Pei-Ming, "Marat (13 July 1793, Paris) III", 2012. Oil on canvas,
x 280 cm. Photo: André Morin. © Yan Pei-Ming, ADAGP, Paris,
Curated by Francesco Bonami
Under the patronage of HE
Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Al Thani, Qatar Museums Authority is
organizing an exhibition by Chinese-French artist Yan Pei-Ming. On view
from 12 October, 2012 to 12 January, 2013 at the QMA Gallery, Building 10,
in Katara, Painting The History will be Yan Pei-Ming's first
major exhibition in Doha, Qatar.
Curated by Francesco Bonami,
this exhibition profiles three types of history-makers and highlights the
power of painting as a medium for recording historical events and
portraying iconic figures. Yan Pei-Ming is a world-renowned artist who
became known for his "epic-sized" portraits of Chinese communist leader Mao
Zedong and actor Bruce Lee.
Commenting on organizing this
exhibition, Jean Paul Engelen, Director of Public Art at Qatar Museums
Authority, said: "By using painting Yan Pei-Ming gives a deeper meaning to
photographs of famous people and events that have shaped modern history.
Equally important is that he makes us think about history, and question how
it is written. We are excited to be working with Ming and Francesco Bonami
on this groundbreaking exhibition and we invite everyone to come see it
when it opens in October."
The first section of the exhibition
is dedicated to the modern history of Arab culture, with more than 100
watercolor portraits of influential figures of the Arab world, from
politics to literature and art, including late Egyptian President Gamal
Abdel Nasser, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, and Lebanese singer
The second section steps into art history, exposing the
way it chronicles news. The only work that will be on display in this part
of the exhibition will be a triptych of the most famous paintings in
Western art—The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David,
on view now at the Palais de Beaux Arts of Brussels. The original work
represents the French revolutionary leader Marat in his bathtub just after
he was stabbed to death. David painted this artwork almost concurrent to
the event in 1793, working like a reporter or a photographer.
the last section of the exhibition, Yan Pei-Ming builds on David's process,
painting the history of assassinated political leaders from the beginning
of 20th century until recently, including Che Guevera and Mahatma Gandhi.
Armed with the ability to document events quickly, photojournalists today
have taken the place of artists like David. However, Yan Pei-Ming
aims through this exhibition to prove that in an age ruled by digital
images, painting can regain its role to allow the public to focus more
deeply on history.
Yan Pei-Ming's Painting the
History will be accompanied by a bilingual catalogue featuring
full-color images of all artworks in this exhibition.