DOHA: H E Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani, Chairperson, Qatar Museums Authority (QMA), yesterday unveiled East-West/West-East, a major landscape commissioned by American artist Richard Serra.
Sheikha Al Mayassa was joined by Serra, prominent filmmaker Mira Nair, QMA officials, artists, representatives of diplomatic missions, local and international media and other guests walking through over one-km length of landscape to see the towering art pieces.
The installation at Brouq Nature Reserve near Zekreet, 60km from Doha, is set in a natural corridor formed by gypsum plateaus and consists of four steel plates measured by their relation to the topography and crosses the peninsula of the reserve connecting the waters of the Gulf.
Serra said the area “has sea in the East and sea in the West. The pieces connect the two seas and the two parts of this ancient landscape.” The plates, which rise to 14.7m and 16.7m above the ground, are level to each other; they are also level to gypsum plateaus on either side. Despite the great distance the plates span, all four can be seen and explored from either end of the sculpture.
He said the “placement (of the pieces) is not geometrical, it’s topological; they can only be placed where they are to achieve the curvature of the land. “If one walks through the pieces; he will understand not only the rhythm of himself in relationship to the landscape but also the rhythm of himself in relationship to the height and the length of the pieces.”
The unveiling coincides with Serra’s first solo show in the Middle East, at AlRiwaq Doha Exhibition Space and QMA Gallery at Katara where visitors can see an ambitious new large-scale work, Passage of Time.
It is made up of two 66.5-metre-long and 4.1-metre-tall steel curves that snake diagonally through the exhibition space, and works from different periods of Serra’s 50-year career of sculptures and drawings.
Serra, one of the most significant artists of his generation, will deliver a lecture at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar atrium at noon tomorrow/
The public lecture will focus on his sculptures and drawings, including his large-scale, site-specific sculptures for architectural, urban and landscape settings celebrated around the globe. East-West/West-East is the latest addition to Qatar’s growing public art landscape. QMA, together with Qatar Tourism Authority, has developed a comprehensive master plan for eco-tourism outside Doha to ensure the preservation of the Dukhan-Zekreet region where East-West/West-East is located, an area boasting an astonishing desert landscape, prehistoric sites and remnants of old settlements.The Peninsula