Ahmed Cherkaoui was born in Boujad, Morocco, in 1934. After studying calligraphy in Qur’anic school and an early apprenticeship with a calligrapher in Casablanca, he travelled to Paris to pursue his studies at the École des Métiers d’Art and then in Aujame’s class at the École des Beaux Arts, where he became affiliated with the Paris School. He received a grant to study at the Fine Arts Academy in Warsaw in 1961 within the framework of Moroccan-Polish exchanges, and was deeply influenced by Polish avant-garde art, working increasingly with burlap and mixed media.