Born 1935 in Karachi, Pakistan.
Lives and works in London.
Rasheed Araeen’s groundbreaking interpretations of Minimalism were born out of his academic undertaking in civil engineering. When he realized that the profession did not satisfy his artistic needs, he traded the rigidity of engineering for the freedom of expression offered by a dedicated art practice. Drawing from his studies, Araeen began producing ‘structures’ – works made in an open modular form that can be re-positioned. Although based in London, far away from the New York hub of Minimalist art, Araeen developed strikingly similar rhetoric to canonical artists such as Donald Judd. There are, however, key distinctions between Araeen and the New York group. For art critic Jean Fisher, this is the “difference between an instrumental, abstract-logical regulation of the world and an organic one.”
Alongside his structures, Araeen has produced a varied body of paintings and two-dimensional assemblages. In his calligraphic paintings, the artist references famous Islamic thinkers of the Abbasid era (8th – 13th century) and encodes their names in complicated geometric structures. While Arabic philosophy and Islamic calligraphy play an important role in his work, the artist warns against reductive interpretations of his work, noting that the symmetry of geometry in Islamic art acts as an allegory for human equality. In his cruciform works, Araeen combines photographic images with painted green panels. The final result is a raw and grainy image that exemplifies the tensions between East and West, particularly after the Gulf wars.
STIR explores the possibilities and limitations of participatory art that is highly political in nature, and can the original context and idea of public space be retained?
Rasheed Araeen’s new work on display at the COMO Museum can be connected to his earlier paintings in terms of abstraction.
Noted artist Rasheed Araeen’s public sculpture, unveiled at Bagh-i-Jinnah recently, has the ability to draw in viewers for close inspection
An exhibition now on view at Pulitzer Arts Foundation turns that instruction on its head. Visitors to “Assembly Required” are encouraged to pick up, fold, walk into or even wrap the artworks around themselves.
We are thrilled to announce the participation of Rasheed Araeen in the 57th Edition of the Venice Biennale, which runs from May 13 through November 26, 2017. Additionally, we are pleased to announce his participation in Documenta 14 in Athens, Greece from April 8 through July 16, 2017, and Kassel, Germany from June 10 to September 17. The projects will lead up to the opening of his major Retrospective at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, the Netherlands, which will run from December 2, 2017 to April 8, 2018.
We are delighted to announce that a special exhibition showcasing the full retrospective of the works of Rasheed Araeen will be held at the Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven, Netherlands from December 2, 2017 through April 8, 2018. The exhibition will showcase 60 years of Araeen's works, including significant institutional and private loans, selections that form the artist’s archives, and works realized specifically for the exhibition
The selection of artwork is divided into two important sets - the first, from the artist’s early days in Karachi delving into the abstract scene that led to his groundbreaking introduction of the kinetic into Minimalist art. The second a series of new canvases exploring color-field, movement, and depth through checkered grids derived from traditional Islamic architectural and textile patterning. When combined together these form a trajectory mapping the artist’s 60 year long constantly evolving and highly dynamic oeuvre and artistic career.
We are excited to announce the inclusion of Rasheed Araeen in the upcoming exhibition Postwar: Art Between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945 - 1965, on view at Haus de Kunst, Munich, Germany from October 14, 2016 through March 26, 2017. Alongside Araeen's works My First Sculpture (1959) and Burning Bicycle Tires (1959-61), the exhibition features the work of Joseph Beuys, Robert Rauschenberg and many others. "The exhibition examines the vibrant and turbulent postwar period as a global phenomenon for the first time in recent exhibition history. In eight dramatic chapters, the exhibition guides visitors through the first 20 years following the end of World War II..."
We are pleased to annouce that Rasheed Araeen will be speaking at the Guggenheim New York on Friday Sept. 23, 2016 at 2pm as part of the museum's seires of lectures (De)Coupling as Discourse on the Global South, taking place concurrent with the exhibition But a Storm is Blowing from Paradise, on view until October 5, 2016. The discussion, organized by Sara Raza, will explore "the autonomous rise of contemporary art in the Global South, this two-day symposium traces aesthetic and contextual change to identify an elastic discourse around global visual culture."
We are delighted to announce that Rasheed Araeen's work Lovers (1968) is now on permanent view in the exhibition Between Object and Architecture at the Tate Modern in London. The exhibition, on display in Switch House, Level 2, West, explores the ongoing dialog between Contemporary Art and Architecture, and between materials and space. Araeen's Lovers is joined in the West Room by work from artists such as Carl Andre, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Yayoi Kusama, and many others. Lovers was acquired by the Tate in 2011, joining the works 3Y + 3B (1969), Rang Baranga (1969), Bismullah (1988), and Zero to Infinity (1968 - 2007) in their permanent collection.
Aicon Gallery is proud to announce the most recent set of insitutional acquistions by artist Rasheed Araeen. Since Araeen's last solo exhibition, Minimalism Then and Now, held at Aicon Gallery in May, 2015, we are delighted to have placed his work with the following collections. The Guggenheim, Abu Dhabi - Chakras (1969-70), The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY - Pehli Si Muhabut (1971/2015), The Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi - Rang Baranga II (1969/2014), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York - Chaar Yaar II (1968), and The Art Institute of Chicago, IL - Punj Neelay (1970).
The recent Met Breuer survey of work by the Indian artist Nasreen Mohamedi (1937-1990) was a first exposure for many New Yorkers to a Minimalist-style strain in contemporary South Asian art. In reality, the presence of that aesthetic has long been,and continues to be, substantial, as this tender show at the Aicon Gallery, “Between Structure and Matter: Other Minimal Futures,” demonstrates.
Between Structure and Matter: Other Minimal Futures,” on view through July 2 at Aicon Gallery in New York, attempts to flip this attitude forward and outward, strategically pushing the past into and through an expanded present. Citing the historian of minimalism James Meyer, for whom the movement was fundamentally irreducible — a “field of difference,” as he wrote his 2001 volume “Minimalism: Art and Polemics in the Sixties” — exhibition co-curator Murtaza Vali stated on a recent afternoon at the gallery his belief that “other minimal futures are possible, and here are some examples of how it has happened
We are pleased to announce that Rasheed Araeen's work will be on view in the exhibition Defining Sculpture at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. The exhibition, which centers around the question of "What sculpture is and is not" runs from June 18 - October 9, 2016, and is comprised of work from the museum's permanent collection, featuring artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, Tara Donovan, and many others. Araeen's work was acquired by the museum for their permanent collection in Spring of 2015.
Curated by Murtaza Vali and Prajit Dutta, this exhibition features artists hailing from or affiliated with South Asia and the broader Middle East. It focuses on Minimalism as a capacious philosophical concept that draws together non-Western practitioners from different generations. The works end up defying this aesthetic categorization, however, as there is a subtle emotional tactility throughout the show that enables content—personal, political—that, of course, runs counter to chilly, textbook Minimalism.
Rasheed Araeen should not need an introduction: he is one of the foremost pioneers of Minimalist sculpture in Britain. And yet, (with his first exhibition in Asia taking place now at Rossi & Rossi, Hong Kong), that there is a need to introduce Araeen refers to something that has driven at least part of this artist's 50-year career.
Acknowledgement for octogenarian Rasheed Araeen’s contribution to Minimalism is long overdue. Marginalised and overshadowed for the most part by American stalwarts such as Sol
LeWitt, Carl Andre and Donald Judd, the pioneers of the movement during the 1960s, Araeen’s institutional recognition has only been recent.
Overlooked amid all these accomplishments was Mr. Araeen’s art, a selection of which is at Aicon Gallery inhis first New York solo exhibition. Trained as a civil engineer, he became an artist after seeing Anthony Caro’s sculptures. His own early pieces combined Mr. Caro’s use of industrial materials with openwork structures adapted from architecture. In the early 1960s he developed a version of what would come to be called Minimalism before its introduction in New York by Donald Judd and others.
THE DAILY PIC: I raved about the British Minimalism of Rasheed Araeenwhen it was on view last year in the Jewish Museum group show called “Other Primary Structured". Now Araeen has a solo at Aicon Gallery in New York; it includes today's Daily Pic, titled First Structure and conceived in 1966-67 (i.e., at the same moment when New York's Minimal art was coming together).