Born in Asilah in 1936, Mohamed Melehi was one of the first Moroccan students to graduate from the National Institute of Fine Arts of Tétouan in 1956. He continued his studies in Seville and Rome, and then in New York and Minneapolis thanks to a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.
He returned to Morocco in 1962, becoming head of the Painting and Photography departments at the School of Fine Art in Casablanca. Under his leadership, these became veritable laboratories in which artistic experimentation went hand in hand with the development of a new body of knowledge on art in relation to associated disciplines (sociology, anthropology, philosophy); the School thus formed a new thought-community based on the need to create a public space for artistic practices that broke with established academic institutions.
With "The Casa Group," artists such as Mohamed Melehi, Farid Belkahia, Mohamed Chabâa, alongside art historian Toni Maraini and anthropologist Bert Flint, invented art forms as well as a modality of showing them by inaugurating a new art movement that borrowed from both oral and populist tradition and artistic debates on modernity.