Shahzia Sikander


triple diesel said...

Perilous Order, 1994-1997
Vegetable color, dry pigment, watercolor, tea on hand-prepared Wasli paper, 10 1/2 x 8 inches

Land-Escapes, Series 3 #13, 2005
Ink and gouache on prepared paper
6 x 10 in.

1 from 51 Ways of Looking, 2004
Graphite on paper
12 x 9 in.

zipthwung said...


lines, dots, numbers...
I was reading about how neitche had this Appollonian and Dyonisian dealio going on and how if you just face up to the reality of domesticity that the horror of repetitive meaninglessness will kill you, or not, depending on how old Neitche was, you know, what mood he was in. he went nuts though so I guess he never achieved total spiritual enlightenment.

Well Shazia just might achieve Buddha mind. OR at least stylish curliques.

Are those grubs in the roots?

The aborigines ate witchety grubs - ten large grubs a day can feed an adult, apparently.

kelli said...

Maybe not the best examples of her work. I like her early stuff with some political content. The more decorative work veers into Howard Hodgkins, mid-career artist territory.

triple diesel said...

Two of the images are from her last show in nyc, so they are at least updated examples.

But we added an earlier drawing:
Hood's Red Rider #2, 1997
Vegetable color, dry pigment, watercolor, tea on hand-prepared Wasli paper, 10 1/8 x 7 1/8 inches

closeuup said...

I like this better:

Tomb's Day

kelli said...

thanks Triple Diesel. Wasn't meaning to pick on you.

flesheater99 said...

There's some folks out there whom I have absolutely no idea what the hell they're talking about-ever, but don't really care/
Like giving them the benefit of the doubt or something. Shazia's one of them.
Granted, I too am more a fan of the earlier stuff...and you can keep the poli-stuff(Bill-n-Chelsea?please.)but her drawings kinda stand as a matter of fact for me.

kelli said...

The early twisted stuff would be amazing with Abu Ghraib or Guantanomo as subject matter. I sometimes wonder why artists retreat into their shell.

Junior Polanck said...

Very interesting blog

zipthwung said...

I saw this intervie/biopic on EGG or whatever and she was talking about learning the craft of miniature painting. One of the things she talked about was bleeding one dedge into the other by keeping the edges wet. If you use watercolor or goache in the West, you might know that you stretch the paper out with water and tape before you paint it so that it doesnt warp by shrinkage when your brush strokes dry. You also might know you can make the paper wet and apply broad washes over masked out areas (miskit or rubber cement) or use pigment or a spray bottle to absorb or apply water.

I'm interested how miniature painting uses different techniques than western water color traditions.

epilepticadam said...

Amusing, what do you want to know?

zipthwung said...

People say Shazia "contemporizes" traditional miniature painting.
I was wondering how I could contemporize my work too. I guess I was wondering how I could sort of reverse engineer this effect, so that I could "atavize" my work.

epilepticadam said...

the obvious general answer is to 'experiment'; but to do that you must know the 'rules'....

zipthwung said...

One rule I've noticed is you should use contemporary motifs and references in a traditional context

another is that one must have a sensitive contemporary (self reflexive) looking line.

My line is "up against the wall motherfuckers"

Shazia apparently is a sort of ambassador between cultures and traditions. That's kick ass.

Where I come from its chainsaw sculpture this and watercolor landscape that. Not very exotic.

I wonder whos gonna claim supremacy in cainsaw sculpture after balkenol and baeslitz?

wade said...

I never thought her drawings were very strong, esp. if you compare it to decent traditional miniatures. Mixing a traditional style with identity politics seems catchy but this stuff isn't very subtle.

A recent MFA from San Francisco, Taravat Talepasand, does a Persian minature style in tempera on panel that seem technically better and psychologically more engaging (though less overtly politcal, or maybe because).

no-where-man said...

Cirque du Soleil called it wants its 100th spin off back.