WSJ: Painting the Middle East With Too Broad a Brush?

A Wall Street Journal article discussing what it means to be an arab artist today, and how Qatar is helping shape that identity

“The exhibition is based on 20 years of acquisitions by Sheikh Hassan, another member of the al-Thani family, who has given his collection to the museum. It goes some way to show the development of an Arab sensibility from the days when the artists of the region, such as the Egyptian Georges Sabbagh (1887-1951) and the Lebanese Saliba Douaihy (1915-1994), would travel to Paris to learn about European art. There is a nod to Cubism here, to Impressionism there, and examples of abstract art influenced by the likes of Joan Miró. Much of the work is figurative, with depictions of life in souks and cafés, of scenes of music and dance.

In fact, the works have been installed not chronologically but by theme, under headings such as “Nature,” “Family” and “City.” Those that appear under “Society” and “Struggle” tend to be the more recent, the most political and striking. In a coda to the exhibition, paintings by artists who fled Iraq and settled in Doha in the past two decades—such as Ala Bashir, Mahmoud Al-Obaidi and Hazar Yahya—are overtly, bitterly political, few more so than Ismail Fattah’s trio of men, one holding a bloodied dove.” (from article below)

Check out the article below:

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