Independent Art Voice

Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art Announces Dr Abdellah Karroum As Director

The Qatar Museums Authority, led by HE Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Abdellah Karroum as the new director of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art. Karroum, a curator, researcher and independent artistic director, will assume his new role at Mathaf in June 2013. He will provide curatorial and managerial leadership and supervise the museum’s daily operations. He will also oversee the planning and activities of the museum including Collections conservation, Education and Public Programs, Research and Library, and Communications and Publishing. Mathaf’s program of exhibitions and events explores and celebrates art by Arab artists and offers an Arab perspective on international modern and contemporary art.

“QMA is happy to welcome Abdellah Karroum as the new Director of Mathaf,” stated Edward Dolman, QMA Executive Director and Acting CEO. “Abdellah brings to Mathaf more than 20 years of experience in the art sector organizing and co-curating numerous international exhibitions and programs for variousinstitutions around the world. We are looking forward to working closely with Abdellah in further developing the Museum and establishing Mathaf as a vibrant centre for the promotion and understanding of Contemporary Art in a local and international context.”

Dolman added: “I would also like to thank Michelle Dezember for doing an outstanding job as the Mathaf interim director, and managing the museum’s operations, exhibitions, and programs, in addition to running the museum’s education department.”

“I am excited to work with the Mathaf team,” commented Abdellah Karroum. “My ambition is to make Mathaf a place of learning for our team and the public. My plan for Mathaf includes international standards for conservation and exhibitions, scholarly research and publications, and the creation of a new strategic department led by Michelle Dezember, continuing the Museum’s international program and special projects.”

Born in Morocco in 1970, Abdellah Karroum is an independent artistic director. Most recently, he was associate curator of the 2012 Triennial at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and curator of the 2012 Benin Biennial. In 2012, he was appointed Artistic Director of the Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco’s International Prize for Contemporary Art.

Between 1993 and 1996, Karroum served as the assistant curator at the CAPC Museum of Contemporary art in Bordeaux, France. He has been associate curator for various international art biennials, including Dakar 2006, Gwangju 2008, and associate director of the Marrakech Biennial in 2007 as well as its artistic director in 2009. His most iconic project is L’appartement 22 (Apartment 22), an independent art space. This unique art space in Rabat, Morocco, was created in 2002 and is still used today for exhibitions and an “artists in residence” programme. He also launched in 2007 R22 radio, an experimental online radio and a platform for hosting projects.

In 2000, Karroum initiated the Le Bout du Monde (The Ends of the Earth) art expeditions with artists and researchers in several continents. He was also the creator of Curatorial Delegation, a methodology for collective artistic projects. He founded the research laboratory Art, Technologie et Ecologie (Art, Technology and Ecology) at ESAV (Film School in Marrakech) and other art places in Morocco and remains its director.
Established in 2005 by His Highness the Emir, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani to combine the resources of all museums in the State of Qatar, Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) is a governmental organization whose remit is to develop museums and cultural institutions and provide an effective system for collecting, protecting, preserving and interpreting historic sites, monuments and artifacts. Under the leadership of its Chairperson H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa, QMA is transforming the State of Qatar into a cultural hub of the Middle East. The Museum of Islamic Art, inaugurated in 2008, is the Authority’s flagship project. The organization won further global acclaim with the December 2010opening of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art. QMA’s goal of becoming a “global leader in the world of museums, art and heritage” will be advanced in the coming years with ambitious, world-class projects, including the Jean Nouvel-designed National Museum of Qatar. For further information, please visit