The retrospective presents the first monograph of artist Dia al-Azzawi, major modern artist of the Arab world. Showing over 500 works, in a range of media, the exhibition maps an itinerary of modernism across which history is recuperated and transfigured into means for giving form to modern life.
Held at two locations in Doha, Mathaf: Arab Museums of Modern Art and Qatar Museums Gallery Al Riwaq, the retrospective traces a trajectory of the artist’s practice.
Location: Mathaf - 16 October 2016 - 16 April 2017
The first part of the exhibition at Mathaf begins with a survey of the artist’s early engagement with historical and popular sources, in order to trace the consequences of his encounters with Arab poets, among them Mahmoud Darwish, Fadhil al-Azzawi, Saadi Youssef and Muzaffar al-Nawab. The exhibition goes on to chart the shifts that occur in his practice, in relation to the techniques of printmaking, and finally the consolidation of the relation between image and text into the daftar, a personal interpretation of the artist book form developed throughout the twentieth century.
Location: QM Gallery ALRIWAQ - 17 October 2016 - 16 April 2017
The second part of the exhibition at Al Riwaq profiles the relation between art and politics that emerged in his practice after 1968. It traces the formation of his critical use of the human form, in response to the collapse of the Palestinian liberation movement (1970) and the artist’s experience during his last service in 1973 on the Kurdistan war front. This posture was reactivated after a period of withdrawal following the artist’s move to London, in response to the Gulf war in 1991 and to the American invasion of 2003.
*Title of an original poem [Ana al-ṣarkha, ayatu ḥunjura taʿzifuni] by Fadhil al-Azzawi