Globally Acclaimed Art Museum Commissions New Art By Pakistan’s Shahzia Sikander

The Princeton University Art Museum displays two amazing site-specific artistry this spring by the globally renowned artist, Pakistan’s Shahzia Sikander. It has been custom-made for the Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building and the Louis A. Simpson International Building (formerly 20 Washington Road) at Princeton University.  The complicated layered painting on glass and a sixty-six-foot-tall mosaic scroll are the first main public art specially made by Shahzia Sikander. She practiced her traditional Indo-Persian miniature painting at the famous National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan. In addition, she has revolutionized her practice visually filling it with a touch of our modern era.

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The Sparkling Glass Painting And Mosaic Scroll

Flight images, origins, material economies and spiritual nature above the forum of the Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building are the main source of attraction. Shahzia got her inspiration by famous Peck Shahnama, a manuscript archetype of the late sixteen-century. Her masterpiece visualizes from nine large-scale panels of slanted glass. History, profound occasions and natural components are entwined to speak to worldwide trade systems for both material and social economies. Quintuplet Effect glass painting has been created in a new standard. She has used ceramic colors within glass in numerous thin layers to provide a bright visual experience.

Climbing the Louis A. Simpson International Building, visitors can observe a sparkling, sixty-foot-long glass and a ceramic scroll. These artistries scroll the realm of the mind and take viewers to a new world of imagination. Shahzia’s scroll art made of ceramic, glass and marble, known as Ecstasy as Sublime, Heart as Vector are modeled in three sections. Each section showcases various understandings and diverse historical, religious and literature background.

Director of the Museum James Steward opined:

“Given the nature of the teaching and research to take place in these beautiful new facilities, we felt that it was an ideal opportunity to engage an international artist drawing on diverse traditions. We are thrilled by the captivating beauty and multilayered meanings of the results”

Shahzia Sikander commented by stating:

“When I think of the idea of the postcolonial, the rhetoric of imagination seems so much more buoyant, so full of visual possibilities, specifically as a foil to the notion of the exile. I think of imagination as a soaring and empowering space that is free from constraints. And if you’re thinking in terms of inter-connectivity, imagination is what ties all of us together. The pursuit of truth is so fleeting when it is held hostage to authenticity. Our recent histories are all about redactions, and so everything starts to emerge in a space that is in flux. Imagination is very much about taking ownership of the narrative; it is a fundamentally political stance”

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About Shahzia Sikander

Shahzia Sikander was born in Lahore, Pakistan, in 1969. She graduated in BFA from National College of Arts in Lahore in 1991 after which she received rigorous training from miniature master, Bashir Ahmed. In her wake as a teacher at the college, she has been known for her specialized dominance of this training. Shahzia is also well known for her radical personalization of the customary style of miniature painting, through her experimentation with scale and topic. Later, she moved to United States and in 1995, she completed her MFA at the Rhode Island School of Design. Shahzia’s skillful iconography is a blend of South Asian, European and American backgrounds as educated by her universal training. She has been a part of chief solo events globally and has received numerous awards and grants which include the MacArthur Award in 2006.

In December 2016, the University renovated 20 Washington Road to space up ten academic departments and five international programs. The structure has bought the economics department under one roof and has also bought together numerous research centers for different departments. These include the Woodrow Wilson School, the Bendheim Center for Finance, the International Economics Section, the Griswold Center for Economic Policy Studies, the Industrial Relations Section, the Education Research Section, the Center for Health and Well-being, the Julis-Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy and Finance and the Center for Behavioral Science and Public Policy. The Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, the Davis International Center, the Office of International Programs, the Council for International Teaching and Research, and the Princeton in Asia, Princeton in Africa and Princeton in Latin America are its various international programs.

Princeton University contains one of the most momentous public art collections in United States. It also consists of masterpieces by 48 major artists, like Alexander Calder, Michele Oka Doner, Frank Gehry, Gaston Lachaise, Jacques Lipchitz, Henry Moore, Louise Nevelson, Isamu Noguchi, George Rickey, George Segal, Richard Serra, David Smith, and Tony Smith. The University also launched a campus art initiative in 2008 in order to expand its historical art campus. IT includes contributions made by living artists such as Sol Lewitt, Odili Donald Odita, Kendall Buster, Jim Isermann and Ursula von Rydingsvard.


Shahzia Sikander – 8th April 2017 at 2 p.m.

Location: Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building, 20 Washington Road, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ  08544.

Artist Shahzia Sikander reveals her recent art for Princeton’s campus discussing inspiration, iconography and her first immense command in glass and mosaic.

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Princeton University Art Museum

The Princeton University Art Museum is the country’s leading university art museum. It has a collecting history since 1755 which include 100,000 artworks stretching from historical to modern art.

The Art Museum also claims hundreds of visitors from around the globe offering its teaching and research. Hint in scale yet broad in degree, the Museum offers a relief from the surge of daily life, a reviving background of uncommon show-stoppers and a chance to dive profoundly into the investigation of workmanship and culture.

image: ARTNEWS / Matthias Ziegler

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