Richard Serra work unveiled in Qatar desert

East-West/West-East by American artist Richard Serra for the Brouq Nature Reserve, near Zekreet in western Qatar. Rik Van Lent / Qatar
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A major piece of land art by the prominent American artist Richard Serra has been unveiled in a bleak area of desert in western Qatar

Commissioned by Qatar Museums Authority, the sculpture, titled East-West/West-East is set in a natural corridor formed by gypsum plateaus and is composed of four plates that span over a kilometre in length, crossing the peninsula of the Brouq Nature Reserve, near Zekreet in western Qatar. The site is approximately 60 kilometres from Doha.

The plates rise to 14.7 meters and 16.7 meters above the ground but are level with each other and can all be explored as one piece.

The unveiling coincides with Serra’s first solo show in the region that is due to open on Thursday in Doha’s Al Riwaq exhibition space.

It is bound to be an impressive show with works from across Serra’s 50 year career including another new large-scale work titled Passage of Time, made up of steel curves that snakes through the space.

The piece in the desert is the latest in a line of public art pieces in Qatar including one by Damien Hirst last year called The Miraculous Journey and Maman by the late French artist Louise Bourgeois.

It also marks the start of an eco-tourism project in collaboration with Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) to ensure the preservation of the desert.