Qatar turns into an outdoor art gallery ahead of the FIFA World Cup

Qatar, a country no stranger to significant contemporary public art, with works by Richard Serra and Damien Hirst, will be transformed into an outdoor art museum experience ahead of the FIFA World Cup. FIFA, Qatar 2022™. Installations by top notch 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, will be exhibited in the fall.

Adding 40 major new public artworks this fall is a milestone for Qatar

Qatar Creates is a year-round national cultural movement that organizes, promotes and celebrates the diversity of cultural activities in Qatar – Qatar Museums (QM) today announced a program of new and commissioned public works of art Famous Qatari, regional and international artists who are featured throughout Doha and the country. From the Qatari desert to the bustling Souk Waqif, in the coming weeks, the country’s public spaces will be transformed into a sprawling outdoor art museum experience with more than 100 public works of art, which will be on display for locals and visitors alike. 1.5 million visitors are expected to travel to Doha for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

Mark Handforth Photo © Artlyst

Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, President of Qatar Museums, said, “The addition of 40 new major public art works this fall is a significant milestone for Qatar’s public art program. Public art is one of our most important manifestations of cultural exchange, where we showcase works by artists of all nationalities and walks of life. From arrivals at the best airport in the world – Hamad International Airport – to all parts of our country, public art is here to make your experience unique. These works vary in size and shape, and they encompass a wide range of subject matter, but all contribute to our mission to make art more accessible, to engage our audience in celebrating our heritage, and to embrace the cultures of others. Most importantly, artists from all corners of the world – representing every continent – ​​were invited to express their artistic creativity with our own diverse population. Our longstanding commitment to public art can be seen across Qatar, and we hope these works will be well received by locals and enhance the experiences of 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 whom she created three blue-colored granite sculptures with multiple shapes that can be perceived both as a dune, a construction or a tent that seem be geographical landmarks

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

Featuring the Dugong Family installation by Iraqi sculptor Ahmed Al Bahrani in Al Ruwais celebrating the dugong, an endangered marine mammal native to Qatari 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 long-running exploration of the role our perception of the world plays in how we co-produce reality

Newly installed bright blue Hahn (2021) by German artist Katharina Fritsch is on display at the iconic Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel

Works commissioned 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)

In situ commission from KAWS THE PROMISE (2022), representing the American artist’s companion figures in a tender gesture suggesting a parent carefully passing the globe into the hands of a child, unique piece for the future Dadu, Qatar Children’s Museum and at the poster in his park

Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone’s Doha Mountains, displayed along Doha’s Ras Abou Aboud waterfront near 974 Stadium, echoes the colors of the Olympic Ring that circle the Olympic and Sports Museum 3-2 -1 from Qatar.

    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-appropriate playground inspired by a cluster of four key modernist buildings in Doha, by Shezad Dawood at Al Masrah Park

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

Peter Fischli & David Weiss’ sculpture Rock on Top of Another Rock (2022) is made up of two nearly 30-ton boulders that are stacked and balanced unaided, on view at the Qatar National Theatre. The installation is the latest work created by the Swiss artist duo.

A series of sculptures by Korean artist Suki Seokyeong Kang titled Here We Hear (2022) in Corniche Park encourage viewers to gather and interact with each other

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 the lines of a book set to read “I Live Under Your Sky Too” in three intertwined languages, at Stadium 974

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

Inspired by construction debris and location marks (Neshan) found in 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 the past and present of Doha using symbolic stacking of materials to create visionary, balanced and clumping sculptural forms

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

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

The enormous Gekröse (2011) is one of the greatest works by Austrian artist Franz West (1947-2012), featuring a monumental wrought aluminum sculpture as imposing as it is whimsical, in bright pink hues, which can both attract and shock spectators at Parc Al Masrah

Iraqi artist Adel Abidin’s light installation They Asked Me to Change It, and I Agreed (2022) on the facade of Mathaf explores contemporary art as a means of dialogue and change and adds to 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

Egal (2022) by Qatari artist Shouq Al Mana, installed along the promenade of Lusail Marina, is a tribute to the history and traditions of Qatar.

Top photo: PC Robinson © Artlyst 2022

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