Gorgi, Abdelaziz (1928–2007) By Gerschultz, Jessica
Abdelaziz Gorgi was a Tunisian artist and teacher. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Tunis from 1944 to 1949, and received further artistic training in Parisian ceramics studios between 1949 and 1953. He was a founding member of the École de Tunis, an elite group of artists charged with creating a Tunisian artistic modernism. In 1957 Gorgi was a regional manager in the Office National de l’Artisanat, where his experience overseeing the pottery manufacture of Nabeul impacted his early perspectives on art. From 1958 on he directed the ceramics atelier of the École des Beaux-Arts in Tunis. Together with Safia Farhat he implemented an arts curriculum aligned with government initiatives for national development. In 1963 they co-founded the Société Zin to harness state commissions for decorative programs in civic buildings. Gorgi’s most significant ceramic tiles from this period wrap around the façade of the presidential palace in Monastir, designed by architect Olivier-Clément Cacoub, and depict lyrical scenes of horses, trees, and marine life. Throughout his career Gorgi employed various media to evoke artisanal production, cultural patrimony, surrealist imagery, and sexuality. He founded two galleries in Tunis, Espace Gorgi in Mutuelleville in 1973 and Galerie Ammar Farhat in Sidi Bou Saïd in 1988.