Monday 02 October 2023 - 7:35:28 pm

Sharjah Art Foundation, Tate St Ives to present major exhibition on Casablanca Art School

SHARJAH, 7th June, 2023 (WAM) -- Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF) and Tate St Ives, UK, today announced the first major museum exhibition of the Casablanca Art School, titled Platforms and Patterns for a Postcolonial Avant-Garde 1962–1987. On view at Tate St Ives from 27th May, 2023 to 14th January, 2024, the exhibition will travel to SAF in February 2024.

The exhibition explores the work of artists whose revolutionary approach proposed a bold new visual culture following Morocco’s independence in 1956. Reflecting a new social awareness, artist-professors transformed the Casablanca Art School by encouraging artistic experiments, looking beyond Western academic traditions and drawing on existing local culture.

The exhibition examines how the teachers and students of this institution combined traditional Berber skills, materials and visual languages with modernist influences from Europe and North America, creating a space to reimagine Moroccan contemporary art and its relationship with everyday life.

Working across painting, sculpture, graphic design, architectural mural painting and many other media, the artists associated with the school placed art into public spaces and promoted it as a shared experience. Bringing together works by 22 artists, the exhibition includes vibrant, abstract paintings, urban murals, craft, typology, graphics and ceramics, presented alongside rarely seen print archives, vintage journals and photographs.

Participating artists include Carla Accardi, Malika Agueznay, Hamid Alaoui, Mohamed Ataallah, Herbert Bayer, Farid Belkahia, Fouad Bellamine, Mohammed Chabâa, Saâd Ben Cheffaj, Ahmed Cherkaoui, André Elbaz, Abdellah El Hariri, Abdelkrim Ghattas, Mustapha Hafid, Anna Draus-Hafid, Mohamed Hamidi, Mohammed Kacimi, Miloud Labied, Mohamed Melehi, Houssein Miloudi, Abderrahman Rahoule and Chaïbia Tallal.

Organised by Tate St Ives and Sharjah Art Foundation, the exhibition is curated by Morad Montazami and Madeleine de Colnet for Zamân Books and Curating in conjunction with Anne Barlow, Director, Tate St Ives and Giles Jackson, Assistant Curator, Tate St Ives, and with associate researchers Fatima-Zahra Lakrissa and Maud Houssais. The exhibition in Sharjah, scheduled for February 2024, will be presented in collaboration with Sharjah Art Museum and curated with Hoor Al Qasimi, President and Director of Sharjah Art Foundation.

The exhibition is also part of a key moment of an international research into the Casablanca Art School, initiated in 2020 by KW Institute for Contemporary Art and Sharjah Art Foundation, in partnership with Goethe-Institut Marokko, ThinkArt and Zamân Books and Curating.

Muhammad Aamir / Esraa Esmail