Shahzia Sikander is a Pakistani-born, internationally recognized, visual artist whose pioneering practice examines historical Indo-Persian miniature painting, challenging the strict formal tropes of miniature painting as well as its medium-based restrictions by experimenting with scale and media. Such media include animation, video, mural, mosaic andcollaboration with other artists. Her process-based work is concerned with examining the forces at stake in contested cultural and political histories. Informed by South Asian, American, Feminist and Muslim perspectives, Sikander has developed a unique, critically charged approach to this time-honored medium, employing its continuous capacity for reinvention to interrogate ideas of language, trade and empire, and migration. Sikander’s breakthrough, The Scroll (1989-90), received national critical acclaim in Pakistan, subsequently launching the medium into the forefront of National College of Arts’ program, and bringing international recognition to this medium within contemporary art practices. Sikander has been the subject of major international exhibitions around the world, including, amongst others, MAXXI | Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome (2016-17); Asia Society Hong Kong Center, Hong Kong (2016); the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (2015); Bildmuseet Umea, Sweden (2014); Linda Pace Foundation, San Antonio, Texas (2012-13); IKON, Birmingham (2008); Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2007); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2007); The San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego (2004); the Whitney Museum of American Art, Philip Morris/Altria Branch (2000); Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (1999); Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (1998); The Drawing Center (1997); The Whitney Biennal (1997); and has participated in more than 400 group shows and international art forums. Sikander has received numerous grants, fellowships and awards, including the Asia Society Award for Significant Contribution to Contemporary Art (2015), the U.S. Department of State National Medal of Arts Award (2012); Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum (2006– 11); DAAD (Berliner Künstlerprogramm, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst), Berlin (2007–08); the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, MacArthur Fellowship (2006); Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (2005); the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective Achievement Award (1999); Shakir Ali Award (1992); and the Haji Sharif award for excellence in miniature painting (1992).
Last updated: 11.10.2017