Doha Institute for Graduate Studies Conference / Mathaf Annual Forum

Expanding Geographies of Resistance on Modern and Contemporary Art

Doha, 26 – 27 November 2018

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha and Doha Institute for Graduate Studies (DI) hold a two day conference. The conference will explore Expanding Geographies of Resistance on Modern and Contemporary Art, a theme conceived in parallel to the Museum’s fall exhibitions program that is dedicated to several generations of artistic practice that deal with social and cultural histories, with a particular focus on the post-independence era in North Africa and the Middle East. 

Fateh al-Moudarres: Colour, Extensity and Sense

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha

17 Oct 2018 – 16 Feb 2019

Fateh al-Moudarres: Colour, Extensity and Sense presents a revisionist lens into the studio practice of the influential modernist Syrian artist.  Deliberately organized as a thematic slice, this exhibition examines al-Moudarres’s works within the context of his creative engagements with two disparate yet interconnected pathways: Surrealism and Sufism. Illuminating the value that resides within the absent, hidden or the unseen, al-Moudarres’s works can be read as a unique mixture of these two movements, in which he is viewed as a transcultural artist working within the context of global Surrealism, a truly international intellectual movement, which transcended the Occidental and Oriental worlds. 

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Mounira Al Solh: I strongly believe in our right to be frivolous



17 Oct 2018 – 16 Feb 2019

In the ongoing series I strongly believe in our right to be frivolous, Mounira Al Solh collects personal histories and experiences that emerge from the humanitarian and political crises in Syria and the Middle East. Born in Beirut to a Lebanese father and a Syrian mother, the artist began the series in 2012, shortly after the popular uprising in Syria that led to the ongoing Syrian war. These drawings and embroideries document private encounters and conversations between herself and those fleeing the war in Syria –forcibly displaced to Lebanon, Europe and the United States. The more than one hundred and fifty portraits displayed here, chronicle individual accounts of departure, arrival, trauma and uncertainty. They invite us to reflect on how migration and displacement, conflict and resistance, continue to shape our world today.

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Jassim Zaini: Representation and Abstraction

17 October 2018- 16 February 2019

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art

This exhibition explores the artistic vision of Jassim Zaini (1943-2012 Doha), and examines two formal creative directions adopted by the artist between 1967 and 2012. The first section presents Zaini’s representational work, which he refers to as ‘advanced realism’, and interprets the changing reality in his local environment by highlighting social and familial relationships, cultural heritage, and the process of modernisation. His experiments in abstraction reveal a unique conceptual language in which Zaini captures ideas, objects and moments in time that intrigue him. Zaini’s work is a reflection of a significant era in the history of Qatar as his art captures the changes brought about by the exploitation of oil and the formation of a nation state from the 1950s to the 1970s. This period witnessed the rapid social, cultural and economic transformation of life, which Zaini attempts to document and respond to in images evoking inspirational details from the past and present of a developing country at emotional junctures.

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Revolution Generations

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha

Atrium and Galleries 4, 5, and 6 

17 Oct 2018 – 16 Feb 2019

A ground-breaking exhibition curated by Mathaf Director Abdellah Karroum will present artists from the Arab World, Turkey, Iran and the diaspora. It investigates important moments of change in the history of modern and contemporary art; specifically the 1950s - 1960s Post-Independence era, followed by the period between 1970s - 1990s, and the Pre-revolutions of the 2000s when underground artistic movements developed in the region in response to the absence of freedom of expression.

Offering a historical narrative, Revolution Generations introduces artists as vital actors of social and cultural change in each of these periods of modern and contemporary history.

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Mathaf Collection, Summary, Part 2

10 September 2017 - 10 February 2019

MATHAF: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha

Jassim Zaini, Features from Qatar, 1973, oil on cardboard, 48.5 x 78 cm, Collection of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha

Mathaf houses the largest and most extensive permanent collection of modern and contemporary Arab art in the world featuring over 9,000 works. The collection covers artworks from the 19th century to the present day, reflecting a number of defining moments in Arab history and artistic creation in the region.

This year, Mathaf presents a complete rehang of its Permanent Collection galleries, titled “Summary, Part 2”. This is a display of the museum’s most iconic works, highlighting groundbreaking modern and contemporary artists from the Arab world. 

The new display 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), and a younger generation such as Manal AlDowayan (Saudi Arabia), Wael Shawky (Egypt) and Hayv Kahraman (Iraq-USA). With this Mathaf increases investment in education and audience engagement around the collection that includes making the collection accessible online.

Curated by Mathaf Director Abdellah Karroum and Laura Barlow (Mathaf Curator, Middle East)

Click here for more information.