Annual Conference 2019

co-organised by Doha Institute For Graduate Studies and Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art,
Doha, from 25 - 27 November 2019
Art Schools: Histories and trajectories

The 2019 Conference is dedicated to the histories and trajectories of art schools. It focuses on fine arts institutions as well as  the marginal avant-garde groups that emerged in response to the multiple developments in  art theories and innovative artistic practice  around the globe. We seek to examine  the varying historical and institutional formations of  of Art Schools, and the emergence of  groups and movements around new and alternative ideas. The programme brings together scholars and art professionals from different countries to look at specific contexts in Algeria, France, India, Iran, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Palestine, Sudan and Tunisia.
The conference examines the modern “origins” of these institutions and initiatives, such as the establishment of colleges for teaching art, museums and cultural councils, all of which can be connected to the rise of the nation-state. At the periphery of the fields of fine arts, several groups formed in opposition to the more traditional art schools, or those based on binary classification systems. Located outside the institutions, these groups had complex relationships and interactions with the official practitioners in the field. While some took an avant-garde position, others were more conservative, and as some promoted national identity, others actively participated in transnational geographies.
Modern art institutions have changed dramatically in the last few decades. Since the post-independence(s) era, we have witnessed transformations in the relationships between the institutions and the alternative, marginal and conservative groups. The most salient of these has been the commodification of avant-garde art, due the increasing centrality of the market and the independent sector in the fine arts fields across all continents: the peripheries now compete with their centers over ownership of exchange values, the market, and civil society. The conference addresses these transformations through an exploration of academic, archival, and artistic projects focusing on the making of the fine art fields and their margins.

Second Annual Conference 2019 Agenda

El Anatsui: Triumphant Scale

1 October 2019 – 31 January 2020

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha

El Anatsui: Triumphant Scale, El Anatsui (born 1944, Anyako, Ghana) is perhaps Africa's most prominent living artist. This exhibition encompasses every media used by the artist in his remarkable 50 year career, focusing on the triumphant and monumental quality of his sculptures, with the signature bottle cap series at the heart of the presentation. Along with these ambitious works, the exhibition includes wood sculptures and wall reliefs from the mid-1970s to the late 1990s; ceramic sculptures of the late 1970s; and drawings, sketches and prints..

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