Mathaf Encyclopedia

Mathaf Encyclopedia of Modern Art and the Arab World is a bilingual, peer-reviewed online resource providing free in-depth information on modern and contemporary artists from the Arab world. The Research and Curatorial team at Mathaf have commissioned scholars and independent researchers to author Encyclopedia entries​. ​ Read more​​​

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  • Mohammed Racim
    Born on 24 June 1896 in Algiers, Algeria, Mohammed Racim is considered one of the first Algerian painters. From a family of artisans, Racim first discovered Islamic miniatures while working as a draftsman in the colonial-era Service of Indigenous Arts.
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  • Abdallah Benanteur
    Born on 3 March 1931 in Mostaganem, Algeria, Abdellah Benanteur is known for his modernist paintings and artists’ books. Benanteur studied at the School of Fine Arts in Oran, Algeria, before moving to Paris, France, where he continues to live and work.
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  • Baya Mahieddine
    Often referred to only as Baya, the Algerian painter Baya Mahieddine was born as Fatma Haddad, into a poor Kabylie family in Bordj-el-Kifan, near Algiers. Orphaned at age five, Baya lived with her grandmother until she was eleven, when she
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  • Omar Onsi
    Through a career that was actively engaged in the founding of national art institutions, cultural pedagogy, and a civically oriented, domestic aesthetic, Omar Onsi helped to create the iconography of modern Lebanon. His rural landscapes are best known, but he
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