Aïcha Haddad was particularly interested in Arab heritage and collective memory, which she integrated into her artistic creations. “Sahara Memory”, in which she mixes the use of leather, sand and mirrors, is representative of her work. Against a red-orange background sprinkled with sand and bright triangular shapes, Haddad depicts, through the use of collage, a diamond shape with mirrors and bits of painted leather. The shape recalls archaïc Algerian art and seems suspended in space, as if in perpetual movement. She successfully combines the use of different materials and manages to emphasize her cultural heritage in this composition. The work gives off the impression of revealing a precious jewel as if viewed from close, or unrecognizable symbol, both brutal and expressive, which materializes itself before the spectator’s eyes.
Aïcha Haddad, born in 1937 in Bordj Bou Arreridj (People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria), is an emblematic figure of modern Algerian painting. Interested in art at a very early age, she took classes at the Fine Arts Society. From 1966 to 1983 she dedicated herself to teaching and then became government inspector for Plastic Arts for the National Education.
In 1972, encouraged by her family, she took part in, and won, Algiers’ painting competition. The following year she joined the National Union for Plastic Arts and began participating in several personal and collective exhibitions. As of 1975 she was also a member of the General Union of Arab Painters.
Haddad was at first interested in figurative art and then Impressionism, but quickly moved towards more contemporary influences and multiplied her styles and means of expression. Her artistic creations are diverse and multi-faceted, going from drawing to collage and painting. She received several awards throughout her career. Aïcha Haddad passed away in 2005 in Algiers.