From September 21-January 5, 2019 Marrakech’s Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden (MACAAL) will host the New Waves Exhibition by Mohamed Melehi and the Casablanca Art School Archives. Melehi was a modern art painter and former national director at the National Institute of Fine Arts of Tetouan. The event is divided into two phases of Melehi’s life. “It tells the story of a generation and a particular phase in the history of art in Morocco. It is an exhibition to see Melehi like we’ve never seen before,” says MACAAL.
Upon entering the museum, the audience will travel back in time to the late, 1950s Italy. This is where Melehi was introduced as one of Africa’s first artists to appear at avant-garde galleries like Galleria Trastevere. Then in 1963, after exhibiting in New York City at the MOMA’s Hard Edge and Geometric Painting, a new phase of his work began.
MACAAL’s second part of the Melhi exhibit focuses on 1964-1978 and is entitled From New York City To Casablanca: Thousands of Waves in Hyperspace. The period shines a spotlight on Melhi’s return to Casablanca when the French Protectorate had been over for eight years and Moroccans were testing boundaries. This was the time that Melehi took a position in Casablanca’s École des Beaux-Arts. Alongside his colleagues and fellow artists Farid Belkahia, Mohammed Chabâa, Bert Flint and Toni Maraini, he made a strong impact on post-colonial art; Melehi is known for bridging Bauhaus to Islamic art. He brought a kind of radical energy to the late 1960s of Morocco. The event was curated by Morad Montazami for Zamân Books & Curating,