Spotlight: Moroccan Artist Touils Captures the Magic of Japan in Effervescent New Paintings

The self-taught artist recently joined Maddox Gallery, and his debut solo exhibition brings to life his experiences in Japan.

Touils, The Moon is in Love Tonight (2024). Courtesy of Maddox Gallery, London.

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What You Need to Know: The month of May has marked a wealth of career milestones for emerging artist Touils. He has joined the roster of artists at Maddox Gallery, where his debut solo exhibition “True Colours” is currently on view at the gallery’s London location, through June 9, 2024. The exhibition also marks Toulis’s first show in the United Kingdom, bringing his work to an entirely new audience. Featuring 21 paintings, “True Colours” reflects the artist’s imaginary travels through Japan, and the inspiration he found in the psychological explorations of the country’s landscape and culture—rendered in his signature, vibrant color palette.

Portrait of artist Touils standing in front of a selection of his canvases in the studio with his arms crossed, and zip up hoodie covered in paint marks.

Artist Touils. Courtesy of Maddox Gallery, London.

About the Artist: Hailing from Morocco and based in Lille, France, the artist Touils is entirely self-taught, and has developed a practice not only centered on creating works of art but on an ethos of persistency and determination. His time was split between Morocco and France as a child, and household hardships saw him beginning to work at the age of six, leading to missed school and other normal childhood endeavors. At age 18, he moved permanently to Lille and soon started on his journey as an artist. French Impressionism has greatly influenced Touils’s work, and he has cited Claude Monet as a primary inspiration. Setting his own work apart, however, is his proclivity for bright, technicolor hues that convey his desire to alchemize from his work “love, positive energy, and light.”

Why We Like It: Each painting by Touils is an explosion of effervescent color and brushstrokes, coalescing into unique compositions that offer a glimpse into the travels and imaginations of the artist. The present exhibition is an exciting opportunity to witness Touils’s debut, as well as the development of his practice. For example, though he has worked with multiple panels previously, his first quadriptych is on view, Cherry Rain on the Fushimi River (2024), which illustrates a lush boat on water scene full of pinks, purples, magentas, and more. Evocative of Impressionism as well as the work of the Post-Impressionists, namely Vincent van Gogh, his work has a decidedly contemporary bent, seen in the experimental depiction of natural elements such as the leaves of the trees or water.

See inside the exhibition and featured works below.

Installation view of “Touils: True Colours” (2024). Courtesy of Maddox Gallery, London.

Touils, Cherry Rain on the Fushimi River (2024). Courtesy of Maddox Gallery, London.

Installation view of “Touils: True Colours” (2024). Courtesy of Maddox Gallery, London.

Touils, The Night of the Golden Stars (2024). Courtesy of Maddox Gallery, London.

Touils: True Colours” is on view at Maddox Gallery, London, through June 9, 2024.

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