E-Issue 01 –– AUH/DXB 
Summer/Fall 2020 
  1. Editor’s Note 
  2. What’s On in the UAE
  3. Pop(Corn): Hashel Al Lamki
  4. Tailoring in Abu Dhabi  
  5. Rapport: Dubai 
  6. Michael Rakowitz From the Diaspora
§§
    NYC Shirin Neshat In Conversation with Sophie Arni and Ev Zverev 
    PAR Hottest Spices: Michèle Lamy
    BER Slavs and Tatars: “Pulling a Thread to Undo The Sweater”
   AUH Abu Dhabi Is The New Calabasas
++ 
    DXB Sa Tahanan Collective Redefines Home for Filipino Artists
   SHJ Sharjah Art Foundation Jets Ahead on the Flying Saucer
    AUH SEAF Cohort 7 at Warehouse 421 
    DXB 101 Strikes Again with Second Sale at Alserkal Avenue
    DXB Spotlight on Dubai Design Week 2020
    DXB Melehi’s Waves Complicate Waving Goodbye
    DXB Kanye Says Listen to the Kids: Youth Takeover at Jameel Arts Centre
    DAM Investigating the Catalogues of the National Museum of Damascus
    AUH Ogamdo: Crossing a Cultural Highway between Korea and the UAE
    TYO James Jarvis Presents Latest Collages at 3110NZ
    DXB Do You See Me How I See You?
    DXB Thaely Kicks Off Sustainable Sneakers
    AUH BAIT 15 Welcomes New Member Zuhoor Al Sayegh
    MIA a_part Gives Artists 36 Hours to React

    UAE Tawahadna Introduces MENA Artists to a Global Community
    LHR/CAI Alaa Hindia’s Jewelry Revives Egyptian Nostalgia
    DXB Taaboogah Infuses Comedy Into Khaleeji Menswear
    DXB Meet Tamila Kochkarova Behind ‘No Boys Allowed’
    DXB Alserkal Arts Foundation Presents Mohamed Melehi
    AUH/DXB 101 Pioneers Ethical and Curious Art Collecting
    AUH Sarah Almehairi Initiates Conversations
    DXB Augustine Paredes Taking Up Space
    LHR/MCT Hanan Sultan Rhymes Frankincense with Minimalism
    BEY GAD Map: Arts & Culture Relief for Beirut

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Alserkal Arts Foundation Presents Mohamed Melehi


By Global Art Daily’s Editorial Board

Published on September 1, 2020

        On September 19th, Alserkal Arts Foundation will open its first exhibition post-lockdown. For this occasion, the works will be housed in the OMA-designed Concrete building. Dedicated to Moroccan modernist painter Mohamed Melehi (b.1936), New Waves: Mohamed Melehi and the Casablanca Art School Archives will be Melehi’s first retrospective of its kind in the UAE. Curated by Morad Montazami and Madeleine de Colnet of Zamân Books & Curating, the exhibition will showcase never-before-seen artworks and archive material retracing Melehi’s artistic trajectory from the 1950s to the 1980s, contextualized with the work of the experimental Casablanca Art School.

1. Mohamed Melehi, Untitled (1975). Cellulose paint on wood. Private collection. 

“Melehi is widely regarded as a major figure of postcolonial Moroccan art and of transnational modernism,” explains curator Morad Montazami in the Introduction to this seminal exhibition. From Rome to New York City to Casablanca, Sections 1 and 2 of New Waves will present Melehi’s artistic journey influenced by his many travels. Melehi was a global artist and mixed influences from a vast array of sources to create his famous waves, which the curators have characterized as floating “between Afro-Berberism and postcolonial architecture.”

2. Mohamed Melehi, Untitled (1970-71). Cellulose paint on wood. Private collection. 

Section 3 and 4 will present previously unseen works and archives presenting Melehi’s vast array of cultural activities as a muralist, art teacher, cultural activist, and graphic designer. Some highlights include Melehi’s documentary photographs of Marrakech and Casablanca, showing the realities of Morocco’s post-independence era, as well as his works for his graphic design studio SHOOF.

The forthcoming presentation of New Waves in Concrete, Alserkal Avenue, is an iteration of an exhibition originally produced by The Mosaic Rooms in London, and then shown at MACAAL in Marrakech. According to its press statement, “the traveling 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.”

3. Mohamed Melehi, Sleeping Manhattan (1962). Acrylic on canvas. Private collection.
4. Mohamed Melehi, Vertical (1960). Acrylic on canvas. Private collection.

We hope this exhibition’s expanded research and Melehi’s work both inside and outside the confines of fine art will resonate with Global Art Daily’s vibrant audience in Dubai. New Waves will focus on the experimental spirit of Melehi and the Casablanca Art School and can provide a solid regional blueprint of how artists have challenged convention and blurred education, activism, and artmaking. According to the curatorial statement, Melehi’s pedagogy brought him from “from the studio into the streets and public squares of Morocco.” New Waves can inspire emerging artists and creatives to work collaboratively to pursue their own forms of pedagogy, whether that leads them to the public squares of social media or the public squares of Alserkal Avenue. Indeed, commissioned especially for this exhibition, a recreation of Melehi’s mural from the first Asilah Moussem Festival of the Arts in 1978 adorns the walls of The Yard, in front of Concrete. Get your cameras ready.

5. Mohamed Melehi inspired mural in Alserkal Avenue. Photography: Seeing Things. Courtesy of Alserkal Avenue.


The exhibition is open to all, with visitors able to book their visit in line with social-distancing guidelines. 

New Waves: Mohamed Melehi and the Casablanca Art School Archives
19 September – 21 November 2020
Alserkal Arts Foundation
Concrete, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai

New Waves was originally scheduled to open on 23 March 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For a preview of the exhibition, and interviews with the curator and artist, visit alserkal.online. New Waves: Mohamed Melehi and the Casablanca Art School Archives is presented by Alserkal Arts Foundation. Curated by Zamân Books & Curating, the original exhibition was produced by The Mosaic Rooms, A.M. Qattan Foundation. This exhibition was organized in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary African Art Al Maaden (MACAAL).

All images courtesy of Alserkal Avenue.

Edit 09/02/2020: This article has been edited to clarify the exhibition’s location. 
Edit 10/19/2020: The exhibition has been extended until November 21st, 2020.