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Qatar Museums Announces Spring 2021 Exhibitions

Qatar Museums (QM) has announced several exhibitions that will be presented across its cultural institutions throughout spring 2021. 

Members of the community can look forward to exhibitions covering a wider range of interests, including contemporary art, natural history and the art of collecting.

On March 7, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art will open “Kader Attia: On Silence”, a major solo exhibition dedicated to the work of the artist over the last two decades, curated by Abdellah Karroum, Director of Mathaf, with Assistant Curator Lina Ramadan. 

The exhibition will feature a wide range of work across all media and include site-specific installations, sculptures, collages, drawings, video, and photography. On Silence explores themes of postcolonial trauma and the ensuing decades of psychiatric ‘repair’ at the social and individual level. 

The artist’s intention and curatorial approach is to provoke the viewer’s emotional and physical experience while encountering works placed at various levels in the museum galleries, seen from above, from underneath, and from within but rarely straight on.

There will be two important commissions featured in connection with Doha. 

Launching in March at the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) is Mal Lawal 3.

Following the success of its previous editions in 2012 and 2014, Mal Lawal evolves in 2020-2021 to provide a platform that brings together private collectors and helps support and further establish the practice of collecting in Qatar. 

The collections showcased in 2020-2021 present the personal stories of the collectors and highlight their passion for art, culture and heritage.

The largest solo survey to date of the work of the American artist Jeff Koons (b. 1955) in the Gulf region, Jeff Koons: Lost in America will be presented at QM Gallery AlRiwaq as part of the 2021 Qatar-United States Year of Culture. 

Organized by the renowned curator Massimiliano Gioni, the exhibition, which opens on March 28, will feature over 60 artworks drawn from the full span of Koons’ four-decade long career, including many of the artist’s major works such as Rabbit (1986), Balloon Dog (1994–2000) and Play-Doh (1994–2014). 

In Koons’ paintings and sculptures, everyday objects and industrial materials are transformed into engaging artworks that pose questions about desire and hope, the self and transcendence, individuality and the masses. 

Lost in America presents a panoramic view of American culture as seen through Koons’ own autobiography, beginning with his childhood in suburban Pennsylvania. Accompanied by texts compiled from interviews, statements and quotes collected throughout Koons’ career that guide the viewers through each gallery, the exhibition doubles as an expansive self-portrait. Works from many of Koons’ best-known series like The New (1980–87), Banality (1988), Celebration (1994–), Popeye (2002–2013) and Antiquity (2008–) will be displayed alongside recent works exhibited for the first time.

NMoQ, in collaboration with ExxonMobil Research Qatar, will present a special exhibition on dugongs called “Seagrass Tales, Dugong Trail” launching on March 30. 

These shy marine mammals have inhabited the waters surrounding Qatar’s peninsula for more than 7,500 years. 

The Arabian Gulf is home to the world’s second-largest population of dugongs, after Australia. Recently, the largest herds in the world, comprising between 600 to 700 dugongs, have been recorded in Qatar. Holding both a special cultural and environmental significance, the dugong was chosen as the museum’s official mascot.

Meanwhile, QM has three ongoing exhibitions namely “Grey Times” running at Fire Station Artist in Residence until July 24, “A Falcon’s Eye: Tribute to Sheikh Saoud Al Thani” at the Museums of Islamic Art until April 10, and “Splendours of the Ancient East: Antiquities from The al-Sabah Collection” at NMoQ until February 3.

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