Mohamed Melehi exhibition to open in Alserkal Avenue in September 2020
Alserkal Arts Foundation will present New Waves: Mohamed Melehi and the Casablanca Art School Archives in Concrete, Alserkal Avenue in Dubai, from 19 September – 10 October 2020. Curated by 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.
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.
This retrospective exhibition brings a pioneering artist’s multi-faceted career to life, giving UAE audiences a unique insight into a practice that feels critical and relevant for contemporary concerns in this region. The Dubai chapter of the exhibition presents Melehi’s documentary photography – through his travels, and activism – as well as highlights from his graphic design studio SHOOF, and the remarkable murals of the Asilah festival. This expanded research allows new insight into the experimental spirit of the Casablanca Art School as they challenged convention and collaborated to produce radical forms of pedagogy and exhibition making, bringing the artist from the studio into the streets and public squares of Morocco. It also explores Melehi’s in-depth engagement with Afro-Berber art and craft through the collection of Bert Flint, from which he drew artistic inspiration.
The travelling exhibition and the Dubai iteration marks the first time that the full period of Melehi’s works has been shown on a global stage with a researched display.