Visual Consciousness : Mohammed Chabâa
Curated by Fatima-Zahra Lakrissa with Zamân Books & Curating, the retrospective exhibition, Mohammed Chabâa: Visual Consciousness, presents the life’s work of Mohammed Chabâa (1935–2013), a pioneer of Moroccan contemporary art and Global South modernity. As the first posthumous retrospective exhibition forthe artist outside of Morocco,Visual Consciousness brings together paintings, sculptures, graphic art, interior design models and archival material, encompassing hiscreative journey from 1957 to 2012.
As a painter, muralist, sculptor, educator, graphic designer, interior designer, critic, and writer, Chabâa represents all artistic struggles. He embodies the cultural awakening of Morocco in the post-independence era. Chabâa was the first Moroccan artist to redefine the function and language of decorative arts in Morocco and beyond. He laid the foundations for a ‘plastic language’ (visual language) that integrates art, architecture and artisanal crafts, into everyday life.
As a professor of the Casablanca Art School from 1966–69, Chabâa was a protagonist of educational reform at the school, contributing with numerous innovations in the fields of graphic design, painting, decoration and scenography. With Farid Belkahia and Mohamed Melehi, Chabâa formed the emblematic trio known as the ‘Casablanca Group’, in the late 1960s. Together they set the terms and the debate on postcolonial art in the public sphere. Chabâa’s writings about art, whether on the radical critique of colonial influences or the future of traditional crafts, made him a major figure for art theory.