Born in 1936 in Asilah, Mohamed Melehi started studying at the Tétouan School of Fine Arts in 1953, he then joined the engraving section of the École nationale des Beaux-arts de Paris in 1960. He started exhibiting in 1963. He lives and worksbetween Marrakesh and Tanger.
Melehi is one of the main modern Moroccan painters. Since the 1960s, he has created a body of works based on the recurring pattern of the wave. His canvases are always optical abstractions with strong edges – the lines are sharp, the colours clearlycircumscribed and the movements of the brush invisible. The waves themselves are often reconfigurated, turned vertically to become flames or crossing the canvas obliquely.
These waves can be related to the waves of Asilah’s beach, hometown of the artist, to the Arabic calligraphy and, by their meditative consistency, to transcendence and prayer. Through time, Melehi has remained faithful to his project, reconfiguratingthe same elements in his exploration of colour and shape, while changing details, such as the orientation or colour combination, and adding other abstract or symbolic shapes.