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Shahzia Sikander: Extraordinary Realities
On view through January 30, 2022
RISD Museum
Providence, Rhode Island

This exhibition and its accompanying book, co-published by Hirmer, track the first fifteen years of Sikander’s prolific career, reclaiming her pioneering role in reviving manuscript painting traditions from South and Central Asia as contemporary practice in Pakistan. The project also traces how she brought the practice into dialogue with contemporary art during her early years in the United States through work that explores gender and sexuality, cultural identity, racial narratives, and colonial and postcolonial histories. Following her personal journey from Lahore to Providence to Houston and New York, the exhibition of 60 works includes drawings, paintings, animations, and a wall installation of drawings on layered transparent paper. More than half of these works have not been exhibited since the time they were created, and about a quarter have never before been exhibited.

[Image: Shahzia Sikander, Pleasure Pillars, 2001. Collection of Amita and Purnendu Chatterjee. © 2021 Shahzia Sikander. Courtesy: the artist, Sean Kelly, New York and Pilar Corrias, London]