New Waves: Mohamed Melehi and the Casablanca Art School Archives

Concrete in Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
23 Mar 2020 - 04 Apr 2020

Detail from Untitled, 1970-1971, cellulose paint on wood. Private collection PHOTO CREDITS: Photograph by Andy Stagg, courtesy of The Mosaic Rooms.

Alserkal Arts Foundation will present New Waves: Mohamed Melehi and the Casablanca Art School Archives in Concrete, Alserkal Avenue in Dubai, from 23 March – 4 April 2020. Curated by Morad Montazami and Madeleine de Colnet, the exhibition tells the story of the radical Casablanca Art School, retracing Melehi’s career chronologically—from the 1950s to the 1980s – as well as including some of the artist’s contemporary works.

Melehi is widely regarded as a major figure of postcolonial Moroccan art and of transnational modernism. Previously unseen works and archives present Melehi as a painter, photographer, muralist, graphic and urban designer, art teacher, and cultural activist.

It will include a recently archived collection of Melehi’s documentary photography—over 30 years of artistic travel and visual activism journeys—as well as highlights from the golden age of the Asilah festival. The Festival, co-founded by Melehi in 1978, gathered avant-garde artists from Africa, Asia, and Arab countries.

The Dubai iteration will also show works from renowned artists of the Casablanca Art School, such as Farid Belkahia, Mohamed Chabâ, and Hossein Miloudi. A photography archive will shed light on the collective history of the movement. The travelling exhibition marks the first time that the full period of Melehi’s works has been shown on a global stage.

The exhibition in Dubai will reveal Melehi’s key role in the development of art pedagogy and experimental practices in Morocco, as well as his significant work in graphic design and mural painting, which has contributed heavily in shaping the aesthetics of significant artistic networks and political causes throughout the Maghreb and the Pan-Arab alliances.

New Waves: Mohamed Melehi and the Casablanca Art School Archives is presented by Alserkal Arts Foundation. Curated by Zamân Books & Curating, the original exhibition was produced by The Mosaic Rooms, A.M. Qattan Foundation. This exhibition was organised in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary African Art Al Maaden (MACAAL). With additional thanks to JOTUN and our logistics partner Crown Fine Art.





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