Sikander is visiting VCUQatar to produce a series of print works as part of the Painting and Printmaking Department’s publishing programme, Fanoon: Center for Printmedia Research. Open to the public, Sikander’s lecture will discuss her work.
Sikander received her BFA in 1992 from the National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan and her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1995. She is best known for her experimentation with the formal constructs of Indo-Persian miniature painting in a variety of formats and mediums, including video, animation, mural and collaboration with other artists. Over the years, she has pioneered an interpretive and critically charged approach to the anachronistic genre of miniature painting while examining cultural and political boundaries as a space for discussion and intervention. Her work helped launch a major resurgence in the Miniature Painting department in the nineties at the National College of Arts in Lahore inspiring many others to examine the miniature tradition.
VCUQatar is the Qatar campus of the prestigious Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Richmond, Virginia. Established in 1998 through a partnership with Qatar Foundation, VCUQatar offers students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in fashion design, graphic design, interior design and painting & printmaking, a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history and a Master of Fine Arts degree in design.
Sikander has been the recipient of numerous awards, grants and fellowships, including the Inaugural Medal of Art by the US Secretary of State, Hilary Rodham Clinton (2012), John D. and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation Achievement ‘Genius’ award, (2006-2011); SCMP Art Futures Award, Hong Kong International Art Fair (2010), The Inaugural Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Creative Arts Fellowship, Italy (2009), The DAAD, (Berliner Künstlerprogramm, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) Berlin (2007-08), Performing and Visual Arts Achiever of the Year Award presented by the South Asian Excellence Awards, New York City (2008) and the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, the National Pride of Honor by the Pakistani Government (2005) among several others.
In 2004, Newsweek listed Sikander as one of the most important South Asians transforming the American cultural landscape. In 2006, the World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland appointed Sikander as a Young Global Leader. In 2010, Sikander was elected a National Academician by the National Academy in New York City. Sikander is currently serving on the Master Jury 2013 for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. She is a member of the Asian Art Council at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, and has also served on the artist advisory team for the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. She is also a member of the board of trustees of Art21, the non-profit organisation that produces Art in the Twenty-First Century documentaries.