Works of pioneer Moroccan artists

Starting from the end of the 1950’s, some Moroccan artists wanted to break with the Orientalist painting existing in Morocco at that time, as they used to put it in the same category as colonial painting. Thus, they were inspired by an artistic dynamics that advocates a complete freedom of creation and a new abstract aesthetic tradition which does not consider the “accidental” in the work of art as an error.

Painters like Jilali Gharbaoui, Ahmed Cherkaoui, Mohamed Melehi, Omar Bouragba, Farid Belkahia and Karim Bennani opened the way to future generations, by presenting in their works the Moroccan pluralistic cultural identity, in relation to the traditional arts or customs.

JILALI GHARBAOUI (1930 -1971) - Les yeux de la colère (the Eyes of Wrath), Oil on canvas, 1969, 50 x 64 cm MOHAMED MELEHI (Born in 1936) – Composition, Oil on canvas,2004, 120 x 110 cm FARID BELKAHIA (1934 – 2014) – No title, Dyeing on leather, 200 x 200 cm

In parallel with this new movement, many other self-taught artists, who do not master the notions of perspectives and the representations of characters, such as Mohamed Ben Allal and Ahmed Louardighi, used to use very simple painting techniques presented with very generous coloring.

MOHAMED BEN ALLAL (1928-1995) - La prière (the Prayer), Gouache on paper mounted on panel, 33 x 51 cm MOHAMED BEN ALLAL (1928-1995) - Devant les remparts (In Front of Ramparts), 1984, Oil on canvas, 81 x 100 cm AHMED LOUARDIRI (1928-1974) -Jardin enchanté (Enchanted Garden),  Diptych,  Oil on board, 172 x 100 cm

Since the 60’s, naive painting in Morocco was given a fresh impetus, with a great female artist, Chaïbia Tallal, who brought to fame a certain oral tradition and started a new style which was inherited by Fatima Hassan and Fatna Gbouri.

CHAÏBIA TALLAL (1929 – 2004) - Marchand de beignets (Doughnut Vendor), 1988, Oil on canvas, 82 x 73 cm FATIMA HASSAN EL FARROUJ (1945 - 2011) - La mariée (the Bride), Oil on canvas, 1996, 138 x 138 cm FATNA GBOURI (1924 - 2012) - Fresque de la vie marocaine (a Fresco of Moroccan Life),1991, Oil on canvas, 143 x 306 cm
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