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Posted On: 22 February 2017 03:57 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:17 pm

Qatar Museums opens Picasso-Giacometti blockbuster show at Doha's fire station

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A blockbuster exhibition dedicated to two of the most important artists of the twentieth century, Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) and Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966), has opened today at the Fire Station’s Garage Gallery.

The exhibition, which is the first to show these artists together in the Middle East, will run from 22 February to 21 May 2017. The show is a collaboration between Qatar Museums, under the patronage of its Chairperson, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Musée national Picasso-Paris and the Fondation Giacometti.

‘Picasso-Giacometti’ brings together more than 120 works by these two artists drawn from the notable collections of the Musée national Picasso-Paris and the Fondation Giacometti in Paris, as well as exceptional loans from French and other international collections, covering paintings, sculptures, sketches, photographs and interviews with the artists.

It has been organised by the Fondation Giacometti and curated by its Director, Catherine Grenier.

The exhibition tells the captivating story of both Picasso and Giacometti. It explores, for the first time, the previously unknown relationship between the two artists, who, despite an age gap of twenty years, shared many key moments during their distinguished careers, both on a personal and professional level.

Organised into six sections, the exhibition evokes different aspects of each artist’s production, including the development of their work as young artists through to their modernist creations, and shows the correspondences between their works, the influence of the surrealist movement, and the return to realism during the post-war period.

The show includes key works by each artist, such as: Self Portrait (1901), Woman Throwing a Stone (1931) and The She Goat (1950) by Picasso, and Flower in Danger (1932),Tall Woman (1960) and Walking Man (1960) by Giacometti, presented alongside rare and fragile casts, some newly discovered drawings and photographic archives.

Khalifa Al Obaidly, Director of Qatar Museums’ Fire Station Artist in Residence Programme, said:

“We are hugely honoured to present a tribute to the legacies of Picasso and Giacometti, a first for the Middle East, at the Fire Station, which is home to our Artist in Residence Programme. The Fire Station is a place where our artists in residence encounter one another, just as Picasso and Giacometti encountered each other and shared a dialogue and many similarities, despite their age difference.”

Khalifa Al Obaidly added:

“This exhibition is truly exceptional, and by bringing such internationally significant artists to Qatar, we hope to spark creativity for a young, creative generation, help to build an exciting, creative future for Qatar and enrich the lives of all those who live in and visit our country.”

Catherine Grenier, Director, Fondation Giacometti, and curator of the exhibition, said:

“The very close relationship between Picasso and Giacometti has never been shown before this exhibition, and we are particularly pleased to share this discovery with the Qatar audience. Thanks to an exceptional gathering of masterpieces, the audience will benefit from a large presentation of unique artworks from these two giants of Modern Art, and will be introduced to the specific context of emulation and artistic exchanges which characterised this particularly fertile time for arts.”

'Picasso-Giacometti’ reflects two years of research undertaken by the Fondation Giacometti and the Musée national Picasso-Paris and is curated by Catherine Grenier, with Associate Curators, Serena Bucalo-Mussely and Virginie Perdrisot.

On 22nd February from 6 – 8pm, a public roundtable event will take place at the Fire Station auditorium with Catherine Grenier and the Musée national Picasso-Paris director Laurent Le Bon. The event will see both directors discuss the exhibition, its concept, development and curation.

In addition, the exhibition will be accompanied by a series of engaging, fun and interactive educational activities for school children, teachers and families to enjoy, as well as a self-guided handbook for visitors. Activities will include training for teachers in a three-hour long session, which will enable teachers to conduct self-guided tours of the exhibition for students, run workshops and equip teachers with materials to have post-visit discussions with students. In addition, all schools will be invited to the exhibition and hands-on workshops will take place at the Fire Station Education Studio, where students can create their own art based on the artworks from the show. Guided tours and art workshops with QM educators will also be on offer to families.

Also, in a first for QM, the show includes four replicas of Giacometti’s works for visually impaired visitors to interact with and enjoy.

The ‘Picasso-Giacometti’ exhibition was previously on show in Paris earlier this year at the Musée national Picasso-Paris.

The sponsors for the ‘Picasso-Giacometti’ show include:

- Occidental Petroleum Corporation (Oxy) – official sponsor

- Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana Co. – exclusive automotive partner

- W Doha Hotel & Residences – hospitality partner

For more information on the exhibition and upcoming activities, please visit: