Globally-unique artwork at Qatar Foundation is the final creation of acclaimed artist M. F. Husain
Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, tonight attended a celebration to reveal the Seeroo fi al Ardh – the final work of the late world-renowned artist Maqbool Fida Husain – at Education City.
The Seeroo fi al Ardh is part of a wide-ranging project chronicling the journey of human civilization through the lens of the Arab region’s 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 Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation, dignitaries, representatives of local and international art institutions, and members of Husain’s 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 artist’s original plan.
Mrs. Machaille Al-Naimi, President of Community Development, Qatar Foundation, said: “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.
“We are delighted that members of M. F. Husain’s 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.”
Najma Husain, the late artist’s daughter-in-law, told the ceremony: “I am honored and extremely grateful to be here for his dream project.
“M. F. Husain walked the earth teaching us to appreciate life. It is amazing how his art survived catastrophes, and it taught us to appreciate the visual language of art. He said ‘See the form, the contours, and the colors through unbiased, unconditional eyes. If you do that, this world will be a better place’.”
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 Qatar’s equine heritage as well as the artist’s love of the animals.
They then witnessed the first performance of the Seeroo fi al Ardh’s 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, Husain’s 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 Husain’s paintings from his time in Qatar – was exhibited at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art.