Qatar Museums will turn Qatar into an outdoor museum of art

Doha: As part of Qatar’s preparations for hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022, Qatar Museums (QM) will install over 40 newly created and commissioned public artworks in Qatar. It began yesterday and runs through November next year when the World Cup opens.

“The enrichment of Qatar’s public spaces by extraordinary artworks by artists of all nationalities and backgrounds is a point of pride for our nation. I hope these outstanding artworks will be enjoyed as a sweeping outdoor museum experience by our local community as well as the millions of visitors we expect to welcome to Doha in 2022 from the moment they arrive at Hamad International Airport (HIA),” said QM Chairperson, Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.

It will be installed at HIA, Qatar Rail stations, stadiums that will host World Cup Games, parks, shopping areas, and educational facilities. QM is now collaborating with HIA, the Supreme Committee of Legacy and Delivery, and the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) for this initiative.

“The addition of more than 40 installations all over Doha and throughout the country is representative of Qatar Museums’ commitment to its public art program, which enlivens the spaces we share, encourages dialogue among countless people, and provides sources of inspiration that are always accessible,” said QM Public Art department Director Abdulrahman Ahmed Al Ishaq.

This will make QM one of the most ambitious public art programs in the world, with more than 100 public artworks.

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.

Qatari and Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region artists to be represented include Adel Abidin, Mohammed 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.

The expanded programme of public artworks began in July 2021 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 outside of M7 in Msheireb Downtown Doha and Two Orchids (2015) by Isa Genzken outside of the National Theater.

As part of Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture, Spooning (2009) by Indian artist Subodh Gupta at M7 and Turquoise City (2021) by American artist Mark Handforth at Msheireb are also recent installations. Doha will unveil German artist Katharina Fritsch’s iconic bright blue Hahn/Cock later this fall.

Among the first countries in the Gulf to create a comprehensive public art program, Qatar aims to make art a part of everyday life. In all, around 70 works have been created by more than 60 artists from Qatar, the Middle East, and around the world.

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