Shahzia Sikander

Born 1969
Hometown Lahore, Pakistan
Lives and Works New York, NY
Education
MFA, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, 1995
BFA, National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan, 1991

Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA

Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, NY

Pilar Corrias Gallery, London, England

Born in Lahore, Pakistan in 1969, Shahzia Sikander puts a contemporary spin on the Persian art of miniature painting. Sikander’s practice extends from encompassing installations to huge animated videos, all of which links back to her studies of this ancient art. "I’m still going to the same image but trying to find another way to transform it. I’m not trying to hide where they come from,” she told ARTnews in 2013, “but they need not be associated with their source. I’m interested conceptually in the distance between the translation and the original.” In other words, Sikander's visual vocabulary seeks to put the traditions of the East into conversation with a Western-dominated contemporary art world. In her 2003 video animation SPiNN, for instance, women’s hairpieces transform into birds that invade a depiction of a Mughal court. Her many other works play upon traditional Eastern ideas of music, texts, and scroll painting, shocking those precedents into the present day.


Sikander earned her BFA from Pakistan’s National College of Arts in 1991, after which she moved to the U.S. and received her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1995. Her work has appeared in dozens of international biennials and exhibitions all over the world and is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Museum of Fine Arts Boston, among many others. She has received numerous honors and awards including the Inaugural Medal of Art in 2012 by the US Secretary of State, Hilary Rodham Clinton, and a MacArthur Foundation Achievement ‘Genius’ award.

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