Qatar Transforms Into An Outdoor Art Gallery Ahead Of FIFA World Cup


Qatar, a country that is no stranger to important contemporary public art, with works by Richard Serra and Damien Hirst, will be Transformed into an Outdoor Art Museum Experience, ahead of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. Installations by first-rate artists including, Jeff Koons, Ugo Rondinone, KAWS, Rashid Johnson, Yayoi Kusama, Katharina Fritsch, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Suki Seokyeong Kang, Shilpa Gupta, Shezad Dawood, Shua’a Ali, Faraj Daham, Shouq Al Mana and Salman Al Malek among other international, regional and Qatari artists are set to go on display in the Autumn.

The addition of 40 new, major works of public art this fall is a significant milestone for Qatar

Qatar Creates is a year-round national cultural movement that curates, promotes, and celebrates the diversity of cultural activities in Qatar – Qatar Museums (QM) today announced a programme of new and commissioned public artworks by celebrated Qatari, regional and international artists that will be presented throughout Doha and the nation. From the Qatari desert to the bustling Souq Waqif, in the coming weeks, the nation’s public spaces will be transformed into a vast outdoor art museum experience featuring more than 100 public artworks, which will be on view for locals and the 1.5 million visitors who are expected to travel to Doha for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

Mark Handforth
Mark Handforth  Photo © Artlyst

Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums, said: “The addition of 40 new, major works of public art this fall is a significant milestone for Qatar’s public art programme. Public art is one of our most prominent demonstrations of cultural exchange, where we present works from artists of all nationalities and backgrounds. From the arrivals at the best airport in the world — Hamad International Airport — to every neighbourhood in our nation, public art is there to make your experience unique. These works vary in size and form, and they encompass a wide range of subject matter, but all further our mission to make art more accessible, engage our public to celebrate our heritage, and embrace the cultures of others. More importantly, artists from every corner of the world — representing all continents — have been invited to express their artistic creativity with our very own diverse population. Our longstanding commitment to public art is visible across Qatar, and we hope these works will be welcomed by locals and enhance the experiences had by the millions of visitors we expect to welcome to Doha this year.”

Highlights of the new public artworks include:

Maqam I, Maqam II, Maqam III (2022) by Lebanese artist Simone Fattal for which she has created three granite sculptures in blue coloured granite with a manifold shape that can be perceived at once as a dune, a construction or a tent that appear to be geographical landmarks

Dugong (2022), a massive, approximately 21 metres high and 31 metres wide polychromed mirror-polished stainless-steel sculpture by American artist Jeff Koons in the form of a Dugong, the marine mammal that has inhabited the waters surrounding Qatar’s peninsula for centuries, is on view at Al Masrah Park

Along with Iraqi sculptor Ahmed Al Bahrani’s Dugong Family installation in Al Ruwais celebrating the dugong, an endangered marine mammal native to Qatar’s waters

A collection of temporary sculptures and installations by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama – including My Soul Blooms Forever (2019), Flower that Speaks All About My Heart (2018), Dancing Pumpkin(2020), and Narcissus Garden, among others – is on view on the grounds of the Museum of Islamic Art and MIA Park

A site-specific artwork in the desert by Olafur Eliasson continues the artist’s longstanding exploration into the role that our perception of the world plays in how we co-produce reality

German artist Katharina Fritsch’s newly installed iconic bright blue Hahn (2021) is on view at the iconic Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel

Commissioned works by Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto including an installation in the Qatari desert titled Slug Turtle, TemplEarth (2022), and CocoonEarth, Our Goal is the Life (2022)

KAWS’ site-specific commission THE PROMISE (2022), depicting the American artist’s companion figures in a tender gesture suggesting a parent carefully passing the globe to the hands of a child, a unique piece for the future Dadu, Qatar Children’s Museum and on view at its park

Doha Mountains by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, on view along Doha’s Ras Abou Aboud beachfront near 974 Stadium, echoes the Olympic Ring colours that encircle the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum.

 Subodh Gupta
Subodh Gupta  Photo © Artlyst

A mosaic installation comprising four walls titled Qatari Walls “Village of the Sun” (2022) by American artist Rashid Johnson

Doha Modern Playground (2022), a site-responsive playground inspired by a group of four key modernist buildings in Doha, by Shezad Dawood at Al Masrah Park

Monira Al Qadiri’s Zephyr (2022) is a large-scale recreation of a microscopic organism seen in fossilised marine algae found in the Arabian Peninsula. The Kuwaiti artist’s work is located along the West Bay’s North Beach

Peter Fischli & David Weiss’s sculpture Rock on Top of Another Rock (2022) is made up of two nearly 30-ton boulders that are stacked and balanced without aid, on view at the Qatar National Theatre. The installation is the last work created by the Swiss artist duo.

A series of sculptures by Korean artist Suki Seokyeong Kang titled Here We Hear (2022) in the Corniche Park encourages spectators to congregate and interact with one another

I Live Under Your Sky Too (2022), a light installation by Shilpa Gupta in the form of an animated sentence in which the Indian artist’s handwriting rises and shines from lines of a ruled book to read “I Live Under Your Sky Too” in three interwoven languages, at Stadium 974

American conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner’s ALL THE STARS IN THE SKY HAVE THE SAME FACE (2011/20) installed at Stadium 974

Inspired by construction debris and location marks (Neshan) found in both urban and desert environments, Qatari artist Shua’a Ali’s Tawazun (2022) in Msheireb and Milestones (2022) in Grand Hamad Plaza explore the relationship between past and present-day Doha using symbolic stacking of materials to create visionary, balanced, agglomerative sculptural forms

The site-specific work Us, Her, Him (2022) by Lebanese artist Najla El Zein on view at the Flag Plaza along the Corniche will explore the relationship between form, use, space and emotion through themes relating to abstract conceptions of the body

American artist Faye Toogood’s Clay Court (2022), an immersive display of 17 hand-shaped sculptures, located around the National Theatre site

The enormous Gekröse (2011) is one of Austrian artist Franz West’s (1947-2012) largest works, presenting a monumental, wielded aluminium sculpture that is as imposing as it is whimsical, in bright pink hues, that may concurrently attract and shock viewers at Al Masrah Park

Iraqi artist Adel Abidin’s light installation They Asked Me to Change It, and I Agreed (2022) on the façade of Mathaf, explores contemporary art as a means of dialogue and change and adds to the existing works Al-Safina (The Ship) by Egyptian artist Adam Henein and The Guardian of the Fertile Crescent (2001-2010) by the late Iraqi painter and sculptor Ismail Fattah

Qatari artist Shouq Al Mana’s Egal (2022), which is installed along the Lusail Marina Promenade serves as a tribute to Qatar’s history and traditions.

Top Photo: P C Robinson © Artlyst 2022

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