This presentation by Christiane Gruber explores a number of paintings of the Prophet Muhammad produced in Persian and Turkish lands from the fourteenth century to the modern-day. Ranging from veristic to abstract, these images represent Muhammad’s individual traits, primordial luminosity, and veiled essence. Their pictorial motifs reveal that artists engaged in abstract thought and turned to symbolic motifs in order to imagine Muhammad’s primordial origins and prophetic standing. In creating and gazing upon such images, artists and viewers also were inspired by various mystical beliefs and practices, including devotional invocation, in the process seeking to express their piety through both verbal and pictorial language. Within a variety of Islamic expressive cultures, paintings thus have functioned as a powerful means for devotional engagement with Muhammad, the “praiseworthy” Prophet and Messenger of Islam.
Dr. John Seyller, Professor of Art History at the University of Vermont, leads a gallery talk on the dynamic intersection of the tradition of Indian miniature painting and the contemporary videos of Shahzia Sikander, featured artist in Transcendent.
Shahzia Sikander merges the South Asian tradition of miniature painting with contemporary forms and styles, creating visually compelling, resonant works. Her multi-scaled imagery crosses boundaries of geography, religion, and style. Sikander earned her BFA from the National College of Arts in Lahore in 1992 and her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1995. She has exhibited nationally and internationally at venues such as the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, D.C.; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; the San Diego Museum of Art, California; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; and Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany. Sikander has received many accolades including the Asia Society Award for Significant Contribution to Contemporary Art (2015); MacArthur Fellowship (2006); Inaugural Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Creative Arts Fellowship, Italy (2009); Joan Mitchell Award (1998–99); Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (1997); and the Shakir Ali Award from the National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan (1992). Shahzia Sikander currently resides in New York, NY where she is represented by Sean Kelly Gallery.
Sikander’s pioneering practice takes classical Indo-Persian miniature painting as its point of departure and challenges the strict formal tropes of the genre by experimenting with scale and various forms of new media. Trained as a miniaturist at the National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore, Sikander has developed a unique, critically charged approach to this time-honoured medium. Informed by South Asian, American, Feminist and Muslim perspectives, Sikander employs the miniature’s continuous capacity for reinvention to interrogate ideas of language, trade, empire, and migration. At the NCA, Sikander’s thesis project, the Scroll, launched what has come to be called the neo-miniature, and she was the first woman to teach miniature painting. H er works encompass painting, drawing, animation, installation, video and film. Shahzia Sikander has previously shown at the Aga Khan Museum as part of “Nuit Blanche” (2017) and “Listening to Art, Seeing Music” (2018).
The Lahore Literary Festival (LLF), one of South Asia’s premier cultural events, returns to Asia Society New York for the third year. LLF in New York will explore contemporary Pakistan through artists, writers, and commentators. The festival will present American audiences with a more nuanced view of Pakistan and include discussions on fiction and nonfiction writing, art, architecture, history and politics.
A provocative, unprecedented anthology featuring original short stories on what it means to be an American from thirty bestselling and award-winning authors with an introduction by Pulitzer Prize–winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen: “This chorus of brilliant voices articulating the shape and texture of contemporary America makes for necessary reading” (Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies).
Sikander, Rick Lowe and Julie Mehretu (RISD MFA ’97) will discuss the cultural landscape from the 1990’s to present day and their part in shaping it. The friends will develop a dialogue about artists supporting artists, collaborations, mentoring, and what lies ahead.
On Friday November 10 at 7 pm, join artist Shahzia Sikander in conversation with Sadia Abbas moderated by Richard Davis as the opening event of Lahore on my Mind, a public festival that moves between the past and the present to explore the early modern, colonial, and contemporary cultural worlds of South Asia.
The Art of Independence: Visions of the Future in India and Pakistan A conference held at at the Ashmolean Museum on 12 October 2017 and the Courtauld Institute of Art on 13 October 2017, convened by Faisal Devji and Mallica Kumbera Landrus (University of Oxford) with Deborah Swallow and Zehra Jumabhoy (The Courtauld Institute of Art, London). The conference was co-organised by the Ashmolean Museum, the Courtauld Institute of Art—Sackler Research Forum, the Oxford Centre for Global History and the Asian Studies Centre of St Antony’s College, and co-funded by the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development of Somerville College, the John Fell Fund, the Radhakrishnan Fund, the University Engagement Programme (funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), and the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities. Day 2, Futures Lost and Found: Citizenship and Contemporary Art (The Courtauld Institute of Art, London) Shahzia Sikander in conversation with Faisal Devji
A three- day convening of established and mid career South Asian American artists, academics and curators. Fatal Love: Where Are We Now? examines contemporary art production by artists, academics and curators in the South Asian American diaspora. Although we have had a strong presence in the New York art world for the last two decades, we have yet to engage in a nationwide dialogue. A lack of institutional support and scarcity of full time contemporary art South Asian curators employed in any local museums have prevented generations of artists from forming networks that go beyond the local to a national scale.
Thursday, February 4, 2016
Shahzia Sikander will participate in a panel discussion on women in printmaking at the New York Public Library's Schwarzman Building on February 4, 2016, 6pm. The event will begin with cocktails and include a tour of the library's current exhibition, chronicling women in printmaking from 1570 to 1900.
The panel will be moderated by Anne Higonnet, Ann Whitney Olin Professor in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Barnard. The discussion will also include Pace Prints collaborator April Gornik and Dana Schutz.
Sikander is currently working on her first print edition with Pace Prints, to be published this spring.