Doha, 19 December 2011, Art Media Agency (AMA).
The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) in Doha introduced the sculpture “7” by Richard Serra to the public on 15 December. The first Middle East production of the American sculptor is one of the masterpieces displayed in the new MIA Park. The 25 hectare stretches from the museum, designed by Ieoh Ming Pei (the iconic architect of the Louvre pyramid among others), up to the seafront.
The sculpture which is on the pier of the new park, is one of the metallic “towers” that Serra created in the last thirty years, all over the world. The “7” tower is distinguished for its height (24 metres – the artist’s largest standing sculpture to date) and in part for its inspiration: the Arab-Muslim architecture. Richard Serra was inspired by the Islamic civilization, especially the Middle Eastern minarets. Diverting away from the classic circular form, he was then inspired by the angular architecture of the minaret of Ghazni in Afghanistan, which influenced his canted tower of seven steel plates whose colour will change due to the slow oxidation.
The Serra tower is the first of a series of sculptures ordered by the authorities of Qatar to decorate MIA Park, which is scheduled to open in January 2012. Chien Chung Pei — IM Pei’s son and co-founder of Pei Partnership Architects — stated: “Our mission was to work with Richard Serra to create a dramatic siting for his monumental sculpture. At the same time we are setting the stage for a much larger park that will contain additional commissioned art pieces. Following Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani’s directive, the new park will invite the citizens of Doha to interact with contemporary and other creative arts. At the same time, the new park will complement and enhance the Museum of Islamic Art designed by my father.”