Nedjar, Michel – French Artist & Filmaker

Michel Nedjar (French, born 1947)

Michel Nedjar is a self-taught artist and filmmaker whose work can be seen in institutional collections and gallery shows across Europe and North America. Born to emigre Holocaust refuges in France, he grew up amid garments and sewing machines in his father’s tailor shop. It was there that he made his first dolls from fabric scraps and tree roots. After leaving school in 1961, he worked as an apprentice tailor, briefly served in the military, then set forth to see the world. Recollecting his initial encounter with the dolls sold in the marketplaces of Central America, he said. “It was my first contact with High Magic, craftsmanship, the Baroque, death.” He began fashioning shamanistic fetish dolls out of discarded and repurposed materials and creating low reliefs of massed figures that signify the victims of the Holocaust. In 1980 he turn his hand to drawings. Jean Dubuffet saw these in an exhibition at the Atelier Jacob in Paris, France and became a champion of Nedjar’s work.

Information courtesy of Rago Arts, October 2019.

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