Four unique exhibitions at Mathaf to showcase contemporary Arab art - Video
On view until March 5, 2024, Mathaf's latest exhibitions promise an insightful journey into the vibrant landscape of Arab art, welcoming Qatar residents and visitors to explore the rich artistic expressions within the region.
ArtDayME: Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art hosts four exhibitions. On view until March 5, 2024, Mathaf's latest exhibitions promise an insightful journey into the vibrant landscape of Arab art, welcoming Qatar residents and visitors to explore the rich artistic expressions within the region.
“These shows represent four different ways to delve into the ever-present themes of heritage and identity while continuing to reimagine what modern and contemporary Arab art can be,” Mathaf director Zeina Arida said in a press statement.
Mehdi Moutashar: Introspection as Resistance
Renowned Iraqi artist Mehdi Moutashar has unveiled a collection of new and existing pieces across various media.
The show, titled “Introspection as Resistance” and curated by guest curator Amin Alsaden, challenges established Western-based classifications of Moutashar's work as Abstraction, Minimalism, or Op-Art.
With more than 25 artworks covering five decades, the artist’s creations show a deep understanding of the region’s aesthetic traditions and celebrate the limitless potential within its geometry.
Distilled Lessons: Abstraction in Arab Modernism
Also curated by Alsaden, the “Distilled Lessons: Abstraction in Arab Modernism” exhibition highlights the distinctive approaches Arab artists have taken in utilising abstraction. Drawing from Mathaf's exclusive collection, the show reveals how regional artists have incorporated elements from the rich heritage of the Arab-Muslim world, particularly calligraphy and ornamentation.
Among the featured artists are Wafa al-Hamad, Thuraya Hassan al-Baqsami, Shakir Hassan al-Said, Samia Halaby, Omar el-Nagdi, Saloua Raouda Choucair, Madiha Umar, Ibrahim el-Salahi, and Charles Hossein Zenderoudi.
Cities Under Quarantine: The Mailbox Project
Conceived and curated by Lebanese multidisciplinary artist Abed al-Kadiri of Dongola Limited Editions in Beirut, “Cities Under Quarantine: The Mailbox Project” offers a personal and creative archive of responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This initiative, according to the curator, explores the contrasts that defined this historic moment such as life and death, certainty and uncertainty, safety and exposure, loneliness and friendship.
Inspired by a remark from artist John Baldessari on the difficulties of sending a painting through the mail, al-Kadiri reached out to artists in 22 cities worldwide. This endeavour resulted in 59 handmade books with bespoke covers designed by Reza Abedini.
Artists including Raed Yassin, Mahmoud Obaidi, and Mona Saudi, among others, have used various media such as photography, painting, collage, drawing, among others, to transform these books. This project debuted at Villa Romana in Florence, Italy in 2021.
Titled “De/Constructed Meanings”, this exhibition – a partnership between Mathaf and Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar faculty and staff – is an installation by Giovanni Innella, Hala Amer, Saga Elkabash, and Levi Hammett. It introduces a device, utilising a programmed coding system to inscribe on sand.
Influenced by Jacques Derrida's philosophy, the lines and shapes generated by the device suggest the impermanence of Arabic script and the evolving interpretations throughout history. This exhibition, co-curated by Noora Abdulmajeed and Rim Albahrani, offers an experimental exploration of the shifting postcolonial culture in the Arab region.