Posted on October 12, 2016

Preparations are well underway for the opening of two major exhibitions by internationally acclaimed Iraqi artists Dia al-Azzawi and Mahmoud Obaidi, opening in Doha next week.

Qatar Museums (QM) is proud to present these two exhibitions, both of which in part will focus on key moments in the political history of Iraq and the Arab world. Each exhibition will showcase works from these two talented artists, from two different generations.

Taking place simultaneously at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art and the QM Gallery Al Riwaq for the first time, the Dia al-Azzawi exhibition titled ‘I am the cry, who will give voice to me? * Dia al-Azzawi: A Retrospective (from 1963 until tomorrow)’ will cover 9,000 sq. metres and include over 500 works. It will open on 16th October 2016 at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art and 17th October 2016 at QM Gallery Al Riwaq, and run until 16th April 2017. A day later, QM will present Fragments, an exhibition by Mahmoud Obaidi, which will run from 18 October – 30 January 2017 at QM Gallery in Katara Cultural Village, Building 10.

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Dia al-Azzawi and Mahmoud Obaidi are longstanding friends, having first met in Amman in 1993. Since then, they have worked on a number of successful projects together, and al-Azzawi continues to act as a mentor to Obaidi. In a recent interview between Mahmoud Obaidi and art curator, critic and historian of art, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Obaidi said: “Dia is a very important person who kept Iraqi art together, he is the backbone or spine of Iraqi art. He was the rope who connected us all. Today we still have this network between us because of him.”

Dia al-Azzawi is a renowned artist who has exhibited extensively and has played an important role in the promotion of Iraqi and Arab art to international audiences. Al-Azzawi has been in exile from Iraq for over 30 years, and currently lives and works in London. Mahmoud Obaidi (b.1966) is an Iraqi-Canadian contemporary artist. His conceptual body of work addresses critical issues of injustice and inequality in everyday life. With a caustic approach to current political debates, Obaidi deconstructs judgments, labels and stereotypes that create a constant state of tension.

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