The minimalism of Mohammed Melehi's visual language is not a sign of restraint, rather it is evidence of a unique technique that allows the voice of colour to speak directly from the canvas, appealing to the senses in more ways than one. Time Square, one of the artist's most captivating paintings dated 1963, shows the artist's unique interpretation of one of the world's most fascinating and bustling tourist destinations. His ability to reduce this notoriously busy landscape into a beautifully abstracted and minimalist composition is at the heart of his artistic technique. The vibrancy of the bright yellow paint which dominates the canvas is reminiscent of the blinking electric lights as well as the energetic and jazzy atmosphere characteristic of New York City and of this particular landmark. Somehow reminiscing Piet Mondrian's celebrated Broadway Boogie Woogie, Melehi's Time Square is equally finding its syncopated beat through the surface of the composition.
Mohammed Melehi has an impressive ability to combine the intensity and variety of cultures and to reduce them to their most minimal forms. However, this does not deplete them of their visual authenticity, rather it heightens the interest and fascination with the artist. Known as the leading Modernist painter in Morocco, Melehi has exhibited widely both in Morocco and internationally and his works are featured in the permanent collections of leading institutions including the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, MoMA in New York and Mathaf in Doha. His works from the 1960s and 1970s are highly sought-after due to their rarity as they are mainly held in private hands. Christie's is honoured to have been entrusted with the sale of these two outstanding paintings from Melehi's New York days from a Private Italian collection.