New Waves: Mohamed Melehi and the Casablanca Art School Archives
Curator: Morad Montazami and Madeleine de Colnet
Design: with collaboration of Pooya Abbasian
Mohamed Melehi (b. 1936) is today regarded as a major figure of postcolonial Moroccan art and of modernism in the Global South. This exhibition presents a multi-faceted artist, a painter, photographer, muralist, graphic and urban designer, art teacher and cultural activist. It also tells the story of the Casablanca Art School during its most radical period – that is, when Melehi taught there between 1964 and 1969.
In Melehi’s art we can sense the spirit of aesthetic revolution and the exaltation of post-Independence Morocco. His creative energy and visual inventiveness are palpable in this unique selection of key works, dating from the 1950s to the 1980s. It traces Melehi’s artistic developments in the 1960s, from experiments with abstraction in Rome and New York to the full maturation of the wave, his emblematic motif, in the 1970s. We also recognise his importance in the history of transnational art. Melehi’s work resists the East/West divide that developed during the Cold War period. His wavy Third World frescoes take us on a cosmopolitan journey, joining together the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.
© Photo. Andy Stagg, courtesy of The Mosaic Rooms.