Sikander Exhibit Ends

(1.30) Only a few days left to take in Shahzia Sikander’s “Extraordinary Realities” with her exquisite deconstruction of the illustrated manuscript painting of Pakistan. Don’t worry — magnifying glasses have been provided.

Pakistani American artist Shahzia Sikander (RISD MFA 1995, Painting and Printmaking) is internationally celebrated for bringing painting traditions from South and Central Asia into dialogue with contemporary art practice.

From a distance these look like pages from ancient religious texts until one notices images from our modern world and the various political leaders who make life so difficult for those of us living in it. Her perspective is clear enough, although I’m sure I was missing many references specific to Pakistan and South and Central Asia.

Seen here is a detail from “Mind Games” described in the wall text as “a watercolor over inkjet print on tea-stained wasli paper — courtesy of John McEnroe” (!) — a restaging of a painting from an imperial Mughal manuscript, the Book of Emperors.

Through January 30, RISD Museum, 20 North Main Street, (directions)

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Don’t miss the rack of magnifying glasses to the right as you enter.

“Epistrophe,” an installation of layered tracing paper, occupies the center of the room.

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