On the eve of his retrospective at the prestigious Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Rasheed Araeen will speak about his work in the context of Modernism in Britain. Born in 1935 in Pakistan, Araeen is a London-based conceptual artist, editor, writer and curator. He graduated in civil engineering from Karachi’s NED University of Engineering and Technology in 1962. Moving to London in 1964, he started making sculptures that were influence by Minimalism and his engineering background – they also drew on the principles of Islamic geometry and architecture. In 1972, Araeen joined the Black Panther Movement and was subsequently the founding editor of the journal Black Phoenix which, in 1987, was transformed into Third Text – often acknowledged as the most important journal for Postcolonial art and theory. In 1989, he curated the seminal exhibition, The Other Story: Afro-Asian Artists in Post-War Britain, at the Hayward Gallery, London. Both the journal and the show marked watershed moments for art in Britain, spearheading the recognition of artists of Asian and African origins within the mainstream discourse of modernism. Of late, Araeen’s own work – in performance, photography, painting and sculpture – has been displayed at important international venues. This year, he was included in Documenta 14 and the 57th Venice Biennale.
The Van Abbemuseum’s Rasheed Araeen: A Retrospective – scheduled for December 2017 – will offer the first comprehensive survey of Araeen’s oeuvre; including artworks as well as archival material relating to Araeen’s involvement in The Other Story and Third Text.
Rasheed Araeen will be in conversation with Nick Aikens, curator of Rasheed Araeen: A Retrospective, and Dr Zoe Sutherland, Senior Lecturer at the School of Humanities, University of Brighton.