Shahzia Sikander: The Exploding Company Man and Other Abstractions

Shazia Sikander

Sandra and David Bakalar Gallery

Throughout her artistic practice, Shahzia Sikander culls and explores elements of Indo-Persian miniature paintings, interweaving references to the past with reflections on everyday life and its contemporary forms.

Her visual motifs, drawn from a rich mental archive of imagery, repeat and reinvent themselves across various media—from drawing and painting to digital formats. Although her primary materials include graphite, ink, and gouache on paper, in 2001 she began working in digital animation, setting her miniatures into motion. This use of animation, as well as her layered images and the play between representational and abstract forms, de-stabilizes Sikander’s representations and visually embodies her central concerns of transformation, societies in flux, and disruption as a means to cultivate novel associations.

This exhibition features five of her recent animations and numerous paintings, both small and large scale, along with a jewel box-like installation of drawings.

The exhibition was curated by Hou Hanru for the Walter and McBean Galleries at the San Francisco Art Institute.