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40 new installations see Qatar transformed into outdoor art gallery ahead of FIFA World Cup

40 new installations see Qatar transformed into outdoor art gallery ahead of FIFA World Cup
August 15, 2022

Qatar Museums has announced the installation of 40 major new works of public art, on view in time for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - scheduled to take place in Qatar from 20th November to 18th December 2022.

The public art installation program is part of Qatar Creates, the year-round national cultural movement that curates, promotes, and celebrates the diversity of cultural activities in Qatar.

The extensive art line-up will transform the nation’s public spaces into a “vast outdoor art museum experience.” Commissioning 40 new pieces ahead of the FIFA World Cup this fall, is a move that will not only showcase international contemporary art but will also spotlight Qatari artists on a global stage of celebration.

Installations won’t be traditionally housed in a gallery but will be scattered around the nation and include a golden Baldaccini thumb situated in Souq Waqif along with new works Including Creations by Jeff Koons, Ugo Rondinone, KAWS, Rashid Johnson, Yayoi Kusama, Katharina Fritsch, Simone Fattal, Shua’a Ali, and Shouq Al Mana.

Installed from the desert to Doha’s bustling Souq Waqif, the added works bring to a total of more than 100 the public artworks that have transformed the nation into a vast outdoor museum experience.

Chairperson of Qatar Museums, Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani notes “Public art is one of our most prominent demonstrations of cultural exchange, where we present works from artists of all nationalities and backgrounds. These works further our mission to make art more accessible, engage our publics, celebrate our heritage, and embrace the cultures of others.” 

Highlights of the new public artworks include:

  • Maqam I, Maqam II, Maqam III (2022) in the Zubarah desert by Lebanese artist Simone Fattal
  • Dugong (2022) by American artist Jeff Koons, on view at Al Masrah Park
  • Temporary sculptures and installations by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama on the grounds of the Museum of Islamic Art and MIA Park
  • A site-specific artwork in the desert by Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson
  • German artist Katharina Fritsch‘s Hahn (2021) at the Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel
  • Commissioned works by Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto, including an installation in the Qatari desert
  • KAWS‘s site-specific commission THE PROMISE (2022) for the future Dadu, Children’s Museum of Qatar
  • Doha Mountains by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, on view along Doha’s Ras Abou Aboud beachfront
  • A mosaic installation (2022) by American artist Rashid Johnson
  • Doha Modern Playground (2022), by London-based artist Shezad Dawood at Al Masrah Park
  • A light installation by Indian artist Shilpa Gupta at Stadium 974
  • Qatari artist Shua’a Ali’s Tawazun (2022) in Msheireb and Milestones (2022) in Grand Hamad Plaza
  • Gekröse (2011), one of Austrian artist Franz West‘s largest works, at Al Masrah Park
  • Iraqi artist Adel Abidin‘s light installation on the façade of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art
  • Qatari artist Shouq Al Mana‘s Egal (2022), along the Lusail Marina Promenade

Making art a part of everyday life, Qatar became one of the first countries in the Gulf to create a comprehensive contemporary public art programme.  Highlights to date include major works by Richard Serra, Tom Claassen, Ghada Al Khater, Bruce Nauman, Damien Hirst, and Dia al-Azzawi.

Image top: César Baldaccini (1921–1998, France) Le Pouce (Thumb),1965-2016. Bronze with gold patina. Souq Waqif. Photo copyright Iwan Baan. Courtesy of Qatar Museums

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