Project Space 12

Bouthayna Al-Muftah: Echoes

11 July - 10 September 2018

The work of Bouthayna Al-Muftah (b. 1987) interrogates stories and practices from Qatari cultural heritage by archiving collective memories and personal encounters using various artistic media including drawing, printmaking and installation.

Echoes is a prolongation of Al-Muftah’s ongoing research on the recollection of memories and stories that she documents as a continuous autobiography based on personal encounters and family stories.

In this artistic experiment, she distinctively reflects on the rapid social and cultural changes that have taken place in her surroundings in a short period of time. Al-Muftah utilizes the space to evoke shared local memories and question current local cultural practices visibly influenced by technology with a growing focus on individualism. In order to highlight this challenging topic the artist contextualizes the lyrical traditional game ‘tag ‘tag ‘tagya*’ and deconstructs its forms to redefine cultural narratives, offering a symbolic experience in a space in which the past and the present intersect.

The artistic process and methodology are prominently prioritized in this space. This is emphasized by integrating different materials to the project, such as sound, wall mirrors and canvas floor, through which the artist interrogates the perception and the use of traditional collective stories in the context of the contemporary.

* ‘tag ‘tag ‘tagya is the first phrase of a song used in a traditional group game played by boys and girls from different parts of the Arabian Gulf.

FOCUS: Works from Mathaf Collection

Shakir Hassan Al Said: The Wall

10 September 2017 - 25 September 2018

FOCUS: Works from Mathaf Collection is an ongoing series of solo exhibitions featuring artists from Mathaf Permanent Collection.
This exhibition looks at the progression of Shakir Hassan Al Said’s work from the early 1950s to the late 1990s, particularly the disappearance of the figure and landscape and the transition towards a more frontal dimension where texture and physicality replace figurative representations in the works. 
Al Said describes the physicality in his painting as exaggerated traces and scratched surfaces of walls and manuscripts. The process of reaching the wall as a texture and looking for an exit (exutoire) when making a hole in it seems to reflect a passage beyond the wall as an obstacle, especially in the years 1990s during his multiples residencies in Doha. The political and spiritual dimension of his work took a stronger meaning after the second war in Iraq following the American invasion. The wall represented on a surface as an artwork, fragmented through the process of burning attempts to open a possible future.  The One-Dimension concept becomes a philosophy and a practice that lead to freedom of space and time together, prefiguring a more spiritual sense of existence.


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FOCUS: Works from Mathaf Collection

Mohammed Melehi: 1959-1971

10 September 2017 - 25 September 2018

FOCUS: Works from Mathaf Collection is an ongoing series of solo exhibitions featuring artists from Mathaf Permanent Collection.
Mohammed Melehi: 1959-1971 is a study of the life and work of Moroccan artist Mohammed Melehi (b. 1936 Asilah) during the decade of the 1960s. Thirteen works from the Mathaf Collection, from Formation (1959) to Untitled (1970-77), trace Melehi’s curiosity with ideological, scientific, and political systems in modern society. This perspective was shaped by formative periods living in Europe (1955-1962) and the USA (1962-64), before returning to Morocco in 1964, experiences that were grounded in the context of major geopolitical changes and events such as the cold war, the independence of Morocco and Algeria, and the 1967 War.

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Art Lessons at Mathaf with Ismael Azzam

Join artist Ismael Azzam for a new season of Art Lessons at Mathaf and learn techniques in portraiture drawing using pencil and charcoal and paint.

Every Sunday and Wednesday


Manara – Education Space at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art

  • Lessons are offered to people with basic to intermediate sketching and drawing skills
  • Each participant must bring their own sketchbook
  • Participants may also be asked to sit in as a model to have their portraits done
  • Admission is free
  • Seats are limited
  • To register, click here

Are you interested to have your portrait done by artist Ismael Azzam?

We are looking for volunteers to sit in as a model for the Art Lessons at Mathaf led by artist Ismael Azzam. If you are available between 4pm-7pm every Sunday and Wednesday, and can commit to the time slot, please to confirm by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mathaf Collection, Summary, Part 2

10 September 2017 - 10 February 2019

MATHAF: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha

Jassim Zaini, Features from Qatar, 1973, oil on cardboard, 48.5 x 78 cm, Collection of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha

Mathaf houses the largest and most extensive permanent collection of modern and contemporary Arab art in the world featuring over 9,000 works. The collection covers artworks from the 19th century to the present day, reflecting a number of defining moments in Arab history and artistic creation in the region.

This year, Mathaf presents a complete rehang of its Permanent Collection galleries, titled “Summary, Part 2”. This is a display of the museum’s most iconic works, highlighting groundbreaking modern and contemporary artists from the Arab world. 

The new display includes historical artists such as Etel Adnan (Lebanon), Farid Belkahia (Morocco), Saloua Raouda Choucair (Lebanon), Faraj Daham (Qatar), Inji Efflatoun (Egypt), Abdulhalim Radwi (Saudi Arabia), Hassan Sharif (Dubai) and Hussein Zendaroudi (Iran), and a younger generation such as Manal AlDowayan (Saudi Arabia), Wael Shawky (Egypt) and Hayv Kahraman (Iraq-USA). With this Mathaf increases investment in education and audience engagement around the collection that includes making the collection accessible online.

Curated by Mathaf Director Abdellah Karroum and Laura Barlow (Mathaf Curator, Middle East)

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