Qatar Museums (QM) will run a lecture and series of courses this month, organised as part of the Picasso-Giacometti exhibition.

Modern Art in the Arab World: Beginnings, References, Peculiarities
Saturday, 15 April 6 – 7:30 pm
Doha Fire Station

This weekend, Silvia Naef, Professor at the Arabic Studies Section of the University of Geneva, will give a public lecture at the Fire Station auditorium, home to the Picasso-Giacometti show. The lecture forms part of QM’s commitment on educating society about arts, culture and creativity and providing learning opportunities for everyone in Qatar.

During the lecture, Naef will discuss modern art’s appearance in the Arab world in the 20th century, the phases in which it was adopted and developed and how the local arts scene and markets in the Middle East have gained worldwide influence.

Two-Day Short Course

In addition, Professor Silvia Naef will host a two-day short course on Sunday 16th and Monday 17th of April between 12 – 2 pm for the general public and teachers at the Fire Station auditorium. Day 1 will focus on Modern Art in the Arab World: The Period of Adoption (end of 19th Century – 1950)’, and Day 2 will look at ‘Modern Art in the Arab World: The Period of Adaptation’ (1950 – 1991).

During the course, the history of modern art in the Arab world, which resulted from the adoption of the Western modality of art production, and the break with Islamic art, will be covered, including:

  • A period of adoption of Western art (end 19th century – 1950)
  • A period of adaptation to local practices and patterns (1950 – 1991)
  • A period of globalisation (since 1991) when some artists from the Arab world became part of the international art scene and started working with contemporary media.

While the lecture will give an overview of the main trends and artists, the workshop will focus on the first two periods, in which modern art took shape.

Dr Jelena Trkulja, Director of Education at Qatar Museums said:

We are delighted to have Professor Silvia Naef with us to host this lecture and course. Both programmes are set to be extremely interesting and informative, and we hope that all attendees come away with more knowledge that enhances the art and culture they encounter, broadens their horizons and stimulates creativity within the community.’

In addition, as part of the Picasso Giacometti exhibition, a second course and lecture, by Cecile Debray, Chief Curator of Modern Art Collection at Centre Pompidou, will take place in May.

Picasso-Giacometti opened to the public on 22 February and will run until 21 May at the Fire Station’s Garage Gallery. The blockbuster exhibition is dedicated to two of the most important artists of the twentieth century, Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) and Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) and is a collaboration between Qatar Museums, under the patronage of its Chairperson, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Musée national Picasso-Paris and the Fondation Giacometti.

Qatar Museums offers a wide selection of educational programmes and dynamic activities across the country all year around. All activities and workshops aim to strengthen family bonds, develop creativity, build confidence and improve communication skills. For more information, visit Qatar Museums