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Tennis & Art at Qatar ExxonMobil Open
25 Dec 2010

The Qatar Tennis Federation (QTF) is yet again offering something new at its upcoming tournament. At the Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2011 it will present “Lights On”, a collection of ten new paintings by Ritums Ivanovs, from the 3rd to the 8th January 2011 in the VIP Village.

The subjects of Ivanovs’ large scale paintings are a selection of the world’s top tennis players. Among others, the collection includes Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga and Nikolay Davydenko, who will all be present in the tournament next month.

Ivanovs has been amongst the most promising Latvian artists for several years and his arrival on the international art scene was confirmed by a successful sale at Sotheby’s London in 2009.

Furthermore, he has had solo and group shows in art galleries all over Europe as well as in America. The paintings that will be presented in Doha this upcoming January, strive to express the vast emotional spectrum of tennis players.

Ivanovs’ intention has been to capture a moment in time, a fragment of each tennis player’s inner world whilst on court. According to the artist, the intense light projected on the tennis court during matches occasionally reveals a more thorough understanding of the personal battles that each tennis player undergoes.

Consequently, the study of light has been an integral part in Ivanovs’ self-taught linear technique. In addition to inviting the spectator to contemplate on the individuality of each player, the paintings, when approached closer, lure the contemplator to plunge into the artist’s world of carefully chosen tonal harmony and linear precision.

The exhibition “Lights On” aims to bring Art and Tennis another step closer. Art can be viewed as a language of decipherable metaphors whose purpose is to explore, by means of association, the aspects of contemporary society. It will be interesting to see Ivanovs’ interpretation of the charismatic characters and dynamic nature of today’s top tennis players.

Karim Alami, Qatar ExxonMobil Open Tournament Director, says “We are very honoured to be showing Ritums Ivanovs’ paintings at our tournament. QTF is always trying to offer something different at its tournaments and we think that the spectators will truly appreciate seeing tennis this way in a different light.”