Qatar’s museums will add more than 40 works of public art

Doha: As part of Qatar Creates — the national cultural movement that organizes, promotes and celebrates the diversity of cultural activities in Qatar throughout the year — Qatar Museums (QM) today announced a program of works of new and commissioned public art by Qatari, regional and international artists to be showcased in Doha and across the country. From the Qatari desert to the bustling Souk Waqif, in the coming weeks, the country’s public spaces will be transformed into a sprawling outdoor art museum experience with more than 100 public works of art, which will be on display for locals and visitors alike. 1.5 million visitors who are expected to travel to Doha for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, President of Qatar Museums, said, “The addition of 40 major new public art pieces this fall is a significant milestone for Qatar’s public art program. Public art is one of our most important manifestations of cultural exchange, where we showcase works by artists of all nationalities and walks of life. From arrivals at the best airport in the world – Hamad International Airport – to all parts of our country, public art is here to make your experience unique. These works vary in size and shape, and they encompass a wide range of subjects, but all contribute to our mission to make art more accessible, to engage our audiences, to celebrate our heritage and to embrace the cultures of others. . Most importantly, artists from all corners of the world – representing every continent – ​​were invited to express their artistic creativity with our own diverse population. Our longstanding commitment to public art can be seen across Qatar, and we hope these works will be well received by locals and enhance the experiences of the millions of visitors we expect to welcome to Doha this year.

Qatar Museums works with various city entities on Qatar’s public art program, including Hamad International Airport, the Supreme Delivery and Legacy Committee, and the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) to installing works of art in a variety of public places that are both busy and unexpected. spaces designed to surprise and delight passers-by, including parks, shopping areas, educational and sports facilities, Hamad International Airport and Q-Rail stations, as well as stadiums that will host World Cup matches.

Highlights of the new public artworks include:

– Maqam I, Maqam II, Maqam III (2022) by Lebanese artist Simone Fattal for whom she created three granite sculptures in a blue-colored granite with a multiple shape that can be perceived both as a dune, a construction or a tent that appear as geographical landmarks

– Dugong (2022), a massive sculpture in polychrome mirror-polished stainless steel approximately 21 meters high and 31 meters wide by American artist Jeff Koons in the form of a Dugong, the marine mammal that inhabited the waters surrounding the Qatar Peninsula for centuries, on display at Al Masrah Park

– With the Dugong Family installation by Iraqi sculptor Ahmed Al Bahrani in Al Ruwais celebrating the dugong, an endangered marine mammal native to Qatari waters

– A collection of sculptures and temporary installations by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama – including My Soul Blooms Forever (2019), Flower that Speaks All About My Heart (2018), Dancing Pumpkin (2020) and Narcissus Garden, among others – to see on the grounds of the Museum of Islamic Art and MIA Park

– A site-specific work in the desert by Olafur Eliasson that continues the artist’s long-standing exploration of the role our perception of the world plays in how we co-produce reality

– Newly installed bright blue Hahn by German artist Katharina Fritsch (2021) on view at the iconic Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel

– Works commissioned by Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto, including an installation in the Qatari desert entitled Slug Turtle, TemplEarth (2022) and CocoonEarth, Our Goal is the Life (2022)

– In situ commission from KAWS THE PROMISE (2022), representing the American artist’s companion figures in a tender gesture suggesting a parent carefully passing the globe into the hands of a child, unique piece for the future Dadu, Qatar Children’s Museum and on display in his park

– Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone’s Doha Mountains, displayed along Doha’s Ras Abou Aboud waterfront near 974 Stadium, echoes the colors of the Olympic Ring that encircle the Olympic and Sports Museum of Qatar 3-2-1

– A mosaic installation comprising four walls titled Qatari Walls “Village of the Sun” (2022) by American artist Rashid Johnson

– Doha Modern Playground (2022), a site-appropriate playground inspired by a cluster of four key modernist buildings in Doha, by Shezad Dawood at Al Masrah Park

– Monira Al Qadiri’s Zephyr (2022) is a large-scale recreation of a microscopic organism observed in fossilized seaweed found in the Arabian Peninsula. The Kuwaiti artist’s work is located along West Bay’s North Beach

– Peter Fischli & David Weiss’ sculpture Rock on Top of Another Rock (2022) is made up of two boulders weighing almost 30 tons which are stacked and balanced without help, on view at the Qatar National Theatre. The installation is the latest work created by the Swiss artist duo.

– A series of sculptures by Korean artist Suki Seokyeong Kang titled Here We Hear (2022) in Corniche Park that encourage viewers to gather and interact with each other

– I Live Under Your Sky Too (2022), a light installation by Shilpa Gupta in the form of an animated phrase in which the Indian artist’s handwriting rises and shines from the lines of a book set to read “I Live Under Your Sky Too” in three intertwined languages, at Stadium 974

– ALL THE STARS IN THE SKY HAVE THE SAME FACE (2011/20) by American conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner installed at Stadium 974
– Inspired by construction debris and location marks (Neshan) found in urban and desert environments, Qatari artist Shua’a Ali’s Tawazun (2022) at Msheireb and Milestones (2022) at Grand Hamad Plaza explore the relationship between Doha’s past and present use the symbolic stacking of materials to create visionary, balanced and clumping sculptural forms

– The in situ work Us, Her, Him (2022) by Lebanese artist Najla El Zein exhibited at the Flag Plaza along the Corniche which will explore the relationship between form, use, space and emotion through themes related to abstract conceptions of the body

– Clay Court by American artist Faye Toogood (2022), an immersive exhibition of 17 hand-shaped sculptures, located around the site of the National Theater

– The enormous Gekröse (2011) is one of the greatest works by Austrian artist Franz West (1947-2012), featuring a monumental wrought aluminum sculpture as imposing as it is whimsical, in bright pink hues, which can at both attract and shock spectators at Al Masrah Park

– The light installation by Iraqi artist Adel Abidin They Asked Me to Change It, and I Agreed (2022) on the facade of Mathaf, which explores contemporary art as a means of dialogue and change and adds to the works existing Al-Safina (The Ship) by Egyptian artist Adam Henein and The Guardian of the Fertile Crescent (2001-2010) by the late Iraqi painter and sculptor Ismail Fattah

– Egal (2022) by Qatari artists Shouq Al Mana, installed along the Lusail marina promenade, pays homage to the history and traditions of Qatar

Abdulrahman Ahmed Al-Ishaq, Director of Public Art at Qatar Museums, said: “Doha is a dynamic destination, and the addition of over 40 new public art installations will further transform the city into a vibrant urban canvas. which serves to spark conversations and provide sources. inspiration for all. The Qatar Museums Public Art Program, more than anything else, reminds us that art is all around us, that it is not confined to museums and galleries, and that it can be enjoyed and celebrated whether you go to work, school, the desert or the beach.”

Qatari and MENA artists whose work will be featured in the public art program include Adel Abidin, Ahmed Al Bahrani, Shouq Al-Mana, Shua’a Al Muftah, Salman Al-Malek, Monira al Qadiri , Simone Fattal and Faraj Daham.

Integrating art into everyday life, Qatar has become one of the first Gulf countries to create a comprehensive program of contemporary public art.

To date, the program has grown to encompass around 70 works by more than 60 artists from Qatar, the MENA region and around the world.

Current highlights include Richard Serra’s 7 at MIA Park and East/West-West/East at Zekreet, Tom Claassen’s Falcon (2021) at Hamad International Airport, Ghada Al Khater’s A Blessing in Disguise at the Fire Station , Bruce Nauman’s Untitled (Trench, Shafts, Pit, Tunnel and Chamber) at M7, Flag of Glory by Ahmed Al Bahrani at the National Museum of Qatar, Untitled (Lamp/Bear) by Urs Fischer at Hamad International Airport, Gandhi’s Three Monkeys by Subodh Gupta at the Katara Cultural Village, Maman by Louise Bourgeois at the Qatar National Convention Centre, The Miraculous Journey by Damien Hirst at the Sidra Medical Center, Bench by Saloua Raouda Choucair at the MIA Park, Flying Man by Dia al-Azzawi at the Hamad International Airport, and many more.

Christopher S. Washington