Abdelkader Guermaz

Abdelkader Guermaz (Algeria 1919 - Paris 1996)

Benezit Dictionary of Artists. Abdelkader Guermaz grew up in the town of Oran and attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts of this city from 1938 to 1940 and showed his works at the Galerie Colline throughout the ‘40s and the ‘50s. Until 1955, Guermaz worked in the fig­u­ra­tive style of the ‘Peintres de la Réalité Poétique’, a French art move­ment. His early works were land­scapes and still-lifes.

After 1955, he painted increas­ingly abstract works, and was drawn to the avant-garde of artists in Paris, where he moved in 1961. In the 1970s, Guermaz began painting works with mod­u­lated neu­tral fields, punc­tu­ated by touches of colour and subtle grid-like pat­terns, con­ceived as ‘abstract land­scapes’. Abdelkader Guermaz is con­sid­ered as one of the founders of modern art in Algeria.

(Benezit Dictionary of Artists, Oxford Art Online)

RE:ORIENT, Barjeel Art Foundation, 2013.

Abstract shapes and sub­dued colour schemes dom­i­nate the can­vases of Abdelkader Guermaz, a major player in Algeria’s modern art move­ment. Guermaz, who grad­u­ated from l’Ecole des Beaux-arts of the city of Oran in 1940, emi­grated to Paris in 1961. The artist, who became asso­ci­ated with the School of Paris, befriended French artists such as Bissière, Manessier, Bazaine. Subtlety and min­i­malism char­ac­terise Guermaz’s artistic approach, giving form to his spir­i­tual med­i­ta­tions and inspiring French art critic Pierre Rey to call him the painter of silence and light.

Although his most-dis­ci­plined works con­sist of tex­tured white monochrome paint­ings, Guermaz began incor­po­rating dis­cernible shapes and soft­ened seg­ments of colour after 1970. His careful com­po­si­tions emerge as weight­less and time­less land­scapes evoking both inte­rior and exte­rior spaces. Attaining crit­ical suc­cess in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the artist was largely for­gotten upon the 1981 clo­sure of gallery Entremonde that rep­re­sented him. Until his death in 1996, Guermaz con­tinued to pro­duce work probing the meta­phys­ical rela­tion­ship between vis­ible world and the unseen. His art­work, fea­tured in inter­na­tional museum col­lec­tions, has been redis­cov­ered in posthu­mous shows and texts.

(Catalogue of the exhi­bi­tion RE:ORIENT, March-November 2013, Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE).

Works in Public Collections:

Musée National des Beaux-Arts, Alger
Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris
Fonds Municipal d’Art Contemporain, Paris
Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris
Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE

Available Publications:

- Pierre Rey, Guermaz, peintre du silence et de la lumière, Paris, 2009.
- Guermaz. Texts by Pierre Rey, Michel-Georges Bernard, Roger Dadoun, Le livre d’art, Paris, 2009.

Copyright © Galerie Claude Lemand 2012.

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