Pakistani American artist Shahzia Sikander (RISD MFA 1995, Painting and Printmaking) is internationally celebrated for bringing Indo-Persian miniature-painting traditions into dialogue with contemporary art practice. This exhibition tracks the first 15 years of this artistic journey, from her groundbreaking deconstruction of miniature painting in Pakistan to the development of a new personal vocabulary at RISD, expanded explorations around identity as a Core fellow at the Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and her global outlook during her first years in New York. During this period, Sikander richly interrogated gender, sexuality, race, class, and history, creating open-ended narratives that have sustained her work as one of the most significant artists working today.
One of the most pleasing side effects of the social-distancing era is the energy galleries are putting into sharing video art—a medium often marginalized at art fairs and even in IRL gallery spaces—with the public. Sean Kelly Gallery has launched a #FilmFridays series, in which it screens full-length video works on its Vimeo for free for 24 hours. This week’s film is Pakistani-American artist Shahzia Sikander’s Parallax, which presents animations made in collaboration with composer Du Yun that combine Indo-Persian miniature painting with abstraction. The film’s release coincides with what would have been the artist’s first New York gallery show in nine years. If you tune in, make sure to post a picture of your at-home screening setup and tag the gallery—the best environment will win a signed copy of a Sikander catalogue.