This is the first solo museum exhibition in Europe of the work of Shahzia Sikander. Comprising some 25 works the exhibition provides a brief overview of her career and focuses on her most recent practice. The exhibition includes two of her animations alongside new large-scale paintings. While studying at the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan, Sikander specialised in Indo-Persian miniature painting at a time when there was little interest in this traditional practice. She has described her choice as being regarded with suspicion by her student colleagues, the practice of miniatures seen as "excessively kitsch” and solely for tourist consumption. Sikander was determined to create a dialogue with tradition, developing an original artistic practice that includes painting, drawing, animation and complex installations. Now based in New York her practice also incorporates the aesthetic debates of popular iconography and contemporary cultural theory.
Sikander has embraced the possibilities of digital technology in her work using it to literally ‘animate’ her paintings. Two examples of these animations are included in this exhibition SpiNN, 2003 – 2006, (a pun on the news media channel CNN) and Pursuit Curve, 2004. Sikander has also combined Photoshop technology with screen printing to create large-scale paintings inspired by the miniature tradition. The second of the series The IllustratedPage, 2007, is shown for the first time in Dublin.
Shahzia Sikander was born in 1969 in Lahore, Pakistan, and currently lives in New York. She received an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Art and Design after which she moved to New York. In 1997, her work was selected for the Whitney Biennial, coinciding with a simultaneous exhibition of her work in the Drawing Centre in New York. In 2003, she was invited to participate in the Istanbul biennial, followed by the inaugural 2004 Seville Bienal and the Venice Biennale in 2005. Her work featured in the 2005 group show Translation in the Palais de Tokyo, and most recently held Miniphilia, a solo show in the Valentina Bonomo Gallery in Rome late last year. Sikander has received many awards for her work - in 2006 she was a recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Foundation fellowship.
A publication, published by IMMA in association with Charta, accompanies the exhibition with texts by Seán Kissane, Curator: Exhibitions, IMMA, and Professor Homi Bhabha, Professor of English and American Literature, Harvard University. To buy the catalogue for this exhibition on IMMA’s AbeBooks page click here