Melehi, Mohamed
Born 1936 in Asilah, Morocco. Lives and works in Tangier and Marrakech, Morocco
Mohamed Melehi has played a significant role in shaping Moroccan modernism. Formally trained as a painter in Tétouan, he continued his studies in Seville, Madrid, Rome, Paris, and New York. Enriched, Melehi returned to Morocco in 1964, where he developed his, now idiomatic, chromatic palette and recurrent motif: the hard-edged wave. Melehi’s work acts as a repository for his sojourns in Europe, and the US, and their respective influence on his practice – from the Bauhaus school and abstract expressionism, to local Moroccan visual forms. These principles filtered into his teaching at École des Beaux-Arts, Casablanca, where he was a professor of painting, sculpture, and photography from 1964 to 1969. Around this time Melehi co-founded the Casablanca Group, which concentrated on exploring the tenets of modernism through Moroccan visual culture and traditions. Melehi’s work has been widely exhibited, and recent group exhibitions include Post War: Art Between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945–1965, Haus der Kunst, Munich (2016–17).
Mohamed Melehi, Untitled, 2016, Acrylic on canvas, 180 x 160 cm / 71 x 63 in, Courtesy Taymour Grahne Gallery