Pakistani artist Shahzia Sikander at Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum New York to August 2009

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PAKISTANI ARTIST MUSEUM SHOW

Shahzia Sikander Selects: Works from the Permanent Collection
On view March 20-August 31, 2009
Internationally acclaimed artist Shahzia Sikander will serve as the ninth guest curator of the “Selects” exhibition series devoted to showing the museum’s permanent collection.

Sikander will mine and interpret the museum’s collection and produce an installation of selected work. This exhibition will include a new work created by Sikander, inspired by Cooper-Hewitt’s collection. Trained as a miniaturist at the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan, Sikander merges the traditional South Asian art of miniature painting with contemporary forms and styles. Her work explores the relationship between the present and the past and the richness of multicultural identities.

Works on view will include:

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  • More than 20 Jacquard-woven portraits of notable figures throughout history and George Augustus Sala’s “Panorama from the World’s Fair,” which explore the line between portraiture and caricature and the effects of time on the nature of satire and humor.
  • Richly illustrated early 20th-century German medical illustrations by Friedrich Eduard Bilz, which unfold in multiple layers to allow further investigation of the human anatomy.
  • Drawings and prints showing the grotesque and the hybrid nature of the human body, including an etching by Francisco Goya, “A Way of Flying.”

Highlight new work by Sikander

A highlight of the exhibition will be a new work by Sikander. Using the collections of Cooper-Hewitt and the Freer and Sackler galleries as inspiration, the artist will create two works on paper, which will be bound in the middle to imply an open book. The piece will combine drawing and printmaking and will include direct references from exhibition objects, further establishing connections between seemingly disparate works and providing new ways of looking at the collection.

Biography of Shahzia Sikander

Following her undergraduate training, Sikander received a master’s degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and served as a fellow of the Glassell School of Art’s Core Program in Houston and an artist-in-residence at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. She is a 2006 recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship “Young Global Leader” award. Her work has appeared in numerous solo and group exhibitions at such national and international venues as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the National Gallery of Canada; the Venice Biennale 2005; and, the Museum of Modern Art, Paris.

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