11 October 2015 - 14 February 2016
FOCUS: Works from Mathaf Collection is an ongoing series of solo exhibitions featuring artists from the Museum’s Permanent Collection.
The first five exhibitions, with Farid Belkahia (Morocco), Saloua Raouda Choucair (Lebanon), Faraj Daham (Qatar), Inji Efflatoun (Egypt), Abdelhalim Radwi (Saudi Arabia), propose entrances into looking at these artists’ production through the lens of curatorial interpretations of historical contexts, materials and aesthetics. With this exhibition series, the Museum’s role is not only to conserve art over time, but to suggest paths for revisiting, re-experiencing, and seeing the selected artworks in light of current events and curatorial readings. Together, the exhibitions invite viewers to rethink their understanding of art history and its connection to the world through original research, writing, and curating.
Each of the five exhibitions explores multiple artistic approaches towards major topics of modernity, including identity, invention and experimentation in art. Belkahia, Choucair, Daham, Efflatoun, and Radwi believed they had a responsibility as intellectuals to embrace historical traditions and social progress. They innovated the direction of artistic practice in ways that have proved crucial for subsequent generations. Their diverse backgrounds, education, and interests, as well as their dedication to social reform, allowed for original yet universal creations. In different ways and with different forms, these five artists have played a major part in generating ideas and inventing techniques as they, in conversation with international art movements and other geographies, make sense of their artistic, social, and political worlds