H.H. Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, attended a celebration to reveal the "Seeroo fi al Ardh", the final work of the late world-renowned artist Maqbool Fida Husain, at the Education City on Wednesday evening.
The Seeroo fi al Ardh is part of a wide-ranging project chronicling the journey of human civilization through the lens of the Arab regions history that was undertaken by Husain, alongside a series of paintings that reflect the 99 names of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
The art installation was unveiled at a ceremony also attended by H.E. Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation, dignitaries, representatives of local and international art institutions, and members of Husains family.
Husain passed away before the Seeroo fi al Ardh could be finished, after which Qatar Foundation completed the installation, which is housed within a permanent building close to Al Shaqab equestrian center at Education City, and will be open to the public, incorporating every aspect of the artists original plan.
President of Community Development at Qatar Foundation Machaille Al Naimi said that Qatar Foundation is committed to providing opportunities for people of all ages, all cultures, and from all walks of life to explore, engage with, and be inspired by art.
"The Seeroo fi al Ardh, which we are honored to have brought to completion in the way M. F. Husain envisaged many years ago, is a reflection of our belief that art is an avenue that leads to knowledge, discovery, and understanding, and that it should be open to all," Al Naimi added.
"We are delighted that members of M. F. Husains family are here for the unveiling of an art installation that is unlike any other, and that, for years to come, will bring enjoyment to people from around the world, invite their curiosity, challenge them to analyze and question, and open their eyes to new perspectives," she said.
At its inauguration, guests learned the story behind the elements that comprise the Seeroo fi al Ardh: the flying machines of Abbas Ibn Firnas and Leonardo da Vinci, glass horses, and vintage cars, which move to music selected by Husain and are set against the backdrop of a giant mosaic of horses, a tribute to Qatars equine heritage as well as the artists love of the animals.
They then witnessed the first performance of the Seeroo fi al Ardhs main show, which reflects how the ambitions of people throughout the Arab region were advanced first by nature, then by machines, and how the Arab world was home to an age of enlightenment, innovation, and experimentation even before the European Renaissance.
An artist associated with modernism who gained international acclaim through a body of work that spanned six decades, Husains first solo exhibition in Doha was held at the Sheraton Hotel in 1984, with a further exhibition being displayed at the Museum of Islamic Art 10 years ago. Earlier this year, M. F. Husain: Horses of the Sun an exhibition of Husains paintings from his time in Qatar was exhibited at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art.
Image credit: Moza bint Nasser
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