12 March – 30 April 2012
Art Morocco presents the rare opportunity to view the work of Moroccan modern masters Mohammed Melehi, Ahmed Cherkaoui and Jilali Gharbaoui. Pioneers of modern abstract painting in Morocco, their work demonstrates how, following the country's independence in 1956, artists created an aesthetic dialogue between their cultural heritage and the impact of colonialism on North African artistic culture. Having studied abroad during the late 1950s (in Europe and the US), the three artists' work formally adheres to modern Western artistic techniques but simultaneously references traditional Moroccan arts and crafts, signs and symbols. In 1959, Melehi and Gharbaoui exhibited their work at the Premiere Biennale des Jeunes in Paris, introducing the international art world to contemporary Moroccan art. The artists, along with Cherkaoui, also participated in the second installment of the Biennale in 1961. This exhibition is the first show to display the work of the three artists in the United Arab Emirates.
Meem Gallery would like to thank Attijariwafa Bank for the loan of the works of Ahmed Cherkaoui and Jilali Gharbaoui from their corporate collection.