Rasheed Araeen: A Retrospective at the Van Abbemuseum



The Van Abbemuseum has opened Rasheed Araeen: A Retrospective, the first comprehensive survey of the Pakistani artist curated by Nick Aikens. The exhibition will run until 23 March 2018.

The exhibition is curated around five specific sections: from his early experiments in painting in 1950s, his minimalist sculptures in 1964, key pieces from the 70s and 80s following Araeen’s political awakening, his nine panel cruciform works from 80s and 90s and a selection of his new geometric paintings and wall structures.

The central galleries reveal a body of work from the 1970s and 80s that confront the politics of Imperial Britain, embodied within the British art establishment from which Araeen remained excluded. Collage, writing, performance and photography deployed in key works such as For Oluwale (1971 – 75), Paki Bastard: Portrait of an Artist as a Black Person (1977) and Preliminary Notes Towards a Black Manifesto (1975 – 77) show an artist increasingly placing himself, his politics, subjectivity and self representation at the centre of his practice, whilst abiding by the formal rigour that has consistently defined Araeen’s practice.

Alongside these works, material relating to Araeen’s writing, editorial and curatorial projects are presented as part of an overview of his oeuvre.

Image: My first sculpture, variation I 1959, (1975) courtesy Aicon gallery.