Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Qatar Museums Authority Sheikh Hassan Bin Mohammed Al-Thani launched today the ‘Tea with Nefertiti’ exhibition, and ‘Forever Now’ expo at the Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art.
The ‘Tea with Nefertiti’ examines our perceptions of an artwork from three distinct perspectives: the artist, the museum, and the public. While ‘Forever Now’ features works from five leading Modernist artists selected from the Mathaf permanent collection.
Through revisiting the contested histories of how Egyptian collections have been amassed by numerous museums from the 19th century onwards, Tea with Nefertiti explores the mechanisms by which artworks come to acquire a range of meanings and functions that can embody a number of diverse, and at times conflicting narratives. Curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath of Art Reoriented, Tea with Nefertiti is organized along three thematic chapters that reflect on the process of appropriation that the artwork undergoes as it travels through time and place.
In the Artist section, the focus is on the artist’s formalistic departures and contributions as evidenced through the works on display. In the Museum section, the emphasis shifts to the context in which an artwork is presented. In the Public section, the viewer is presented with a number of incidents where artworks have expanded, both physically and ideologically, beyond the artist’s studio and the walls of the museum into the public arena.
Tea with Nefertiti comprises of more than 100 artworks dating from ca. 1800 B.C. to the present ranging from painting, sculpture and photography to video and mixed-media installation. It also includes a newly commissioned site-specific intervention by Bassem Yousri. Along with these ancient, modern and contemporary works, around 50 archival documents will be on view including a number of first-to-be-exhibited materials.
Forever Now features works from five leading Modernist artists selected from the Mathaf permanent collection; Fahrelnissa Zeid, Jewad Selim, Saliba Douaihy, Salim Al-Dabbagh, Ahmed Cherkaoui.
By presenting their work with supporting archives and resources, the exhibition will explore how the artists’ environments, histories and cultures inform their expression of belonging and their changing modern realities.
Forever Now is part of Mathaf’s ongoing mission to instigate possibilities for new narratives and to understand the history of modern art as it developed in the Arab world. The selection of works from the five artists in Forever Now is but a fraction of the wealth of their individual oeuvres. The works in the exhibition were chosen to underline specific but central themes in their artistic journeys. Most importantly, in placing the artists’ works in wider historical contexts we are allowed a rare opportunity to step into their spheres of influence and appreciate the complexities and richness of their visions.