Qatar Museums (QM) today opens a major show by celebrated French artist JR. Presented by QM under the leadership of its Chairperson, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, JR – Répertoire will be on show at the QM Gallery in Katara from 9 March to 31 May 2017.
JR is a French artist turned photographer that maintains anonymity. His work combines art and engaged actions through large-scale outdoor installations, films, photographs and videos, using the streetscape as his canvas and his inspiration, which he claims as the largest art gallery in the world.
Since beginning his artistic career at the age of 17, JR has created monumental photographs that he pastes around the world, catching the attention of people who are not typical museum visitors. JR creates “Pervasive Art” that spreads uninvited on the buildings and slums around Paris, on the walls in the Middle East, on the broken bridges in Africa or the favelas in Brazil. He doesn’t explain his work, allowing the subjects, protagonists, spectators and passers-by to raise their own questions and interpret his work themselves.
JR – Répertoire, which is made in collaboration with Galerie Perrotin, will feature some of the key series that have made the artist famous around the world, and the show will also include a video lounge where selected video works can be viewed.
JR’s best known works include Face 2 Face (2007), which saw the artist paste onto both sides of the separation wall and in several Palestinian and Israeli cities, with large portraits of ordinary citizens with the same occupation of both ethnicities and religions, forcing the viewer to question who each individual person was and whether a difference could be made. In 2008, he launched a powerful project titled Women Are Heroes, that showcased poignant and powerful portraits of physical and emotional survival amidst atrocity, documenting the dignity of women in conflict zones and violent environments.
In another more recent project in 2016, the artist covered the streets of Rio with giant art installations representing athletes, each turning the city into their own personal playgrounds.
Qatar Museums has done pioneering work in the Middle East to bring art out into the streets and into public spaces, notably commissioning the Tunisian artist, El Seed, to create one of the biggest art installations ever – works on a huge scale for the motorway tunnels in Doha, which El Seed called Calligraffiti, and Richard Serra’s breath-taking East-West/West-East, which is found in Qatar’s desert and spans over a kilometre in length, consisting of four steel plates which rise to 14.7 meters and 16.7 meters above the ground.
For more information on the exhibition and upcoming activities, please visit Qatar Museums website.