Works by Arab artists on display at Mathaf
14 Sep 2017 - 3:24
By Raynald C Rivera / The Peninsula
Some of the most important modern and contemporary works by Arab artists from the permanent collection of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art are on display at the Mathaf Collection, Summary, Part 2 exhibition as the museum reopens its doors to the public for the Fall season.
The vast collection displayed in ten permanent galleries of the museum reveal important defining moments in Arab history and artistic innovations in the region, contributing an original perspective to local and global conversations about art and society.
“Mathaf houses the largest and most extensive permanent collection of modern and contemporary Arab art in the world. We care for more than 9,000 pieces not all of which can be publicly presented at the same time. An opportunity to update our permanent galleries was an incredible chance to tell different stories by artists from across the region, to share diverse perspectives and shine a light on new personal and societal experiences,” said Abdellah Karroum, Director of Mathaf.
Speaking to local media at a press tour yesterday, Karroum stressed the universal language and message of the artworks and the museum’s openness to all audiences in Qatar and beyond regardless of nationality, gender or origin. He added: “With this display, Mathaf offers more than access to the works and museum experience, we also propose a historical narrative and strong contribution to the writing of the global art history from a regional perspective.”
Curated by Karroum and Mathaf curator Laura Barlow, the new exhibition includes historical artists such as Etel Adnan (Lebanon), Farid Belkahia (Morocco), Saloua Raouda Choucair (Lebanon), Faraj Daham (Qatar), Inji Efflatoun (Egypt), Abdulhalim Radwi (Saudi Arabia), Hassan Sharif (Dubai) and Hussein Zendaroudi (Iran). A new generation of contemporary artists such as Manal Al Dowayan (Saudi Arabia), Wael Shawky (Egypt) and Hayv Kahraman (Iraq-USA) is also represented in the museum’s galleries.
Two of the galleries are dedicated to the bodies of work of two prominent artists from the region. Focus exhibitions with Works from the Mathaf Collection showcase Iraqi artist Ismail Azzam’s tribute to 15 prominent Arab artists and intellectuals, and Iranian photographer Shirin Neshat’s “Our House is on Fire” which tell of personal stories of struggle of people who lost loved ones during the revolution in Egypt. The show also presents two extensive research exhibitions. The first is dedicated to Iraqi artist Shakir Hassan Al Said (1925-2004), looking at his work from the early 1950s to the late 1990s. The second exhibition is a study of the life and work of Moroccan artist Mohammed Melehi during the 1960s.