Amidst the hustle and bustle that clogs Casablanca’s boulevards sits the relatively new Galerie L’Atelier 21. Having only been opened for a few years, L’Atelier 21 is fast becoming one of the best places in which to view the best of contemporary and modern artists with a focus on both emerging and established Moroccan talents. The gallery’s co-owner and art historian Aziz Daki affirms that his gallery is one of the best representations of the city’s increasingly prominent art scene. For Daki, the arts vision that is emerging is a reflection of the cultural interests of King Mohammed VI, an enthusiastic and avid collector of art. Daki elaborates, ‘his passion for the arts has been one of the inspirations for what is now a growing group of Morocco-based collectors.’ L’Atelier 21 represents a collective of fourteen Moroccan contemporary artists and says of the current King of Morocco that ‘he really is one of our art world’s most important role models.’ Their current client list includes artists Narjiss Eljoubari, Hakim Ghazali and Majida Khattari, amongst others and a the gallery hosts a constantly changing display of exhibiting artists.
L’Atelier 21, 21 Rue Abou Mahassine Arrouyani, Casablanca, Morocco, +212 5 22 98 17 85
One of the most fascinating museums in North Africa, the Musee Tiskiwin, is housed in a beautifully restored Moroccan riad between the Bahia and Dar Si Said Palaces. It showcases an unusual array of North African arts and crafts that chronicle the region’s vibrant cultural history. The visitor is offered a journey through the private art collection of Dutch anthropologist Bert Flint – with each room representing a region of Morocco with indigenous crafts. The collection has been amassed by Flint, who has resided in Marrakech since 1957. Each room of artefacts marks a different spot along the ancient Saharan trade route — from Marrakech to Timbuktu. A colourful assemblance of objects are on display, from exquisitely hand-woven carpets, to traditional Berber clothing and tribal handicrafts – many of which were bought from the legendary souks of Marrakech and preserved by Flint. Open daily, Maison Tiskiwin offers some of the best Moroccan art and sculpture to be seen in the country.
Galerie 127 is one of the more unique art galleries that Marrakech has to offer. This endearingly simple loft space — a converted apartment with tall windows and the walls left bare and unfinished is part of the gallery’s attraction. Opened in February 2006 by Nathalie Locatelli, it became the very first photo gallery in the Maghreb and only the third in the whole African continent. Locatelli represents more than thirty photographers at any one time, at the gallery’s white-washed walls are filled with sensational contemporary travel images from Moroccan and international photographers. Highlights have included portraits by Gérard Rondeau and Carole Bellaiche, Bernard Faucon’s ‘staged photography’ and Alejandra Figueroa’s images of ancient statues. Galerie 127 also operates a series of photography workshops. From the introduction of photography to its invention of contemporary images, these sessions endeavour to discover both its purpose but also its iconographic and political responsibility within society.
Galerie 127,127 Avenue Mohamed V, Gueliz, Marrakech, Morocco, +212 5244 32667