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Charamusca Africana, Mohammed Melehi

Charamusca Africana is the real odd-ball of the Ruta de la Amistad. A series of sculptures, nearly all in cast concrete, created for the 1968 Olympic Games, this one is by a noted abstract painter and graphic designer. It’s unique in Mexico City.

  • Mohammed Melehi (1936–2020) was a Moroccan painter. He’s often associated with the Casablanca School of Modernist often hard-edged painting. It began only in the 1960s and ushered in vastly new thinking in visual arts in Morocco if not in the broader Arabic world.
  • Melehi studied in Spain, Italy, France, and the United States before launching a career creating bas-reliefs, paintings, posters and murals. Widely exhibited around the world, he did very few sculptural works, but undulating parallel lines in high contrast are among his best-known motifs.

The Charamusca Africana stands at some 11 meters in height. The base is enclosed in a bright red corral of steel girders. Together, these two elements achieve a striking graphic quality despite the limitations of the materials and their imposition on participating artists. The work is often cited for the sense of movement one perceives in passing. The fact that it bears none of weightiness of the other works in the route also seems worth mentioning.

The work was restored in 2006 by the Fundación Recycling Planet AC. Soon after that it was moved from its original location near the Muyuguardas bridge a bit further down Periférico Sur.

How to get here
  • Periférico Sur / Calz México-Xochimilco, Col. Guadalupe Tlalpan, Alc. Tlalpan, 14389 CDMX


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