New Waves: Mohamed Melehi and the Casablanca Art School Archives

New Waves: Mohamed Melehi and the Casablanca Art School Archives


[1] Mohamed Melehi, Untitled, 1970–71. Cellulose paint on wood. Private collection. [2] Mohammed Chabâa, Asilah Moussem, Fresco, late 1970s. Safieddine-Melehi archives. [3] Visitors at M. Melehi exhibition, Galerie Bab Rouah, Rabat. Photo: M. Melehi. Archives Safieddine-Melehi.

October 7, 2019
New Waves: Mohamed Melehi and the Casablanca Art School Archives
March 14–April 4, 2020
Alserkal Avenue, Street 17
United Arab Emirates
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Alserkal Arts Foundation will bring New Waves: Mohamed Melehi and the Casablanca Art School Archives to Alserkal Avenue, Dubai. Curated by Morad Montazami and Madeleine de Colnet, this exhibition shows never-before-seen artworks and archive material documenting this influential moment in the MEASA region’s art history.

Alserkal Arts Foundation will present New Waves: Mohamed Melehi and the Casablanca Art School Archives in Concrete, Alserkal Avenue in Dubai, from March 14–April 4, 2020. Curated by Morad Montazami and Madeleine de Colnet for Zamân Books & Curating, 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.

Originally produced by The Mosaic Rooms in London, where it was shown from April 12–June 22, 2019, and currently on show at MACAAL in Marrakech until January 5, 2020, the forthcoming presentation of New Waves in Concrete will be a further expanded exhibition. 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. 

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.

About Alserkal Arts Foundation
The Alserkal Arts Foundation supports socially engaged, multi-disciplinary practices and facilitates cross-cultural exchange through its four core initiatives: public art commissions, residencies, research grants and educational programmes. The Foundation offers cultural practitioners—either based in Dubai, or whose practice critically investigates themes pertinent to the region’s artistic community—opportunities for research, scholarship, and artistic production. All of Alserkal Arts Foundation’s activities are supported by Alserkal, an Emirati family business spearheaded by Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal.

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October 7, 2019

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