5 of the best contemporary art galleries in Marrakech

Marrakech may be full of history through the winding paths of the Medina, but the beautiful surroundings are also a magnet for contemporary art too. With a growing interest in emerging art, new galleries relish in the opportunity to showcase the rising stars of the art scene. Discover some of the most established and new artists that are nurturing their talent in Morocco, with five of the most fascinating art galleries around Marrakech.

Matisse Art Gallery

Over 12 years old, the Matisse Art Gallery is widely regarded as an international institution in Marrakech and is the place to discover some of the hottest stars from across Morocco. Located in a scenic villa, the gallery draws a strong crowd from local and international visitors, and boasts a beautiful, airy space to explore. Named after the French artist, the gallery hosts several solo shows through the year, featuring high profile established artists, including Farid Belkahia, as well as providing a platform to upcoming talents from around the city and further afield.

Matisse Art Gallery

Galerie Rê

A distinctly splashier affair, Galerie Rê combines elegant surroundings with a distinctive approach to contemporary art. Located just outside of the Medina, the gallery building makes an immediate mark against traditional architecture, featuring clear glass walls, dramatic lighting and metallic embellishment. Once inside, the wide, open spaces set the scene to showcase stunning large form contemporary paintings and sculpture, from artists including Chrif Bilal and Fatiha Zemmouri, while a striking staircase takes you above the gallery to a mezzanine. The collection is handpicked by gallery owner, Lucien Viola, and with a focus on contemporary abstracts, this is a far more urbane collection of modern Moroccan and Mediterranean art.

Galerie 127

One of the more unique galleries in Marrakech, this is a space that truly lets the art do all the talking. Located in a bright, open loft space, there is little on the outside to give away the artistic surprises within. But inside its open studio, the gallery shows off some of the most widely revered photography of Morocco and the surrounding area, with evocative imagery shot across the region from both Moroccan and international photographers. Galerie 127 is more than just a place to enjoy art – with regular workshops taking place, you also have the opportunity to delve deeper into everything from the history of photography itself, to gaining a deeper understanding of the politics behind the images.

Galerie 127

Le Jardin

Part garden café and part open art space, Le Jardin is one of the most fun and lively places to get a feel for Moroccan art. Perfect to take a break from the crowds and noise of the bustling Media, Le Jardin is located in the renovated grounds of a beautiful old building, clothed in vivid verdant life. The outdoor gardens provide the ideal setting to take an aperitif or relaxed lunch, while inside the home there is a host of artistry to explore – from traditional Moroccan textiles, reinvented into contemporary fashion, sculptures, crafts and more. With regular changing exhibitions, cult film projections, music and more, Le Jardin is a relaxed but incredibly active space to discover the latest cultural developments in the city.

Jardin Majorelle

As the former home of renowned French designer, Yves Saint-Laurent, it’s only fitting that the space now nurtures a new generation of talent. The striking modern blue building, coloured in the distinctive cobalt blue associated with the designer, is surrounded by a beautiful garden filled with exotic plant life, streams and pools. Inside the garden is the Islamic Art Museum of Marrakech, which shows off a wide collection of historic and contemporary North African crafts, including textiles, pottery and jewellery, as well as Saint-Laurent’s own personal art collection.

Stéphane Abtan is Director at Dar Ayniwen.

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