* One of the most ambitious public art programs in the world to add more than 40 new installations over the next year, featuring famous Qatari, regional and international artists
From now until the opening of the World Cup in November 2022, Qatar museums will install more than 40 new and commissioned public works of art in Doha and across the country.
Two Orchids’ by Isa Genzken outside the National Theater
This will be done in a variety of public spaces, including parks and shopping areas, educational and sports facilities, Hamad International Airport (HIA) and Qatar train stations, as well as some stadiums that will host the matches of the World Cup.
Qatar Museums works with various entities across the city on Qatar’s public art program, including HIA, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, and the Public Works Authority (Ashghal).
‘Falcon’ outside Hamad International Airport
HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, President of Qatar Museums, said: “Enriching Qatar’s public spaces with extraordinary works of art by artists of all nationalities and origins is a point of pride. for our nation. I hope that these exceptional works of art will be appreciated as a vast open-air museum experience by our local community as well as by the millions of visitors we plan to welcome to Doha in 2022 upon their arrival at the international airport. Hamad.
“Untitled” (trench, shaft, pit, tunnel and chamber) by Bruce Nauman outside the M7 at Msheireb Downtown Doha
Abdulrahman Ahmed al-Ishaq, who is director of QM’s public art department, said: “The addition of more than 40 installations across Doha and across the country is representative of the commitment of Qatar museums to its public art program, which enlivens the spaces we share, encourages dialogue between countless people and provides always accessible sources of inspiration.
Richard Serra’s ‘East / West-West / East’ in Zekreet
Showcasing famous Qatari, regional and international artists, the new installations, most of which have been commissioned, will bring QM’s total number of public works of art to more than 100, making it one of the programs most ambitious public art in the world.
Qatari and Mena region artists who will be represented include Adel Abidin, Mohamed al-Ateeq, Ahmed al-Bahrani, Shouq al-Mana, Shua’a al-Muftah, Salman al-Malik, Monira al-Qadiri, Faraj Daham , Simone Fattal and Wafeeqa Sultan. International artists include Daniel Arsham, Tom Claassen, Shezad Dawood, Olafur Eliasson, Katherina Fritsch, Isa Genzken, Shilpi Gupta, Subodh Gupta, Mark Handforth, Jitish Kallat, Bruce Nauman, Ernesto Neto and Faye Toogood.
The expanded public art program began in July with the installation of Tom Claassen’s monumental sculpture ‘Falcon’ (2021) outside HIA, ‘Untitled’ (Trench, Shafts, Pit, Tunnel and Chamber) (1978) by American artist Bruce Nauman in front of M7 at Msheireb Downtown Doha, and “Two Orchids” (2015) by Isa Genzken outside the National Theater.
Other recent installations include “Spooning” (2009) by Indian artist Subodh Gupta at M7 and “Turquoise City” (2021) by American artist Mark Handforth in Msheireb, as part of the Qatar Cultural Year. USA 2021. Later this fall, the new iconic bright blue commission “Hahn / Cock” by German artist Katharina Fritsch will be unveiled at a prominent location in Doha.
With the aim of making art a part of everyday life, Qatar became 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 Middle East and around the world.
Current highlights include “East / West-West / East” by Richard Serra in Zekreet, “A Blessing in Disguise” by Ghada al-Khater at the Fire Station, “Flag of Glory” by Ahmed al-Bahrani at the Museum National of Qatar, ‘Untitled (Lamp / Bear)’ by Urs Fischer at Hamad International Airport, ‘Gandhi’s Three Monkeys’ by Subodh Gupta in Katara – the Cultural Village, ‘Maman’ by Louise Bourgeois at the Qatar National Convention Center, ‘The Miraculous Journey’ by Damien Hirst at Sidra Medicine, ‘Bench’ by Saloua Raouda Choucair at the Museum of Islamic Art Park, ‘Flying Man’ by Dia al-Azzawi at HIA and many more.
QM’s public art program also supports a variety of initiatives aimed at involving the people of Qatar with contemporary artists. These efforts include the 5/6 initiative, an annual open call for artists to submit a permanent public work of art to commemorate Qatar’s resilience; the Student Competition, inviting students to create temporary public works of art to be placed on sites around town; and JEDARIART, an annual program activating the city walls through murals, with the aim of enriching daily life and encouraging the community to reflect on social, historical and cultural issues.
Further details will be announced in the coming months.