Art has been one of the most significant elements of the culture and history of any country. Qatar has always amazed travelers from far beyond the sea with its rich art, heritage, and architecture. There are museums and art galleries, exhibiting the wonders of the human brain and emotion in a striking form. Art in Qatar is now the new attraction for those who are true admirers of creativity and idiosyncratic beauty. Be it the architecture or the iconic installation, the murals in the galleries, or unique motifs at the malls, every element here is an estimable work.
Qatar Offering An Artistic Freedom
Art practice in Qatar is given quite a priority, thanks to the influence of both history and culture. Qatar is recognized as one of the most prosperous Arab states, where there is a diversity of culture and art practice. The country, with its rich and enticing beauty, has not only provided a space to tourists and expats for enduring its magnificence but also to artists and art lovers.
Qatar is striving to be a one-stop-destination, inviting people from all walks of life. Intending to broaden their networks and provide space to every creative mind, Qatar has now become a platform where art dwells. Not limiting the imagination to a canvas, and creativity to a gallery, many public places are exhibiting the finest piece under the open sky.
The Doha art centers, managed by some recognized and reputed names, shared their views on Qatar, offering artistic freedom. The Chairperson of Qatar Museums stated that the initiative is to inspire the local artists and create a connection between art and the community. The Director of Public Art, AbdulRahman Al-Ishaq at Qatar Museums shares his views- “We instigate dialog through our public art and encourage both artists and audiences to engage in an enriching exchange.”
Qatar Art That Represents The Excellence Of Mind And Emotion
From murals to sculptures, the installation and symbolic elements, Art in Qatar has expanded its boundaries to depict every feature and beauty of human mind and soul. Here are some of the best artworks that one can admire while exploring the famous attractions in Qatar.
1. 7 By Richard Serra
Richard Serra, a renowned minimal artist created the most significant piece of art as another art element in a public space. This iconic art stands as a 24-meter-high structure that is commissioned by the Qatar National Museum and it overlooks the sea at MIA Park. This is also marked as the tallest structure ever made by Richard.
The architect of the Museum of Islamic Art- I.M.Pei recommended the formation of 7 as an element that could connect the museum to something aesthetic. The number 7 holds a significant and spiritual place in the Islamic culture, and to honor the belief, the sculpture was constructed from seven steel plates. It took around three years to complete the public installation and was later unveiled in 2011. Richard Serra stated his thoughts on the landmark as it might not connect with every tourist as not everyone has an eye for art. But it will surely add an expression of being a unique piece of art.
Location: National Museum of Qatar
2. Gandhi's Three Monkeys By Subodh Gandhi
Indian art in the famous Katara Cultural Village, Gandhi's Three Monkeys is designed by Subodh Gandhi. This is a contemporary piece of art that is capturing the attraction of many. The installation is made of metallic objects that are arranged in a way to form a shape of a human head. There is a story behind each of the three installations, raising awareness about the major concern of human life. These three structures are based on themes of war and peace. The art in Qatar is inspired by the metaphor- three monkeys of Mahatma Gandhi who depicted the truth of life- say no evil, see no evil, and hear no evil.
There are three-part sculptures designed as three heads – one in a gas mask, one a soldier, and the other in a terrorist hood. These three iconic sculptures symbolize war and peace, public and private, and global and local themes.
Another fascinating fact of this Doha art is the material used in the creation of these sculptures. Subodh Gandhi has used the elements that are used by the common man of India- domestic kitchenware, bicycles, scooters, and taxis.
Location: Katara Cultural Village
3. The Miraculous Journey By Damien Hirst
Designed by Damien Hirst - The Miraculous Journey is a spectacular piece of Art in Qatar, formed in a series-like pattern. Built between 2005 to 2013, the sculptures are located in Sidra Medical and Research Center as fourteen pieces of bronze sculpture that are differing in height.
It took more than three years to create this iconic art installation, but the result came out to be quite fascinating. There is a human approach and theme that defines the concept of birth and death. Damien Hirst is famous for his imagination, and these pieces of Miraculous Journey are another addition to his excellence.
Through his artwork, he has tried to depict life before birth. These 14 monumental bronze sculptures chronicle the period right from the gestation of a fetus inside a uterus to birth. This series is defining the journey from fetus to a developed baby boy.
Location: Sidra Medical and Research Center
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4. East-West/West-East Sculpture By Richard Serra
Another masterpiece by Richard Serra. This is a land sculpture located far from the city, beholding an unusual beauty and mystery. The public Qatar art has added a sense of authenticity and an element in the isolated desert. The use of steel, like the 7 at Qatar national museum, and the location, at a public place, under the sky has some similarities with different approaches.
East-west/ west-east is located in the Brouq Nature Reserve, Dukkan Qatar. This sculpture has a timelessness and mystery reminiscent of ancient cities. What's unique and interesting about these still sculptures is that regardless of the distance set between the plates, they can be perceived as one. The plates are arranged in height and distance, so that one could easily spot them from a relative distance. Not only the views, but even Richard himself stated that this is the most fulfilling and magnificent thing one can see at a desolate space in the heart of the desert.
5. Smoke By Tony Smith
The famous American Artist, Tony Smith designed and created an iconic art in Doha, Qatar, SMOKE. Inspired by the sculpture standing at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, it is just a replica that has gained millions of appreciations and global recognition. It is beautifully installed outside the Doha Exhibition and Conference Center. Its beauty and charm have made it an excellent addition to the art collection and the cover of TIME Magazine in the year 1967, the same when the installation was designed and introduced.
Smoke is the only large-scale art that Tony has created for an outdoor space. The complex organic shapes and spaces designed in the art piece inspired the name SMOKE.
This is an abstract Qatar art that stretches over space. The design and creation evoke the thought of fascination and a sense of freight. The artist's love of the morphology of organic formations like crystals and honeycombs can be witnessed in the look and design of this sturdy sculpture. This two-tiered aluminum artwork is a collection of geometric components, including five tetrahedrons and 45 extended octahedrons, and measures over seven meters tall.
Location: Doha Exhibition and Conference Center
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6. Lamp Bear By Urs Fischer
Set in the Hamad International Airport, Lamp Bear is one of the best art installations in Qatar. The concept was designed by Swiss artist Urs Fischer and located in the central foyer of a duty-free zone at the airport. The teddy is designed to a height of 23 meters and is made of bronze. The concept behind the art is to remind people of their childhood and connect with them in a home-like manner.
This playful art combines every concept of life, I.e., memory with scale, creating simultaneously a monument and a vision. There is a scale that defines different relations with life. It inspires people to appreciate the time and place where they were and where they are today. It is a celebration of traveling back and forth.
Lamp Bear art at the airport is an attraction and highlights the hospitality too. Its massive size and beauty leave people awe-stunned.
Location: Hamad International airport
7. Perceval By Sarah Lucas
Nestled amidst the serene views of Aspire Park, Perceval is an iconic landmark and another excellent Doha art, worth appreciation. Designed by Sarah Lucas, this is a sculpture of a shire horse, measured to be approximately two meters wide and four meters long. Built with bronze, this sculpture shows a horse pulling a cart and carrying two marrows, and evokes the sight of King Arthur's legendary Knights of the Round Table.
Sarah Lucas was inspired by British history and art, and this piece of work shows his keen interest and homage to their culture. Perceval is the only public art designed by Sarah Lucas and was exhibited in New York at the Doris C.
Coming to the location, Aspire Park is one of the most popular attractions in Qatar among the locals and the tourists. Experiencing a huge footfall, no other place could be as perfect as this park for exhibiting the excellence of this public art in Doha, Qatar.
Location: Aspire Park Qatar
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8. Maman By Louise Bourgeois
As art is a combination of mind and emotions, Louise Bourgeois has rightly portrayed both in her exclusive work- Maman. A giant spider made of bronze marble and steel, this art piece in Qatar is located at the National Convention center. The unrealistic beauty of Maman makes it an intimidating and incredible piece of art of the 20th century. The giant spider structure here is a metaphor or a symbol that represents the love and loss of the artist.
Louise Bourgeois has shared her thoughts on the art, calling it an ode to her mother. She stated that the sculpture defines the love and companionship of her mother, who like a spider, was a weaver. She has captured the spirit of a mother who feels protective for her eggs (child). Maman is portraying motherhood, the strength and love, and even the loss of this only support.
Location: Qatar National Convention Centre
9. Pouce By César Baldaccini
César Baldaccini, an Italian artist has made Pouce, not just art in Qatar, but also a landmark. Located at the Souq Waqif, this artistic piece is a combination of contemporary design and a traditional look. The bronze glittering thumb sits right at the heart of this traditional marketplace and is displayed to a huge number of travelers every day.
Its prominent location and magnificent size can rightly be compared with the bustling restaurant district. It is so located to emphasize its scale in comparison to the neighboring cafés, coffee shops, and diners. The massive size of this thumb-shaped installation has even become a well-known landmark. This is often marked as a gathering area where people have agreed to assemble.
The sculpture's highly polished bronze patina complements the glow of street lighting at night. The dazzling beauty of Pouce is visible from a variety of angles and street views throughout the day. It is also a popular destination for tourists and visitors, and it has become a stop on public art tours that represent both the art and the city's numerous public areas.
Location: Souq Waqif, Qatar
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10. Lusail Handball Installation By Ahmed Al Bahrani
The Lusail Handball Installation was introduced by Iraqi artist Ahmed Al Bahrani as The Challenge 2015. This striking sculpture stands right outside the Multipurpose Hall, stopping sports fans and players in their tracks as they enter. These installations are designed as a series of large bronze sculptures that depict the statement “larger-than-life". The hand sculptures are quite giant, reaching for the sky.
Al Bahrani, who is known around the world for creating thought-provoking large-scale undertakings, undertook a personal challenge against time in making this piece, completing it in just five months. Other arts at Lusail are the painted walls and calligraffiti by Qatari artist Mohammed Al Nasif and Tunisian artist eL Seed. These calligraphies and artworks are presented as a traditional art form. Even the murals here are reflected as an important part of the culture, inspired by a different facet of life in Qatar.
Location: Lusail City, Qatar
Public art sets no boundaries for its admirers and offers an incredible sight to every eye. This is the reason why art in Qatar is not bound to the galleries and museums but has opened a space for every individual. Be it the famous airport, the marketplace, or any famous spot in the city, these arts have never failed to impress the visitors and other local artists in the city. So, avail yourself of the best Qatar tour package and plan for a holiday in this artistically rich land, do not forget to explore and admire these mesmerizing masterpieces. Get your camera and capture the beauty of these magnificent art sculptures that are defining the creativity of the human mind, going beyond one's imagination.
Qatar in art has no boundary for expressions. The country offers a space to every artist, exhibiting the greatest work. The best artworks in Qatar are:
- 7 By Richard Serra
- Gandhi’s Three Monkeys
- Lamb Bear
- Lusail Handball Installation
Richard Seerah has added two of his great artworks to the collection of Qatar public art. The 7 and East-west/West-East are famous art installations, made from sturdy steel to add a sense of timelessness and authenticity to the landscape.
Art galleries and museums are quite popular, thanks to the influence of creativity and freedom of thought. Preserving the unrealistic and excellent work of artists from different countries, here are the top galleries you can visit:
- Katara Cultural Village
- Doha Exhibition and convention center
- Gallery AlRiwaq
- Souq Waqif Art Center
- Al Markhiya Gallery
The Lamb bear is installed in the Hamad International Airport and is one of the best art installations in Qatar. The concept was designed by Swiss artist Urs Fischer and located in the central foyer of a duty-free zone at the airport.
Gandhi's Three Monkeys is designed by Subodh Gandhi as a contemporary piece made of metallic objects that are arranged in a way to form a shape of a human head. These three structures are based on themes of war and peace and inspired by the metaphor- three monkeys of Mahatma Gandhi who depicted the truth of life- say no evil, see no evil and hear no evil.
The Lusail Handball Installation is a striking sculpture that stands right outside the Multipurpose Hall. These art pieces are stopping sports fans and players in their tracks as they enter the hall for the tournament. This art was introduced by Iraqi artist Ahmed Al Bahrani as The Challenge 2015.
Pouce, a bronze thumb sculpture, is located in Souq Waqif and is visible from a variety of angles and street views throughout the day. It is a popular destination for tourists and visitors as it has become a stop on public art tours that represent both the art and the city's numerous public areas. It is also popular for its prominent location and magnificent size can rightly be compared with the bustling restaurant district.
The Katara cultural village is one of the best places to observe the rich artwork in Qatar. There are sculptures, installations, and even murals displayed for the public. There are exhibitions organized to exhibit the finest art and paintings for the general public.