The vibrancy of Spain’s art scene can be enjoyed by art lovers in Qatar through a vast spectrum of Spanish artworks on display at the “Spanish Artists in Doha” exhibition launched on Monday at Katara Cultural Village.
A diverse collection of around 70 works by 13 Spanish artists are on show at the exhibition including paintings by Adela Castillo, Aixa Portero, Blanca Cuesta, Encarnacion Hitos, La Chunga, Isabel Valdecasas, Jose Gabaldon, Kiko Camacho, Maria Acuyo, Maria Teresa Ibanez, Romy Querol, Tomas Baleztena, and Viky Garcia.
Many of the participating artists were happy coming to Qatar to showcase some of their art pieces.
“I knew that I was coming to a very special, wonderful country, but I’m absolutely and completely overwhelmed by the beauty and warmth of the people, how welcoming everybody and how stunningly clean the country is,” Isabel Valdecasas, one of the participants told local media at the opening, adding she would want to come back in the future.
For the exhibition, Valdecasas brought a series of landscape paintings in which she uses figuration and abstraction to depict seasons in Andalusia where she comes from and which shares some similarities with Arabic culture, she said.
“It’s my first time in Qatar and I’m delighted to come here. I like everything I’ve seen,” said Tomas Baleztena, a Madrid born artist with Spanish and British heritage.
Baleztena, whose works stand out for their expressionist feel, said he likes to paint the atmosphere and environment of places he visits. In some of his paintings on show, Baleztena depicts the decadence of the night in London clubs, while two of his paintings are portraits, all of which he attempts to tell stories.
“I use oil paint and play with the texture, and the light and shades which give it more of an expressionist feeling and basically tell story,” he said.
The exhibition has been organised by Art & Culture Without Borders (ACWB) and Katara in cooperation with the Embassy of Spain in Qatar and the Chamber of Commerce of Spain to Qatar.
Qatari artist Hessa Kalla, ACWB goodwill ambassador, is also taking part in the exhibition with four of her paintings which exude Qatari heritage. She expressed delight to be the link between Spanish and Qatari artists through membership in the organization her participation in the exhibition characterized by diversity.
H R H Princess Beatrice of Orleans, Honourary President of ACWB; Belen Alfaro, Ambassador of Spain to Qatar; Soumaya Akbib, President and Founder of ACWB; and Dr. Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, General Manager of Katara were present at the launch.
“The deep rooted and strong relations between Qatar and Spain in several fields, especially the important sector of arts and culture, makes this exhibition a great opportunity for enriching mutual knowledge. Spain has a very important historical legacy of Islamic art and I hope this exhibition will contribute to bring Spain closer to Qatar,” said Alfaro in a statement.
“Katara believes that arts and culture are the best and safest way to communicate between cultures and peoples. Within this framework, the cultural Village Katara is hosting the Spanish Art Exhibition in Doha, which emphasizes the strong cooperation and relations between Qatar and Spain and the common ties between the two friendly peoples,” said Al Sulati.
“Art is not only a visual or aesthetic experience, it is also a cultural message conserving human connections. This is what the exhibition highlights through various artistic methods and approaches,” he added.
“For our Foundation, which is dedicated to using art as a common language to unite people of different backgrounds in the appreciation of beauty, it is great honour to have had the opportunity of bringing this exhibition to Qatar,” said Akbib.
“The art exhibited offers a glimpse of the culture of Spain to all the visitors of this wonderful country. By learning about people of different cultural backgrounds, we can increase our horizons, have better interpersonal dialogue and communicate more on a personal level and undoubtedly it enriches us all,” she added.
The exhibition runs until January 30 at Katara Building 47.