Posted on April 05, 2017

Visitors and residents have just weeks left to visit one of Qatar Museums’ (QM) most popular exhibitions by internationally acclaimed Iraqi artist Dia al-Azzawi. The exhibition, titled ‘I am the cry, who will give voice to me? * Dia al-Azzawi: A Retrospective (from 1963 until tomorrow)’ will run at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art and the QM Gallery Al Riwaq until 16th April.

The exhibition, which has been on show since October, covers 9,000 sq. metres and includes over 500 works.

Presented by Qatar Museums under the leadership of its Chairperson, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, ‘I am the cry, who will give voice to me?  * Dia al-Azzawi: A Retrospective (from 1963 until tomorrow),’ reflects the long and distinguished career of Dia al-Azzawi. The show has been curated by Catherine David, Deputy Director at Centre Pompidou in Paris, and examines the artist’s career, starting as an art student in Iraq in the 1960’s. Works spanning fifty years across a range of media are featured, including painting, sculpture, drawing, print and artist books, incorporating original and limited editions of artworks on view for the very first time.

The retrospective is organised into two parts, with each one tracing a trajectory of the artist’s practice. One route charts the emergence of a relationship between image and text in al-Azzawi’s work, and its evolution as a solution to an artistic problem of representation. The other route follows the artist’s engagement with the key moments in the political history of Iraq and the Arab world, particularly Palestine. Both routes derive from an encounter with the poet Muzaffar Al-Nawwab in 1968.

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Abdellah Karroum, Director at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, said: “Qatar Museums is proud of the public success of Dia al-Azzawi’s retrospective in Doha. The exhibition organized by Mathaf was the largest ever solo exhibition by an artist from the region. Working with the artist allowed the museum staff and our audiences to connect the regional history and the universal human tragedy addressed in his work. This show is a huge contribution to promoting multiple modernities as part of Mathaf’s vision. Dia al-Azzawi is also a major artist in our collection, and this project comes at a good moment as we prepare for an original traveling exhibition by the artist.”

I am the cry, who will give voice to me? *Dia al-Azzawi: A Retrospective (from 1963 until tomorrow) is located at both Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art and QM Gallery Al Riwaq and will run until 16th April 2017.

Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana Co. is the official sponsor of the Dia al-Azzawi exhibition.

For more information on the exhibition, please visit:

Free entry

Opening hours

QM Gallery Al Riwaq

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art

Sunday            10:30 – 17:30

Monday           10:30 – 17:30

Tuesday           Closed

Wednesday     10:30 – 17:30

Thursday         12:00 – 20:00

Friday              14:00 – 20:00

Saturday          12:00 – 20:00


Sunday            11:00 – 18:00
Monday           Closed
Tuesday          11:00 – 18:00
Wednesday     11:00 – 18:00
Thursday         11:00 – 18:00
Friday              15:00 – 20:00
Saturday          11:00 – 18:00


Dia al-Azzawi biography

Dia al-Azzawi (born Baghdad, 1939, lives and works in London) started his career as an artist in 1964, after graduating from the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad and completing a degree in archaeology from Baghdad University in 1962.

In 1969, al-Azzawi (with Rafa Nasiri, Mohammad Muhriddin, Ismail Fattah,

Hachem al-Samarchi and Saleh al Jumaie) formed the New Vision group (al-Ru’yya al-Jadidah), uniting fellow artists ideologically and culturally as opposed to stylistically. Through his involvement with the New Vision group al-Azzawi found inspiration in contemporary subjects and issues, particularly the plight of the Palestinians. He was also briefly a member of Shakir Hassan Al Said’s One Dimension group (Jama’t al-Bu’d al-Wahid). From 1968 to 1976, al-Azzawi was the director of the Iraqi Antiquities Department in Baghdad. He has lived in London since 1976, where he served as art advisor to the city’s Iraqi Cultural Centre, from 1977 to 1980. Al-Azzawi’s move to London led him to rediscover artist’s books (dafatir), an art form that he has encouraged other artists from Iraq and the region to explore.

His work is held in international private and public collections including the Museums of Modern Art in Baghdad, Damascus and Tunis; Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, Amman; Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha; Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah; Kinda Foundation, Saudi Arabia; Una Foundation, Casablanca; Arab Monetary Fund, Abu Dhabi; Development Fund, Kuwait; Jeddah International Airport; British Museum, Tate Modern, and Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Institut du Monde Arabe, Bibliothèque Nationale de France and Colas Foundation, Paris; Harba Collection, Iraq and Italy; Gulbenkian Collection, Barcelona; and Library of Congress and the World Bank, Washington, DC.

* Title of a poem by Fadhil Azzawi