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Friday, December 3, 2021

Qatar to be transformed into an outdoor art museum


Keep a lookout for an array of magnificent public artwork to be unveiled over the coming year.

Qatar will soon turn into a vast outdoor art museum with more than 40 new public artworks installed across the count, Qatar Museums has announced; its all part of a unique artistic celebration for the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022.

Installation of the new artworks kicked off this week and will take place until the start of the World Cup in November next year, giving residence and visitors a glimpse of the country’s transformation into an artistic hub.

“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,” said Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, QM Chairperson.

“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).”

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The artworks will be displayed in different locations across the country, starting with Doha’s state-of-the-art airport to welcome fans, as well as Qatar Rail stations, selected stadiums that will host World Cup Games, public parks, shopping areas, and educational and athletic facilities.

For the next year, QM will work closely with Hamad International Airport, the Supreme Committee of Legacy and Delivery, and the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) to ensure the success of the public art programme.

“The addition of more than 40 installations all over Doha and throughout the country is a 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 Abdulrahman Ahmed Al Ishaq, QM Public Art department Director.

Various celebrated Qatari, regional, and international artists’ masterpieces will be displayed as part of the programme, bringing QM’s total number of public artworks to over 100.

Among the Qatari and regional artists to be represented are 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. 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.

With such significant work the project has earned its place as one of the most ambitious public art programmes globally.

The renewed drive to expand the presence of public art began in July 2021, starting with Tom Claassen’s monumental sculpture Falcon (2021) installation outside HIA. Untitled (Trench, Shafts, Pit, Tunnel and Chamber) (1978) by American artist Bruce Nauman outside of M7 in Msheireb Downtown Doha followed shortly, as well as Two Orchids (2015) by Isa Genzken outside of the National Theater.

Under the leadership of the Qatar Museums Authority and its push to incorporate art in everyday life, Qatar has become one of the first countries in the GCC to create a comprehensive contemporary public art programme.

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