Wednesday 9 March 2016: Following the success of the first series of the exhibitions in autumn 2015, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha presents the defining works of a number of solo artists from the museum’s Permanent Collection for a second time.
Taking place on the ground floor of the museum from 10 March until 4 September 2016, “FOCUS: Works from Mathaf Collection, vol. 2” will provide visitors with a second chance to experience some of the most iconic works from the museum, through a combination of solo shows which each highlight a key artist from the collection. “FOCUS, vol. 2” features an exhibition of conceptual Emirati artist Hassan Sharif, titled: “Hassan Sharif: Objects and Files”. The exhibition includes a selection of artist archives and object installations from between 1981-1987, during which time Sharif established new, self-imposed systems of repetition, duration and chance in the execution of his work. The exhibition presents key works from Mathaf’s collection through which Sharif asserts the role of art in representing critical debates on the political, economic and cultural fabric of society.
Presented by Qatar Museums under the leadership of its Chairperson, H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Sharif’s works is showcased alongside four significant and influential artists from across the Arab world, including Faraj Daham (Qatar), Saloua Raouda Choucair (Lebanon), Inji Efflatoun (Egypt) and Farid Belkahia (Morocco). Each of the five galleries on the ground floor exhibition is dedicated to a pioneering solo artist, touching upon specific themes in their practice and allowing visitors to experience their work through various curatorial interpretations of historical contexts, materials and aesthetics. They allow visitors to enjoy the museum’s ongoing academic and curatorial research on the Mathaf Permanent Collection.
Once again, the programme invites audiences to rethink their understanding of art history and its connection to the world through original research, writing, and curating. The exhibition offers diverse curatorial interpretations, with a curator assigned to each of the five solo shows, namely Mathaf Director Abdellah Karroum, Mathaf curators Laura Barlow, Fatma Mostafawi and Leonore-Namkha Beschi, and independent curator Mayssa Fattouh. Through the “FOCUS” series, the role of the museum is reinforced as not only conserving art over time, but also suggesting ways to revisit and re-experience the artworks selected in light of current events and curatorial readings.
Abdellah Karroum, Director of Mathaf, said: “Following the success of the exhibition last year, we are delighted to be able to present, once again, a second series of solo exhibitions at Mathaf. The exhibitions will give visitors another opportunity to develop a greater and more in-depth understanding of some of the most significant artists in our Permanent Collection, who reflect a multitude of artistic directions and contexts.”
Each of the exhibitions within the “FOCUS” series is developed through an extensive process of creative collaboration, between the museum and its guest curators, in the areas of archiving and documentation of the museum and its collections. Mathaf houses the largest and most extensive collection of modern and contemporary Arab art in the world, with more than 9,000 works in its care, dating from the 19th century to the present day. The collection reflects a number of important defining moments in Arab history, as well as artistic innovations in the region.