Artists in Conversation: Rasheed Araeen and Rana Begum

Abstract blue, red and yellow rectangular shapes intersecting i Rasheed Araeen, Bismillah 2A (Red/Yellow/Blue), 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 153.7 x 137.2 cm Copyright Rasheed Araeen c/o Grosvenor Gallery

The inaugural event of a new seminar series in curating will bring in conversation two leading contemporary artists based in London. It is organised on the occasion of the release of Rasheed Araeen’s book Islam and Modernism in which the artist takes on issues of visual and cultural identity and representation, through references ranging from the Kaaba to Cubism and what he describes as the eurocentrism of modernism. Working both within languages that have been described as geometric and abstract and quoting Islamic art, Araeen and Begum will discuss the plural narratives and dimensions, whether personal, sensorial or historical, that sustain their work across painting, sculpture and architecture and the places they hold for present society.

Rasheed Araeen (b. 1935 in Pakistan, lives and works in London) is an artist and writer, and the founding editor of Third Text. He began his career in Pakistan in 1953, whilst also studying civil engineering. After carrying out artworks in Karachi, he moved to the UK in 1964. In the 1960s and 1970s, he became active in groups supporting liberation struggles, democracy and human rights, which led him to writing ‘Preliminary Notes for a Black Manifesto’ (1975-76) and to editing the journals Black Phoenix (1978-79), Third Text (1987-2011) and Third Text Asia (2008-09). In 1989 he curated the exhibition ‘The Other Story: Afro-Asian Artists in Postwar Britain’ at the Hayward Gallery. Recent exhibitions and presentations of his work include: ‘Chakras and Geometries’, Baro Gallery, Mallorca (2022), Frieze Masters, Grosvenor Gallery, London (2022), and ‘Rasheed Araeen: A Retrospective’, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2018) which travelled internationally.

Rana Begum (b. 1977 in Bangladesh, lives and works in London) graduated with a BA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design in 1999 and gained an MFA in Painting from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2002. Recent exhibitions of her work include: ‘Dappled Light’, Concrete, Alserkal, Dubai (2023); Desert X, California (2023); ‘Urban Impressions’, Moody Center of the Arts, Houston (2022); ‘Dappled Light’, Mead Gallery and Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery (2022); ‘Uncombed, Unforeseen, Unconstrained’, Parasol Unit, Venice (2022); Infinite Geometry, Wanas Konst, Sweden (2021). Begum has received the Jack Goldhill Award for Sculpture (2012) and the Abraaj Group Art Prize (2017). She was elected a Royal Academician in 2019.

Introductory note: Professor Deborah Swallow (Märit Rausing Director of the Courtauld)
Chair: Dr Devika Singh (Senior Lecturer in Curating, Courtauld)

This event has passed.

Monday 5th June, 18:00pm-19:00pm BST

Free, booking essential

Learning Centre, The Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House

This is an in person event at the Learning Centre, The Courtauld Gallery at Somerset House.

Very limited capacity, book early.

Abstract blue, red and yellow rectangular shapes intersecting
Rasheed Araeen, Bismillah 2A (Red/Yellow/Blue), 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 153.7 x 137.2 cm Copyright Rasheed Araeen c/o Grosvenor Gallery