Before immigrating to Europe and studying at the Kunstakademie in Dusseldorf, Algerian Driss Ouadahi studied architecture. His paintings of the ubiquitous high-rise, the legacy of Modern Architecture's failed promise to improve the human condition, are renderings of impenetrable boundaries of steel, glass and concrete.
Ouadahi's exploration begins with images of the enormous public housing developments in Algiers that had been modeled on France's habitation a loyer modere (housing at moderated rents). In North Africa, these monoliths accommodate displaced rural populations; in Europe, they house immigrants from former colonies. They are symbols of the politics of class, religion and ethnicity. Reminders of otherness.
About Driss Ouadahi
German/Algerian, b. 1959, based in Düsseldorf, Germany