Abdelkader Guermaz

Abdelkader Guermaz grew up in Oran where he studied at the Beaux-Arts from 1938 to 1940. Until 1955, Guermaz worked in the figurative style like the ‘Peintres de la Réalité Poétique’, a French art movement. His early works are typically landscapes and still-lifes. After 1955, he started painting abstract works, and was drawn to the avant-garde artists in Paris where he moved in 1961. He became associated with the School of Paris, befriended French artists such as Bissière, Manessier, Bazaine. Subtlety and minimalism characterize 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. In the 1970’s, Guermaz began incorporating modulated neutral fields, punctuated by touches of colour and subtle grid-like patterns, conceived as ‘abstract landscapes’. Attaining critical success in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the artist was largely forgotten upon the 1981 closure of the gallery Entremonde that represented him. His work, featured in international museum collections, has been rediscovered in posthumous shows and texts. Abdelkader Guermaz is considered as one of the founders of modern art in Algeria.