Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art
متحف : المتحف العربي للفن الحديث
Steve Sabella Mathaf.jpg
Steve Sabella, Settlement - Six Israelis & One Palestinian
Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art is located in Qatar
Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art
Location within Qatar
EstablishedDecember 2010 (2010-12)
LocationDoha, Qatar
Coordinates25°18′38″N 51°25′11″E / 25.3106°N 51.4198°E / 25.3106; 51.4198Coordinates: 25°18′38″N 51°25′11″E / 25.3106°N 51.4198°E / 25.3106; 51.4198
TypeArt Museum
DirectorZeina Arida
OwnerQatar Museums
Websitewww.mathaf.org.qa/en/

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art (متحف : المتحف العربي للفن الحديث) in Doha, Qatar, offers an Arab perspective on modern and contemporary art and supports creativity, promotes dialogue and inspires new ideas. The museum boasts a collection of over 9,000 objects and also presents temporary exhibitions, library, and a robust educational program.[1] Established in 2010, it is considered to be among the most important cultural attractions in the country.[2]

History

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art interior in 2011.
Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art interior in 2011.

Mathaf (متحف in Arabic) translates to "museum".[3] The initial collection was gathered by Sheikh Hassan bin Mohammed Al Thani, and QMA provided the conditions of conservation as a public institution chaired by Sheikha Al-Mayassa Al Thani.[4] Sheikh Hassan started building a collection in the early 1990s of art created by artists from the Arab world over the last 200 years with the aim of creating a museum that could capture and represent artists from this region. From the 1990s and early 2000s, the collection was housed in two private villas in Madinat Khalifa in Doha while Sheikh Hassan and early advisors and staff conceived of an idea of what an Arab perspective on modern and contemporary art and museums could be.[1]

In 2010, the museum opened its doors in the Qatar Foundation's Education City in Doha in a former school building transformed by the French architect Jean-François Bodin.[5] At the time, it was the first museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art in the country.[6] Artist and former staff member Sophia Al-Maria recounts the early intentions of Sheikh Hassan and the founding team as shaping the institution to be a "twenty-first century ‘post-museum’…a fledgling term for transparent, interaction-oriented museum models.”[7] The inaugural exhibitions included "Sajjil: A Century of Modern Art," featuring 240 artworks by more than 100 artists curated by Nada Shabout, Wassan Al-Khudhairi, and Deena Chalabi; "Interventions: A Dialogue Between the Modern and the Contemporary," curated by Nada Shabout; and "Told / Untold / Retold," curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath and featuring newly commissioned works by 23 contemporary artists.[8]

In 2013, Mathaf launched the Encyclopedia of Modern Art and the Arab World, a resource offering detailed biographies that have been researched by scholars and independent historians as well as essays, videos, and interviews.[9]

Wassan Al-Khudhairi was the inaugural chief curator and director of the museum, where she served from 2007–2012.[10] Michelle Dezember served as interim director from 2012–2013. Moroccan curator Abdellah Karroum was appointed director of Mathaf in June 2013, where he served until May 2021.[11] In November 2021, Qatar Museums appointed Zeina Arida as the new director of Mathaf.[12]

Collection

See also: Collecting practices of the Al-Thani Family

The 5,500-square-meter (59,000-square-foot) museum, located in a former school building in Doha’s Education City, has a collection of more than 9,000 artworks,[13] as communicated in 2014, that offers a rare comprehensive overview of modern Arab art, representing the major trends spanning from the 1840s to the present.[14] The collection was donated by Sheikh Hassan bin Mohamed bin Ali Al Thani to Qatar Foundation, and was later acquired by Qatar Museums Authority.[15] It is thought to be one of the largest collections of Arab-produced paintings and sculptures in the world.[16] Qatar Museums Authority chairwoman, Sheikha Al-Mayassa Al Thani, stated upon the opening of Mathaf in 2010 that, "[...] we are making Qatar the place to see, explore and discuss the creations of Arab artists of the modern era and of our own time."[17]

Exhibitions

Mathaf permanent collection exhibition occupies seven galleries in the upper floor, while the atrium and five galleries are dedicated to temporary exhibitions. The museum looks at major modern and contemporary movements represented in the collection. The permanent collection includes works by Etel Adnan, Yousef Ahmad, Manal AlDowayan, Farid Belkahia, Kamal Boullata, Saloua Raouda Choucair, Jilali Gharbaoui, Shirin Neshat, Shakir Hassan Al Said, Wael Shawky, and Chaibia Talal.[18]

Mathaf opened on 30 December 2010 with an exhibition called Sajjil, which means "act of recording" in Arabic, and featured a cross-section of Arab art over the previous 100 years.[19] Simultaneously, the museum hosted Interventions (an exhibition of new commissions by five pivotal modernist Arab artists (Dia Azzawi, Farid Belkahia, Ahmed Nawar, Ibrahim el-Salahi and Hassan Sharif) and Told/Untold/Retold, an ambitious exhibition of new commissions by twenty-three contemporary Arab artists.[20]

Mathaf's following exhibition, Cai Guo-Qiang: Saraab, ran from 5 December 2011 to 26 May 2012.[21] The first solo show to be organized by the museum, Cai Guo-Qiang: Saraab showcased more than fifty works, including seventeen newly commissioned artworks, by the renowned contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang. Saraab ("mirage") re-imagined historical relations between China and the Persian Gulf region and reaffirmed Mathaf's commitment to presenting a unique Arab perspective on modern and contemporary art. The exhibition opened with Cai Guo-Qiang's largest ever daytime explosion event, Black Ceremony.[22]

Tea with Nefertiti: the Making of the Artwork by the Artist, the Museum and the Public was held from November 2012 to March 2013.[23] Through revisiting the contested histories of how Egyptian collections have been amassed by numerous museums from the 19th century onwards, this exhibition brings together antiquities, modernist works, archives and 26 international contemporary artists and artist collectives.[24]

Other exhibitions organized by Mathaf include:

Education initiatives

As a museum founded on the premise of education and scholarship,[47] there are a wide number of programs to engage multiple audiences including schools, universities, families, artists, and scholars. Highlights include the program Mathaf Voices, which trains local university students to give exhibition tours from their own perspectives, and Artist Encounters, which invites artists to discuss concepts and lead workshops based on their processes.[48] The museum also houses a library.[3]

Research initiatives

The museum, in collaboration with Qatar Foundation, has published an online encyclopedia containing the biographies of Arab artists.[49] The Encyclopaedia of Modernity and the Arab World is published by Mathaf Curatorial and Research department, as a peer reviewed platform linking the museum to University.[50]

Gallery

References

  1. ^ a b "About Us". Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved June 12, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ Chantelle D'Mello (26 September 2015). "Qatar's MIA, Mathaf shortlisted for museum 'Oscar' awards". Doha News. Archived from the original on 30 January 2019. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  3. ^ a b Victoria Scott. "MATHAF: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha". Qulture. Archived from the original on 15 September 2014. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  4. ^ Sara Raza (2011). "Three Inaugural Exhibitions at the Arab Museum of Modern Art". Art Asia Pacific. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  5. ^ Nicolai Hartvig (6 January 2012). "Qatar Looks to Balance Its Arts Scene". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  6. ^ Davies, Clare. "Review of The three opening exhibition catalogs for Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha: Sajjil: A Century of Modern Art by Nada Shabout, Deena Chalabi and Wassan al-Khudhairi; Interventions: A Dialogue Between the Modern and the Contemporary by Nada Shabout; Told/Untold/Retold: 23 Stories of Journeys Through Time and Space by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath". Association for Modern + Contemporary Art of the Arab world, Iran + Turkey. Retrieved 2022-06-12.
  7. ^ Al-Maria, Sophia (2010). "A History of Mathaf". Sajjil: A Century of Modern Art. Milan: Skira. p. 43. ISBN 9788857208169.
  8. ^ Pollack, Barbara (December 23, 2010). "The Arab Modern". artnet.
  9. ^ Al Hitmi, Hissa (January 25, 2022). "THE MATHAF ENCYCLOPEDIA: A UNIQUE RESOURCE". Qatar Museums. Retrieved June 12, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "Director of Mathaf to Resign". Artforum. March 16, 2012. Retrieved June 12, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ "Abdellah Karroum new Director of Mathaf". www.mathaf.org.qa. June 2013. Retrieved 2022-06-12.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ "Zeina Arida Named Director of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art". www.artforum.com. Retrieved 2021-12-03.
  13. ^ "The Collection". Mathaf. Retrieved 2022-05-20.
  14. ^ "Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art". www.visitqatar.qa. Retrieved 2021-11-30.
  15. ^ Damaris Colhoun (29 December 2010). "Qatar Opens First Museum of Modern Arab Art, a Q&A With Chief Curator". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  16. ^ "In Qatar, Arab modern art gets its first museum". Al Arabiya. 17 February 2011. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  17. ^ "A Smithsonian in the sand". The Economist. 29 December 2010. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  18. ^ "Permanent Collection". www.mathaf.org.qa. Retrieved 2022-03-10.
  19. ^ "Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art". universes.art. Retrieved 2022-05-20.
  20. ^ "Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art Announces Details of Its Three Opening Exhibitions". ArtDaily. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  21. ^ "Cai Guo-Qiang: Saraab at Mathaf". www.mathaf.org.qa. Retrieved 2021-11-30.
  22. ^ "Mathaf's first eastward looking show – "Cai Guo-Qiang: Saraab" in recap". Art Radar Journal. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  23. ^ "Tea with Nefertiti at Mathaf". www.mathaf.org.qa. Retrieved 2021-11-30.
  24. ^ "Tea with Nefertiti moves to Munich". Ahram Online. 5 May 2014. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  25. ^ "Following six-month closure, Mathaf reopens with two new complex exhibitions". Doha News. 21 November 2012. Archived from the original on 11 July 2018. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  26. ^ "Mathaf: Selections from the Collection". Qulture. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  27. ^ Ramy Salama (3 September 2013). "Mathaf's collection a document of modern Arab art history: Director". Qatar Tribune. Retrieved 30 November 2015.[permanent dead link]
  28. ^ "Adel Abdessemed L'âge d'or". Arts Qatar. 2 September 2013. Archived from the original on 7 October 2018. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  29. ^ Ramy Salama (27 November 2013). "Egyptian artist inaugurates Mathaf's Project Space". Qatar Tribune. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  30. ^ "Mathaf: The Paintings, Sculptures and Projects Garden Exhibition". Art Kuwait. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  31. ^ Anna Seaman (17 February 2014). "Some of the most important works by the Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum are at Doha's Mathaf". The National. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  32. ^ "Mathaf Invites Artist To Show Her Creative Process". Qatar Foundation Telegraph. 18 February 2014. Archived from the original on 21 January 2018. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  33. ^ "Etel Adnan's works on display at Mathaf". The Peninsula. 17 March 2014. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  34. ^ "Ghadah Alkandari". Mathaf. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  35. ^ Shabina S. Khatri (9 November 2014). "Artist Shirin Neshat's first regional solo exhibition opens in Qatar". Doha News. Archived from the original on 2 February 2019. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  36. ^ "Wael Shawky: Crusades and Other Stories at Mathaf". www.mathaf.org.qa. Retrieved 2021-12-02.
  37. ^ "DIA AL-AZZAWI: A RETROSPECTIVE". www.mathaf.org.qa. Retrieved 2021-12-02.
  38. ^ "Fateh al-Moudarres". www.mathaf.org.qa. Retrieved 2021-12-10.
  39. ^ "Raqs Media Collective". www.mathaf.org.qa. Retrieved 2021-12-02.
  40. ^ "Mathaf to release M.F. Husain: Horses of the Sun publication". thepeninsulaqatar.com. 2020-10-06. Retrieved 2021-12-10.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  41. ^ "El Anatsui: Triumphant Scale". www.artforum.com. Retrieved 2021-12-09.
  42. ^ "QM cultural activities in abundance this month". Gulf-Times (in Arabic). 2020-11-01. Retrieved 2021-12-12.
  43. ^ "Yto Barrada". www.mathaf.org.qa. Retrieved 2021-12-12.
  44. ^ Harb, Mohamad Khalil (2020-11-25). "Huguette Caland's Restless Joie de Vivre". Hyperallergic. Retrieved 2021-12-14.
  45. ^ "Kader Attia: On Silence opens at Mathaf". TimeOut. Retrieved 2021-12-07.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  46. ^ Chan, TF (2021-11-13). "Kader Attia dissects multiculturalism, colonialism and capitalism in Doha show". Wallpaper*. Retrieved 2021-12-07.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  47. ^ Colhoun, Damarais (December 29, 2010). "Qatar Opens First Museum of Modern Arab Art, a Q&A With Chief Curator". Huffington Post. Retrieved June 12, 2022.
  48. ^ "Doha's Mathaf puts Arab art on the world map". Al Bawaba. January 27, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  49. ^ Joanne Lisinski, Nada Shabout & Dr. Samia Touati (2014). "Mathaf Encyclopedia Of Modern Art And The Arab World". Qatar Foundation Annual Research Conference Proceedings. 1. doi:10.5339/qfarc.2014.SSPP1043. Retrieved 30 November 2015.((cite journal)): CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  50. ^ "Mathaf Encyclopedia of Modern Art and the Arab World". www.encyclopedia.mathaf.org.qa. Retrieved 2021-12-03.