• Living Forward 1


    Sara al Obaidly, Cement Factory III, Industrial Estate, Qatar, From the series ‘Concrete Diaries’ 2014, Photographic print, c-type, edition of 5, 63.5 x 82 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Doha

  • Living Forward 2


    Dia al-Azzawi, Untitled, 1995, Glazed terracotta, 57 diameter. Collection Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art. MAT.2007.2.105

  • Living Forward 3


    Gazbia Sirry, Desert, 1975, Oil on canvas, 64 x 75 cm. Collection Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art. MAT.2010.36.11

  • Living Forward 4


    Saif al-Kuwari, Family Relations, 1984, Wood, 56 X 26 X 21 cm. Collection Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art. MAT.2007.2.23

  • Living Forward 5


    Sophia Al Maria, Still from The Future was Desert, Part II, 2016, Single channel HD, videos, 5 min, 17 sec & 4 mins, 35 secs. Collection Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art. QM.2019.0818/19

  • Living Forward 6


    Yousef Ahmad, Composition of Qatar Word,1974, Mixed media on cardboard 48 x 68 cm. Collection Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art. MAT.2007.1.2577 

Lived Forward: Art and Culture in Doha from 1960-2020

2 August 2020 - 16 January 2021

Tickets must be purchased online in advance of your visit.

This edition of ‘Focus: Works from Mathaf Collection’ explores the reference points of several generations who have played major roles in fostering the arts in Doha during an era of rapid social and urban change. These artists, intellectuals, journalists and cultural activists have contributed, at both formal and informal levels, to the city’s efforts in realising a cultural legacy through key government agencies formed in the 1970s.

Doha’s creative landscape was influenced by new ideas from the Arab world, along with the regional identity politics of the Gulf region. This led to innovative cultural practices and exchanges where both modernity and traditions were emphasised. Prominent artists and other creative professionals engaged with the local community, exploring new techniques and ideas in venues such as Al Jasra Sports Club (now Al Jasra Social and Cultural Club) and Al Marsam Al Hurr (The Free Atelier). Through organic collaborations in the fields of visual arts, theatre and literature, these initial achievements paved the way to aesthetic innovations that continue to exist up to the present day.

This exhibition is about the lived experiences and surviving knowledge of those generations; and the lingering questions that artists continue to engage with today. Lived Forward documents the genealogies and different lineages of artistic canons, connecting these to the establishment of several important cultural institutions in Doha. The displays highlight the work of key artists of the past and present, with paintings, photography, video, installation and archives all employed to make these stories more visible.