Peer Review Curator Alya Al-Mulla shares the legacy of Algerian artist Baya Mahieddine.

Peer Review Curator Alya Al-Mulla shares the legacy of Algerian artist Baya Mahieddine.

Issue 41

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Arts & Culture

  • Photograph ©Arik Nepo/Vogue Paris

In Baya Mahieddine’s works, the woman is always the focal point. There aren’t any male figures in her paintings. There are some works where you have a female with an infant. But then again, that’s an extension of the woman herself.

Baya was born in 1931 and orphaned when she was around five or six years old. She was then raised by her grandmother. Later on, she was adopted by the French intellectual Marguerite Camina Benhoura. It was after seeing Baya drawing and painting in the mud, and making clay figures while her grandmother was working in the garden, that Benhoura adopted her and nurtured that talent. Benhoura had a huge impact on Baya’s life. She was a painter herself, and she had a big collection of works in her house which was frequented by many collectors and people in th...

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