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Souhila Bel Bahar

Algeria Born in: 1934
Souhila Bel Bahar is an Algerian painter, born on 17th February, 1934 in Blida, Algeria. She comes from a traditional background, she was brought up by parents who were attached to their Arab-Muslim culture. She began drawing at the age of 8. She initially went to couture school but later was encouraged to pursue the artistic path by Ahmed Taoufik El Madani and she exhibited for the first time in 1971. Self-taught, Souhila Bel Bahar trained herself by reading and learning from art books and copying great masters such as Auguste Renoir. Due to her perseverance, she developed a unique style and this made her mature and independent, artistically speaking, especially for a woman who was in Algeria during the social progress.

In 1962, she created a personal line revealing "The Petal Women", which became her pictorial signature. Her constant quest led her towards various paths, like writing for children's books, abstract act, ceramic or even sculpture. Her wavy lines, chromatic masses in mosaic, floral patterns, dancing scenes, thinned out elegant forms emanating harmony, the music world, poetry, softness, joy of maternity, historical monuments. These are Souhila Bel Bahar's key themes.

Today, she is considered as one of the deans and co-founders of contemporary Algerian art. She exhibits in several galleries, not only in Algeria but also abroad. Her works are part of permanent exhibitions at the National Fine Arts museum in Algiers and Dinet de Bou Saâda museum in Algeria. In 1984 and 2001, the National Fine Arts museum devoted her a retrospective. The Ministry of Culture honored her in 2009.
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