Shahzia Sikander’s first New York solo exhibition in more than a decade showcases an astonishing range of work: paintings, mosaics, animations, and her inaugural foray into freestanding sculpture, Promiscuous Intimacies, a stunning monument to desire that depicts both a Greco-Roman goddess and an Indian devata. Sikander is an artist whose talents and ambitions threaten to outstrip the materials available to her; the works featured here confront the climate crisis, religion, migration, war, memory, and much more. But despite the daunting abundance of ideas and mediums, careful attention reveals that the show itself is a sort of mosaic, the pieces all slotting into place to form a portrait of the artist over the past few years of her practice. The works on paper inform the animations; the animations inform the individual mosaics (in part, Sikander credits her experiments with the latter form to “the dynamism of the pixel that emerged in my mind as a parallel to the unit of a mosaic”). “Weeping Willows, Liquid Tongues” will be on view at Sean Kelly Gallery through December 19, 2020. A selection of images from the show appears below.
Shahzia Sikander, Double Sight, 2018, glass mosaic with patinated brass frame, 63 1/4 x 44 1/4″. © Shahzia Sikander Photo: Jason Wyche. Courtesy of Sean Kelly, New York
Shahzia Sikander, Arose, 2019–2020, ink and gouache on paper, 76 x 51″. © Shahzia Sikander. Photo: Adam Reich. Courtesy of Sean Kelly, New York.