The exhibition, which is the first collaboration between Qatar Museums and the Bank of Santander’s foundation, opened in Madrid on February 9 at the Santander Art Gallery and will continue until June 19.
Visitors and residents of the Spanish capital have the occasion to attend this one-of-its kind collaboration between a European art space and Qatar Museums. The art exhibition, entitled Looking at the World Around You: Contemporary Works from Qatar Museums, will cater more than 160 important key works of Qatar Museums’ collections from different artistic disciplines such as paintings, sculptures, photography, installations and video installations.
People in Madrid will get to see firsthand the Arab-inspired paintings by Spanish painter Francisco Goya and the Belgian René Magritte, as well as works by contemporary artists from North Africa and the Middle East like Mona Hatoum, Shirin Neshat, Wael Shawky and Manal Al Dowayan among others.
This Arab art show also happens to be the Fundación Banco Santander’s first collaboration with Qatar Museums and the first major loan exhibition in Europe of works from Mathaf, the renowned Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha.
The curator of the exhibition and Director of Mathaf Dr. Abdellah Karroum included two major works from the collection of the Orientalist: Goya’s watercolour Two Orientals (around 1825) and Magritte’s gouache Sherezade (1947).
The collection also features a long-scale work by the Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang who is organizing his own art show in Qatar. It will be a first display of the artist’s 18-metre-long installation Ninety-Nine Horses since Mathaf commissioned it in 2011. It is a very interesting piece of art that combines gold-leaf sculpture of horses and gunpowder on paper.