Born in 1959, in Casablanca, Morocco, of Algerian parents, Driss Ouadahi grew up in Algeria. He studied at the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts d’Alger before enrolling and subsequently graduating from the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Germany.
Driss Ouadahi takes as his subject matter the built environment of urban alienation - sterile modernist public housing developments, wire netting and underground passageways. Ouadahi paints works of paradoxical beauty using this stark urbanism as his springboard. Persistent in each of his works are his core concerns of geometric abstraction, transparency and the implication of the veil. His large formal landscapes are montages of spaces and places he knows, with human-scale details often omitted.
His recent solo exhibitions include Systems of Demacration, Von er Heydt-Kunsthalle Wuppertal-Barmen, Germany, 2018; Transposition, Caroline Pagès gallery, Lisbon, Portugal, 2016; Breach in the Silence, Hosfelt Gallery, SF, USA, 2016; Inside Zenith, Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, UAE, 2014; Implosion, Caroline Pagès gallery, Lisbon, Portugal, 2013; Trans-Location, Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco, CA, USA, 2013 and Breathing Space, Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, UAE, 2012.
Noteable institutional shows include Klassen Verhältnisse/Phantoms of Perception, Kunstverein, Hamburg, Germany, 2018; Welkome Party, Von Der Heydt-Museum, Wuppertal, Germany, 2018; Dessine vos Desseins, Musée public national d'art contemporain d'alger, Algeria, 2018; L'un et L'Autre, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France, 2018; Beautiful Stranger, Museum De Wieger, Deurne, Netherlands, 2017 and Future of a Promise at Venice Biennale 54, Venice, Italy, 2011.
Ouadahi’s work is in several public collections including Von der Heydt Museum Wuppertal, Germany; Modern Forms, London, UK; FRAC Centre, Orléans, France; Herbert-Weisenburger-Stiftung, Rastatt, Germany; Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf, Germany; Nadour Collection; Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE; Kamel Lazaar Foundation, Istanbul, Turkey; and Stadtsparkasse Baden-Baden, Germany.
In 2014 Ouadhi received the Grand Prix Léopold Sédar Senghor Prize at the 11th edition of Dak’Art, the Biennial of Contemporary African Art in Dakar, Senegal.
Ouadahi currently lives and works in Düsseldorf.