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International News

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art

WHEN SYRIAN ARTIST Fateh al-Moudarres painted his version of The Last Supper in 1965, he summoned forth apostles, idols, and goblets of table wine in an entirely unholy configuration. Now on public view for the first time in decades at the newly opened Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, Qatar, the canvas is a nearly six-foot-tall concretion of oil paint, sand, and wax that makes an unapologetic argument for Christ’s adjacency to conspiracy and consumption. The original buyer for the piece? The cultural attaché at the American embassy in Damascus, who, despite the unwieldiness of both size and implications, promptly toted it home. The achievement of al-Moudarres (1922–1999) is his particular claim on the smear and scratch of postwar painterly figuration, here appropriated to depict the life cycle of a messianic Christ as a modern Arab story of decolonization and a more open-ended

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