Posted on October 30, 2014

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha dedicates the first floor of the museum to a new display of its permanent collection, opening on 1 November 2014. Entitled Mathaf Collection, Summary, Part 1, the exhibition presents over 100 artists from the museum’s collection of more than 8,000 works, that continues to grow with new acquisitions and commissions from Mathaf exhibitions.

The exhibition includes work from Qatar and the Arab world, Iran, Turkey and other regions historically connected to the Arab Peninsula, reflecting a multitude of artistic directions and contexts. This exhibition also contributes to developing research into the collection and its interconnections with contemporary cultures that is also present online in the Encyclopedia of Modern Art and the Arab World, developed by Mathaf. 

New exhibition of Mathaf Collection 2 [].jpgAmong the artists represented in Summary, Part 1 are:

Farid Belkahia (1934 - 2014)

Faraj Daham (b. 1956)

Wafa al-Hamad  (1964 - 2012)

Baya Mahieddine (1931-1998)

Salman al-Malik (b. 1958)

Mahmoud Mouktar (1891 - 1934)

Wafika Sultan (b. 1956)

Ibrahim el-Salahi (b.1930)

Hassan Sharif (b. 1951)

Jewad Selim (1919 - 1961)

Seif Wanly (1906 - 1979)

Jassim Zaini (1943 - 2012)

African and Arabic representations meet in the paintings of Ibrahim el-Salahi; the work of Baya Mahieddine exemplifies her unique style of free figuration developed under the limitations of colonial rule in Algeria; Seif Wanly depicts modern Egyptian symbols of social and industrial progress and Hassan Sharif and Farid Belkahia use natural materials, found objects and local languages to express strong statements on the making of art in their contemporary contexts. The exhibition also presents the work of Jassim Zaini, Jewad Selim and Mahmoud Mouktar, who were pioneers in establishing the art scene in their own countries.

New exhibition of Mathaf Collection 3 [].jpgThe exhibition is collectively curated by Abdellah Karroum, Director of Mathaf; Laura Barlow and Leonore-Namkha Beschi, Assistant Curators; and Dr. Yasser Mongy, Researcher. HE Sheikh Hassan bin Mohamed bin Ali Al Thani, patron of Mathaf and the Permanent Collection, said, “I am proud to see this collection being exhibited at Mathaf. Qatar has a long tradition of collecting works that reflect the inherent art, creativity and heritage in the region. It is my belief this important collection honors the traditions of the past in Qatar and throughout the Arab world, while embracing our future.” Abdellah Karroum, Director of Mathaf, said: “Through this exhibition we are seeking to position modern and contemporary art from Mathaf’s collection within the local and global context, and give multiple entry points into the collection, through artistic research, historical moments and aesthetic experimentations on the idea of an Arab modernity.”

As part of Mathaf’s wider program of research and documentation, in collaboration with Qatar Museums and Qatar Foundation, the Mathaf Encyclopedia of Modern Art and the Arab World is currently in development and will be launched in 2015. The bilingual (English/Arabic) Encyclopedia is a free online scholarly peer reviewed and comprehensive resource that will provide in depth information on modern and contemporary art from the Arab world. The curatorial concept of Mathaf Collection Summary, Part 1, looks beyond traditional linear histories of art to highlight diverse attitudes and contextualize intellectual production within multiple modernities. The methodology of display adopted in this exhibition is informative rather than spectacular, proposing new relationships between works and key moments in history.