Focus Marokko: meet the participating Moroccan galleries

Every year, KunstRAI invites a city, region or country to present their art and culture at the fair. After previous successful presentations from Antwerp, Barcelona and Japan, among others, this year four galleries from Morocco will show their collection on the ‘Focus Morocco’ square: La Galerie 38, Galerie SINIYA28, Galerie Dar D’art and Galerie Noir sur Blanc.

La Galerie 38

Based in Marrakesh and Casablanca, La Galerie 38 was founded in 2010 by Fihr Kettani and Mohammed Chaoui El Faiz. The gallery focuses on both national and international contemporary art, with particular attention for urban art. During KunstRAI, they will present work by several artists, including Ghizlane Agzenaï. The style of Tangier-born Agzenaï can be classified as urban art and combines geometric shapes with a wide range of bright colors. She experiments with different materials, including wood, paper and cardboard. The precise interpretation of her work is left open to the viewer, whom she hopes above all to move emotionally.

Ghizlane Agzenaï, Totem Takodana, 2021, 110 x 93 cm, La Galerie 38.

Gallery SINIYA28

Founded in 2016, Galerie SINIYA28 is based in Marrakesh. The gallery focuses both on supporting young Moroccan and international artists and making art accessible to a younger audience. At KunstRAI, for example, they will show work by Abdelmalek Berhiss. This Moroccan artist is self-taught and began painting at a young age. His technique is akin to pointillism, and his paintings seem to depict animals from mythology or lost civilizations.

Abdelmalek Berhiss, Untitled, acrylverf op doek, 86 x 70 cm, Galerie SINIYA28.

Gallery Dar D’art

Contemporary art, photography and design come together at Galerie Dar D’art, based in Tangier since 2008. During KunstRAI, the gallery will, for instance, show work by Mohamed Melehi, one of Morocco’s leading modernists. After graduating from the School of Fine Arts in Tetouan in 1955, he continued his studies in Europe and America. Here he came into contact with modern art styles that were hardly represented in Morocco and was inspired by New York’s Times Square, as well as Jackson Pollock’s abstract expressionism. Back in Morocco, Melehi became one of the pioneers of Moroccan abstractionism. Geometric shapes and vibrant colors are the cornerstone of his work, the interpretation of which he leaves largely to the viewer.

Mohamed Melehi, Composition, 2008, 80 x 60 cm, Galerie Dar D’art.

Galerie Noir sur Blanc

Galerie Noir sur Blanc focuses on contemporary art and is located in Marrakesh. During KunstRAI, they will show work by several Moroccan artists, including Salah Benjkan, Nabil Boudarqa and Hicham Benohoud. Benohoud was born in Marrakesh, where he also currently lives and works. After teaching art(history) at a high school for a long time, he decided to become an artist himself. He works with a mixed technique, in which photography plays a central role. His original symbiosis of painting and photography immediately attracted the viewer’s attention early on in his career. His time as a teacher is an important source of inspiration for his art, in which he also touches on themes such as identity politics and power relations.

Hicham Benohoud, Untitled, gemengde techniek op doek, 117 x 80 cm, Galerie Noir sur Blanc.