Shahzia Sikander: Extraordinary Realities
Until 26 September at the Morgan Library and Museum, 225 Madison Avenue, Manhattan
The Pakistani-American artist Shahzia Sikander, best known for her works that revive and reimagine illuminated manuscript traditions from South and Central Asia in a contemporary feminist context, presents around 60 early works in this exhibition that mark the start of her interrogation into the colonialist impact on Islamic and South Asian pictorial traditions. The works investigate the politics of provenance, ownership and the narration of South and Central Asian manuscripts, and also respond to the lack of South-Asian representation in Western feminist art scholarship. The show includes several books Sikander selected from the Morgan’s collection, as well as her first exhibited sculpture, the patinated bronze Promiscuous Intimacies (2020) that reimagines the protagonists of her paintings in a sculptural format, blending elements of the mythological characters Venus and the Devata.