An exquisite showcase of selected masterpieces by the renowned Algerian painter and miniaturist, Ali-Khodja Ali, was unveiled on Saturday in Algiers. The event marked a fitting tribute to this talented artist, who was being honored on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth. The exhibition offered art enthusiasts a rare opportunity to witness the exceptional skill and creativity of Ali-Khodja Ali, whose works are considered to be among the finest examples of Algerian art. The opening of the exhibition was attended by several dignitaries, art lovers, and admirers of Ali-Khodja Ali, making it a memorable occasion to celebrate his life and legacy.
The “Le Paon” art gallery of the Office Riad El-Feth (Oref) is proud to present a stunning collection of works by the late Algerian artist and miniaturist, Ali-Khodja Ali. This exhibition offers a unique opportunity for art lovers to delve into the artist’s exceptional talent and imagination, as well as his contributions to the world of art. On display are a carefully curated selection of the artist’s pieces, ranging from drawings and watercolors to gouaches and oil paintings. Visitors will have the chance to rediscover the beauty and elegance of approximately twenty of Ali-Khodja Ali’s masterpieces, showcasing his mastery of the abstract form of art. Through works such as “Expansion”, “Flamboyant Idea”, “Suspended Time”, and “Questions without Answers”, visitors will get a glimpse into the artist’s vivid imagination and his ability to express his inner sensations and depict the universe. This exhibition serves as a fitting tribute to the life and legacy of Ali-Khodja Ali, and offers a chance to celebrate his artistic achievements on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth.
The exhibition also offers a glimpse into the artist’s gouache works, including “Dawn”, “Sublimation”, as well as his watercolor pieces such as “Thought’s Blossom” and “Villa in the Suburbs of Algiers”, created in 2008 and 2006 respectively. These works showcase Ali-Khodja Ali’s exceptional control over color, light, and composition, as well as his ability to imbue his paintings with a sense of movement and energy. The artist’s bold use of color and dynamic brushwork are especially evident in these pieces, highlighting his fearless and expressive artistic style. Whether capturing the beauty of the Algerian landscape or the elegance of its architecture, Ali-Khodja Ali was always able to bring his unique vision to life through his art. This exhibition provides a valuable opportunity for art lovers to appreciate the full breadth of the artist’s talent and to be inspired by his creative genius.
Pen and ink drawing is also present through a work titled “Diptych on Cardboard” (2008).
According to the exhibition’s commissioner, Amal Mihoub, the exhibition, which celebrates the centennial of one of the pioneers of miniature art in Algeria, is a retrospective of the artist’s work, showcasing a selection of paintings covering a portion of his artistic journey from 1986 to 2008. The exhibition offers a glimpse into the evolution of Ali-Khodja Ali’s style and technique over the years, and provides an opportunity to appreciate the depth and breadth of his artistic vision. For Mihoub, this exhibition is a celebration of one of Algeria’s most important artists and a testament to his enduring legacy.
Born in Algiers in 1923, Ali-Khodja Ali grew up surrounded by his two maternal uncles who were artists and who took him in after his father’s death when he was 4 years old. He was a former student of the famous miniaturist Omar Racim at the Algiers School of Fine Arts, where he studied calligraphy and illumination. He revealed his first works at the age of 23, after taking courses in calligraphy and illumination alongside classmates Mohamed Temmam and Bachir Yelles.
As a miniaturist and painter, he created a series of postage stamps with about fifty vignettes. Ali-Khodja Ali taught decoration at the School of Fine Arts for thirty years, after leaving his position as a draftsman at the Study Bureau of the Craft Service, a predecessor of the Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions, in 1961. After independence, he devoted himself to the creation of posters, notably that dedicated to the first Pan-African Festival (1969), but did not abandon painting and continued to participate in collective exhibitions.
A true master of his craft, Ali-Khodja Ali’s work reflects the richness and diversity of Algerian culture, as well as his deep roots in Islamic art. Through this retrospective exhibition, visitors will have the opportunity to discover or rediscover the work of this pioneering artist who, through his passion and talent, has left a lasting legacy in the world of miniature art.
In 1990, Ali-Khodja Ali debuted his latest paintings in a solo exhibition in Algiers before exhibiting there for the final time in 2009.
The exhibition is open to the public until February 28th.