in 1948. He left Morocco for Israel in 1962 but remained very attached to his native country and returned there regularly. During his undergraduate studies in Jerusalem, he spent some time in Canada. Seduced by the beauty and the peaceful atmosphere of the country, he decided to settle in Ottawa in 1976 and pursued doctoral studies there. He worked for the United Nations and lived for brief periods in California and Austria and worked on assignments in the Far East and Latin America.

Essentially self-taught, his painter has nevertheless attended courses at the Tel Hay College of Art in Israel and at the Ottawa School of Art. The influences on his art are many. He admires the spontaneity of Moroccan painters Andre Elbaz, Maxime BenHaim and Shaibia, the composition of Klee and Chagall, the use of colours by painters in the Group of Seven, the lines and shapes of the Ameridian painting.

Marc Eliany uses Moroccan pigments that he mixes with oil, or more, rarely with acrylics, to create his canvases. He also works with colored paper pulp and collages techniques that allow him to produce highly textures surfaces.

?My work? he says, ?reflects the constant return to the places of my childhood and the search for my roots.? He paints Morocco, not figuratively, but recapturing its most visible landmarks in a manner that transforms his memory of it. Additionally, his choice of Moroccan colors and symbols pays tribute to the tradition of tolerance towards strangers in that country.

Marc Eliany exhibited in Canada, United States and Europe. His works are included in several public and private collections.

October 2001

From: Artistic Creation and the Moroccan Jewish Diaspora by Marc Eliany
The Israeli/North American influence

Marc Eliany, born in 1948 in Beni Melal, immigrated to Israel in 1961 and moved to Canada in 1976. He was educated at the Technion (1969-71), the Hebrew University (1971-76) and Carleton and Ottawa Universities (1976-1981)…Eliany is a multidisciplinary artist dedicated to documenting Jewish life in Morocco. He addresses issues relating to inter-cultural tolerance in a symbolic expressionist fashion…“Eliany touches the heroic, the power of the symbol? His painting reduces rhythms to their essential? His work expresses his deep and colorful spirituality, and his fierce sensuality?? (Ouaknine, 1994).
From a historical perspective, much artistic merit is found in Morocco?s material culture in the work of common artisans and craftsmen.? Western modern artists found artistic redemption in it and Moroccan Jews made a significant contribution to it in creation and diffusion. Given the strongly grounded traditional patterns of artistic creation in Morocco, artists had to deviate from them to break ground into modern and contemporary art forms. But until the early 50?s, religious and traditional constraints remained potent and only sustained exposure to external cultures, i.e., French, Israeli or North American, made contemporary artistic expressions legitimate. There are certainly many more artists to represent Moroccan Jewish artistic creation and in due time, more will be written about them. Meanwhile, the four selected here, Elbaz and BenHaim on one side and Cohen-Gan and Eliany, on the other side, certainly typify the breakthrough intocontemporary art, forgetting not their roots.

Paintings and Photography A Moroccan Pilgrimage
Marc Eliany, at the Museum Gallery of Safed’s Artist Colony, May 25 through July 2, 2000.

Marc Eliany was born in Morocco in an enchanting town at the foot of the Atlas Mountain: Beni Melal. And he grew up as a child in Casablanca, before immigrating to Israel at the age of 12. Israel was for him, as for most Moroccan Jewry, the promise of ancestral dreams. Israel was the land of freedom from persecution and Justice. But upon settlement in Israel, the reality was different and Morocco became for him the land of dreams. And for many years, Marc Eliany studied the land of the Maghreb and engaged in an ongoing comparative analysis. In Israel, Moroccan Jewish culture disappeared with the exception of caricatural vestiges, too distant from the truth.

But in Morocco, 5000 Jews still lead the life they led for two thousand years. In “A Moroccan Pilgrimage” Marc Eliany brings a refreshing testimony on Jewish life in Fes. It is a sensitive review of life in a very old community, perhaps as old as the city itself, which was founded in 789 CE.

Jews contributed to Fes a tradition of learning, for here even Maimonides came to study, rich and colourful arts and crafts and especially jewellery making, national trade and international commerce and high court diplomacy. This was the place where even the dhimi Jew was respected.

Nowadays, only 160 Jews live in Fes, some young and some old. They no longer live in the old mellah we see in Marc’s photos, but they still congregate at the Rambam community centre for celebrations or for bi-weekly ritual slaughter of innocent chicken. They pray at the Ben Saadoun synagogue and they burry their dead in the ancient cemetary, where saints are still revered.

Here the present remains a testimony to a magnificient past.

Art Against War – June 18-26/99
a multi-media Grop Show at Gallery 101, 236 Nepean St., Ottawa, June 18-26, 1999
Sara Atkinson Johnathan Brownz John Crepano Beth Cumming Marc Eliany c.j. fleury Barbara Gamble Shaun Hupka Claude LaTour Eliza Linde Allan Harding MacKay M. Patricia McColl Don Monet Maja Nedeljkovic Margaret Nicholson Uta Riccius V. M. Roberts (MBL) David Van Sertima Yvon Villarceaux Art Wilson (Wii Muk’willixw) Paula Mitas Zoubek
Vernissage – Friday June 18, 8 pm

Art Agains War is a spontaneous event organized by artists concerned about the effects of war. "The artists taking part in this show are Canadians who resent being 
represented and implicated in the current military action in Yugoslavia, and in all wars where bombing civilians is being used in the name of making peace," 
says Ottawa artist and curator Dan Monet.? "We all felt a compelling need to say something.? To do something."
The art represented in this show covers a range of issues associated with many wars taking place around the world:? the use of Canadian bombs against a civilian 
population and civilian infrastructure in Yugoslavia and Iraq; the plight of the victims of Serbian war crimes; the further subversion of the UN general assembly as 
a political body; the immoral use of depleted uranium tipped bullets in Iraq and in Yugoslavia; Canadian support for food and medecine embargoes in Iraq; 
and the simle suffering of the innocent who are the true targets of any war.Mr. Monet says "I started with a couple of phone calls, not really knowing if anyone 
would want to take part in this show.? Then the phone started ringing with calls from across Canada.? This theme has obviously touched a raw nerve within 
the national arts community."
Note:? Allan Harding MacKay is the former Canadian War artist who initiated daily destruction of his own work in response to the Canadian government's 
active participation in the bombing of Yugoslavia.? His work is in a number of prestigious public art collections across Canada, including the National Gallery 
and the Canadian War Museum.'Wii Muk'willlixw (Art Wilson) is an hereditary chief (Wold) the Gitxsan people in Northern British Columbia.? 
He has chronicled in a combination of ancient and modern images, the struggles of people around the world.? His book of illustrations recording injustice and 
resistance "Heartbeat of the Earth" was released in 1996.
 Contact Curator:? Don Monet (613) 728-1750 Allan Harding MacKay (416) 596-7949
 Traveling Exhibitions - Snapshot

Beaver College, Fine Arts Gallery
Febrauary 25, 2001 – March 25, 2001

An Exhibition of 1,000 Artists
February 25, 2001 – March 25, 2001

Beaver College, Fine Arts Gallery

Beaver College Participating Artists:


Alan S Edelman, Mel Edelman, Susan Eder, Yvonne Eder, Jonathan Edmonds, Grier Edmundson, S. B. Edwards, Howard Ehrenfeld, Galia Eibenschutz, James Elaine,
Marc Eliany, Andrew Elliott, Dominic Episcopo, Naomi Epstein, Meret Erni, Roi Escudero, “Bubi” Jan Estep, Yvonne Estrada.

See also reviews in French elsewhere 


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