Mohammed Melehi and the Casablanca Art School
The Mosaic Rooms present works by the abstract painter Mohammed Melehi (b. 1936) and related archives from the Casablanca Art School where Melehi was a key member and activist in the 1960s and 70s.
Melehi’s own work results from a dialogue between Moroccan traditional and popular craft, whilst also connecting to the hard edge painters of the 1960’s. His multiple and overflowing variations on the motif of the “wave” suggests new possibilities for a transnational modernism. This exhibition also presents his contribution as a graphic designer and urban designer.
New Waves: Mohammed Melehi and the Casablanca Art School is the final exhibition in a special three exhibition series of modernists from the Arab world and Iran, curated by Morad Montazami.
Morad Montazami is an art historian and curator. His research interests are cosmopolitan modernisms and histories of the avant-garde between trans-Arab, Iranian and Mediterranean zones. He has published essays on Farid Belkahia, Bahman Mohassess, Behjat Sadr, Mohamed Melehi, Mehdi Moutashar and Latif Al Ani, among others. He curated the exhibitions ARABÉCÉDAIRE Hamed Abdalla, and Dusted Waters: Behjat Sadr at The Mosaic Rooms in 2018. He also curated Bagdad Mon Amour at the Institut des Cultures d’Islam, Paris, 2018, Fugitive Volumes and Faouzi Laatiris: Catalogue Déraisonné at the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rabat (2016) and co-curated the exhibition Unedited History: Iran 1960-2014 at Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and MAXXI, Rome (2014). He is the director of Zaman Books Publishing and its related journal Zamân.
Image: Mohammed Melehi taking photos of the collective street exhibition with the Casablanca Art School Présence Plastique, Jemaa-el-Fna Square, Marrakech, 1969. Image courtesy of Chabaa family archives.