Abdelkader Guermaz Algerian, 1919-1996

"His carefully composed pieces exude a weightless and timeless quality, evoking both interior and exterior spaces."

Abdelkader Guermaz, born on 13 May 1919 in Mascara, Algeria, spent his formative years in Oran. He pursued formal art education at the Beaux-Arts during 1938 to 1940 and began showcasing his creations at the Galerie Colline throughout the 1940s and 1950s. During this period, Guermaz embraced a figurative style reminiscent of the 'Peintres de la Réalité Poétique,' a French art movement. His early works primarily revolved around landscapes and still-life’s.

Around 1955, Guermaz embarked on a significant artistic shift, transitioning to abstraction. His move to Paris in 1961 exposed him to avant-garde artists and cemented his association with the esteemed School of Paris. Developing a distinctive artistic approach characterized by subtlety and minimalism, his paintings embodied spiritual meditations, earning him the title "painter of silence and light," as acclaimed by French art critic Pierre Rey.

While Guermaz's earlier works primarily featured textured white monochrome paintings, his creative evolution led him to incorporate discernible shapes and softened segments of color after 1975. His carefully composed pieces exude a weightless and timeless quality, evoking both interior and exterior spaces. Notably, his work Rêve unintentionally reveals an anthropomorphic shape resembling a woman in profile. Achieving critical acclaim during the late 1960s and early 1970s, Guermaz experienced a period of relative obscurity after the gallery Entremonde, which represented him, closed its doors in 1981. Nevertheless, until his passing in 1996, he persistently delved into the metaphysical relationship between the visible world and the unseen, producing compelling artworks.

 Rediscovery of Guermaz's art has occurred through posthumous exhibitions and texts, where his creations have found their place in international museum collections. As one of the pioneers of modern art in Algeria, Abdelkader Guermaz's artistic legacy endures, inspiring a new generation of artists and art enthusiasts alike.