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MACMA museum in Marrakech fuses traditions with oriental and modern art

In Marrakech, the modern art scene is growing fast, and there are plenty of places to observe for art lovers. I was particularly curious to have a glimpse at the new private Museum of Art and Culture MACMA. It is a modern art space that exhibits a variety of selected art from Orientalist painters to vintage cinema posters.

MACMA opened its doors at the beginning of 2016. It was founded by a gallery owner and art collector Nabil El Mallouki. MACMA is located in a hidden corner of Gueliz, a modern district in Marrakech.

The museum is open to different kinds of arts, not only to the traditional, oriental and modern paintings. In the lobby of MACMA, there was a collection of vintage movie posters. A glimpse of a future exhibition project. No wonder why, MACMA describes itself as a living museum.

The architect Amine Tounsi did an excellent job reshaping and maximizing the space of MACMA.  At the entrance, the tall ancient Moroccan doors emphasize the unity of ancient and modern cultures.

The first space of MACMA is dedicated to a temporary exhibition, “Women under the brush of Moroccan painters”. I was surprised to see some reflections of nudity. It is not a common subject in Moroccan art.

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My discovery and favourite – paintings of Moroccan artist Abdelaziz Charkaoui (born 1963). You can find more of his works on ArtNet.

MACMA is well managed, has easy to navigate the website and is active on social media. Christophe Sokal, the director of the museum, is a great art lover and this passionate spirit is felt in the museum.

Christophe Sokal, the director of MACMA.

MACMA permanent collection includes European painters, such as Delacroix, Van Dongen and Jacques Majorelle. Everyone knows the Majorelle garden in Marrakech, created by the same Jacques Majorelle.  My favourite work by J.Majorelle is “The Saadian’s tombs”, dated 1918.

MACMA permanent exhibition “Expressions of Orientalism” takes up a big part of the museum space. From the end of the 19th century to the 1960s, the “mysteries of the Orient” Morocco attracted many Western, French, Spanish and English painters.  More than 80 original works by artists such as Delacroix, Van Dongen, Majorelle, Pontoy, Legrand, Bertuchi, Herrera interpreted Orientalism theme in Morocco.

Small drawings of Eugene Delacroix

Together with paintings, the oriental exposition includes examples of Moroccan craftsmen’s works.

 MACMA is a real gem for art lovers. The diversity of the museum’s collection mixed with the passionate team welcomes everyone to discover Morocco and Moroccan culture at the deepest levels.

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