New exhibitions in Doha; from Museum of Islamic Art and Mathaf to M7 and National Museum of Qatar
This autumn and winter, attractive exhibitions will be held in Doha, Qatar.
ArtDayME: If you’re interested in art and culture, then you’re in the right place, as there’s plenty going on across Doha this winter.
From local artist-in-residence exhibitions and a globe-trotting planet Earth installation to a deep-dive into furniture design, we bring you the art shows and exhibitions in Doha that you need to get on your radar.
Al Thakira Mangroves
The Curious Desert
Olafur Eliasson’s public art installation Shadows travelling on the sea of the day (2022) has quickly become one of our favourites, and this year the Danish artist’s first solo exhibition in the Gulf opened. Near the Al Thakira Mangroves in northern Qatar, you’ll find twelve temporary pavilions that use wind, water, and sunlight, to create artworks that emerge over the course of the day or, as the seasons change, over the duration of the exhibition.
Dhs50 (non-resident), free (Qatar resident). Until Oct 28. Near the Al Thakhira Mangrove Nature Preserve, nmoq.org.qa.
Doha Fire Station
The Present: The Future of the Past
This exhibition showcases work from 31 local artists as part of the Fire Station’s Artist in Residence programme. Artwork was completed in 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 and promises visitors a glimpse into inner workings of artists’ studios and their processes, from concept through to realisation in a variety of different mediums. Artists showcasing their work include Abdulaziz Yousef, Abdulrahman Almuftah, Arman Mansouri, Aya Battiri, Charlene Kasdorf, Fatima Javed, Hind Alobaidli, Lucy Martin, Noor Alkharaan, N&LS, Sharefa Al Mannai, Simon Mortimer, Yousef Fakhroo, Amna Almuftah, Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Voyyyd, Abir Zakzouk, Ali Al-Naama, Farah Al Sidiky, Fatima Al-Yousef, Hazim Hussain, Hemanth Madupu, Johnatan Machado, Mohammed Abdullah Alhamadi, Luke Webb, Maha Al-Sulaiti, Noof Al-Theyab, Noor Al-Kuwari, Sarah Jayyousi, Sheikha Al-Khulaifi and Wadha Al-Mesalam. The exhibition runs through until Saturday December 16 so there’s plenty of time to check it out.
Free. Until Sat Dec 16. Open Sat-Thu 9am-7pm; Fri 1.30pm-7pm. Doha Fire Station, Wadi Al Sail, firestation.org.qa.
Masterpieces of Furniture Design
One of the world’s most important collections of furniture is currently on show in Doha. Masterpieces of Furniture Design explores the evolution of more than 200 years of design through 52 iconic pieces of modern furniture. Pieces date back until the 18th century with designs from names such as Le Corbusier, Charles and Ray Eames, Florence Knoll, Alvar Aalto, Charlotte Perriand, Marcel Breuer and Virgil Abloh (whose retrospective exhibition was held at the Fire Station in 2021, opening just weeks before the late artist’s passing). It explores a variety of styles including art nouveau, Bauhaus, organic design, pop, Scandinavian and Italian post-war modernism and postmodernism. The exhibition at M7 is in collaboration with the Vitra Design Museum in Germany, runs until Saturday December 9.
Free (residents), Dhs25 (non-resident). Until Sat Dec 9. Open Sat-Thu 9am-7pm; Fri 1.30pm-7pm. M7, Msheireb Downtown Doha, tasweer.org.qa.
Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art
Coming to Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art at the end of October and ‘showcases the evolution of linguistic systems within critiques of ideology’. It focuses on an installation that acts as a writing device on sand using a programmed coding system to explore history.
Free. Oct 27-Mar 5, 2024. Open Sat-Thu 9am-7pm; Fri 1.30pm-7pm. Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Education City, mathaf.org.qa.
Museum of Islamic Art
Fashioning an Empire: Textiles from Safavid Iran
Featuring a selection of extraordinary textiles, this exhibition at the Museum of Islamic Art highlights the importance of silk in the vibrant social, economic and religious life of 17th-century Iran. The exhibition has been on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, Washington, D.C., and is being shown as part of the Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture. There are more than 100 words on display, including 20 precious brocade silk textiles and 12 carpets from the Safavid period.
Free (residents), Dhs50 (non-resident). Oct 23-Apr 20,2024. Open Sat-Thu 9am-7pm; Fri 1.30pm-7pm. Doha Corniche, mia.org.qa.
National Museum of Qatar
Pipilotti Rist: Your Brain To Me, My Brain To You
This large-scale immersive video installation comes from acclaimed Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist. Held at the National Museum of Qatar, it’s the first exhibition in the Middle East for Rist and invites visitors to ‘embark on a journey of self-discovery through a multi-sensory experience. The installation comprises 12,000 LED lights strung on cables throughout the gallery that move to the music while there’s a video installation featuring abstract footage of Qatar’s landscapes. “This work is both a collective and individual experience. We want to understand what is happening inside the brain of the other, and culture is the main way to try to understand each other beyond language,” says the artist.
Free (residents), Dhs50 (non-resident). Until Jan 15, 2024. Open Sat-Thu 9am-7pm; Fri 1.30pm-7pm. National Museum of Qatar, Al Salata, nmoq.org.qa.
The Shape of Time: Art and Ancestors of Oceania from the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Nearly 130 pieces of work from Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Oceanic collection are heading to Doha, in a trip outside the Met’s walls for the first time in nearly a century. The exhibition has themes of ‘voyaging, ancestors and time’ about the heritage of the Pacific Islands.
Free (residents), Dhs50 (non-resident). Oct 24-Jan 25, 2024. National Museum of Qatar, Al Salata, nmoq.org.qa.
Northwestern University in Qatar
A huge art installation from British artist Luke Jerram is on show at Northwestern University in Qatar. The impressive structure, named Gaia, was created using 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface, taken from the agency’s Visible Earth series. Being 2.1million times smaller than the actual planet, Gaia enables visitors to see the planet up-close and in 3D. Each centimetre of the sculpture depicts 21km of the Earth’s surface, so if you stand 181m away, you’ll see Earth as it appears in space from the moon. The installation spins slowly, making one rotation every four minutes. The artwork is accompanied by a specially created surround sound composition from celebrated British composer Dan Jones, making it a unique, immersive experience.
Free. Until Dec 7. Open Sun-Thu 10am-8pm. Northwestern University, Education City, mediamajlis.northwestern.edu.
Qatar Museums Gallery – Al Riwaq
Dan Flavin / Donald Judd Doha
Organised in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Museum of art, this showcases work by prominent artists Dan Flavin (1933-1996) and Donald Judd (1928-1994), known for their work in minimalism, who met in New York in 1962. Focuses on material, colour and form and will be a treat for fans of minimalism.
Tickets TBC. Oct 25-Feb 2024. Qatar Museums Gallery – Al Riwaq, qm.org.qa.