Sean Kelly is delighted to announce Shahzia Sikander: Extraordinary Realities opens today at The Morgan Library & Museum. Shahzia Sikander is internationally celebrated for bringing manuscript painting traditions from South and Central Asia into dialogue with contemporary art practice. Featuring nearly 60 works borrowed from public and private collections, this exhibition tracks the first fifteen years of this artistic journey, from her groundbreaking deconstruction of manuscript painting in Pakistan to the development of a new personal vocabulary at the Rhode Island School of Design, 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.
For Sikander, “this project is an important opportunity to historicize and coalesce themes and multiple languages in the work from perspectives within and outside of the U.S.” Throughout her career, Sikander has been remarkably prescient, the vocabulary and themes she has developed since the early 1990s continue to resonate in contemporary discourse. Multifaceted, nuanced, and open-ended, her narratives shatter expected hierarchies, norms, and stereotypes with an imagination and wit that indeed conjure extraordinary realities.
Shahzia Sikander: Extraordinary Realities is organized by the RISD Museum, in Providence, Rhode Island, where it will be on view from November 12, 2021, through January 30, 2022. It then travels to The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, where it will run from March 13 through June 12, 2022. The exhibition will be accompanied by a book co-published by the RISD Museum and Hirmer.