In the 1940s, when the Algerian artist Baya Mahieddine was only a teenager, she began to make waves in her country. In a painting of a woman, she expressed female sexuality in an unheard of way: the woman’s vulva was a red-winged butterfly and her ovaries were flamboyant birds. Around 1947, when Mahieddine was 16, the French art dealer Aimé Maeght discovered her work and gave her a solo show in Paris. Under Maeght’s guidance, Mahieddine was lifted from Algeria into the world, where her paintings were admired by Pablo Picasso and André Breton (who called her a Surrealist). Mahieddine died in 1998 at the age of 66, but her influence on Arab art endures. The Sharjah presents 70 of her gorgeous visions. —E.C.
Sharjah Art Museum Al Shuwaihean, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates Get Directions »