Mohamed Melehi (Moroccan, born 1936) Yellow Flame Between Black and Brown

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Lot 31
Mohamed Melehi
(Moroccan, 1936-2020)
Yellow Flame Between Black and Brown

Sold for £ 52,750 (US$ 72,186) inc. premium
Mohamed Melehi (Moroccan, 1936-2020)
Yellow Flame Between Black and Brown
oil on canvas, framed
executed circa 2007
120 x 110cm (47 1/4 x 43 5/16in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Property from a private collection, London
    Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner

    Bonhams is delighted to present this magnificent painting by the leading Moroccan modernist Mohammed Melehi. Melehi studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Tetouan, Morocco before going to study abroad at the Ecole superieure des Beaux-Arts Isabel de Hungria in Seville; the École supérieure des Beaux-Arts San Fernando in Madrid; the Academie des Beaux-Arts and the Istituto Statale d'Arte in Italy and the Ecole nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 1964, Melehi returned to Morocco and became a professor of painting, sculpture and photography at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts of Casablanca from 1964 up until 1969 which was directed by Farid Belkahia. Melehi, Belkhahia and Chebaa formed the Casablanca group with an exhibition in Rabat in 1966. In addition to new modernist style in their personal work was also known for a pedagogy that focused on rooting modernism in local visual culture.

    Since the 1960s his body of work has been based around the recurrent motif of waves; the canvases are consistently hard-edged and optic abstractions. His lines are clean, the colours are clearly delineated and the brushstrokes and movements of his paintbrush are not visible. The waves themselves are often reconfigured, turned vertically to become flames, or cutting across the canvas on angle. The waves in his oeuvre have been linked to the waves on the beaches of Melehi's hometown Asilah. He has stayed consistent but reconfiguring similar elements in his research into colour and form, while continually varying small details, orientation, and the colour combinations, as well as adding other abstract shapes or symbols. He has re-worked his waves in other mediums, such as a sculpture in Mexico in 1968 for the International Meeting of Sculptors, in posters and murals or integrated into architectural projects.
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