New video about Alhambra Nights and All the Flowers are for Me by Kentucky Educational Television on PBS Learning about my pieces that were shown at BLINK Festival in Cincinnati, OH.
Calligraphy and geometric patterns are hallmarks of Islamic art and architecture. In the Middle East the interiors of mosques, the windows of homes, and the walls of gardens and terraces are often constructed with elaborately pierced and carved screens. The patterned openwork filters light and allows air to pass through—effective strategies in dealing with the oppressive heat and bright sunlight of the region. The cutout screens also animate relatively plain interior spaces with the play of light and shadow created by their decorative designs.
Anila Quayyum Agha is passionate about bringing the beauty of Islam to the West, as well as familiarizing viewers with the conceptual grandeur of its spiritual thought about nature and the cosmos. Her steel sculpture, cut with patterns redesigned from Islamic motifs and housing a single white light bulb, transforms the gallery from an unadorned room into an enveloping world of patterned light and dark. The shadows cast in all directions by the light spilling through the sculpture’s cutout surfaces work a kind of magic, creating dynamic, intricate designs. The experience is at once weighty and weightless, transporting viewers to a mysterious, even sacred, environment.
— Mara Williams, Chief Curator
NEW YORK, April 26, 2017 — Asia Society Museum in New York shines a spotlight on the work of nineteen contemporary artists from the South Asian diaspora. As individuals living between worlds, diasporic artists often negotiate notions of home and issues relating to migration, gender, race, and memory in their practice. Lucid Dreams and Distant Visions: South Asian Art in the Diaspora, organized by Asia Society Museum with the support of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, will be on view from June 27 to August 6, 2017.
CINCINNATI— Pakistani-American artist Anila Quayyum Agha has been named the recipient of Cincinnati Art Museum’s 2017 Schiele Prize. This prize honors the legacy of Marjorie Schiele, a Cincinnati artist whose generous bequest of the Hanke-Schiele Fund makes this award possible.
New solo exhibition at Aicon Gallery in NYC running October 20 – November 26, 2016
V.I.P Preview & Opening Reception: Thursday, October 20th, 2016, 6-8pm
Featured the artist in discussion with Sona Dutta, Curator of South Asian Art at Peabody Essex Museum
35 Great Jones Street
New York, NY 10012
200 Years of Indiana Art: A Cultural Legacy presents original historical and contemporary works of art by those who help shape Indiana’s view of the world and the world’s view of Indiana. Representing artists from across the state, the exhibition includes paintings, sculpture, textile, glass and mixed media works showcasing the depth, diversity and breadth of artistic talent associated with the Hoosier state. From the early pioneer painters to the contemporary installation artists, this exhibition is a must-see during Indiana’s bicentennial celebration.
Hyperallergic editor-in-chief and co-founder Hrag Vartanian curates this group show featuring work by Anila Quayyum Agha, Kamrooz Aram, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and Slavs and Tatars. Reflecting on the cosmopolitan nature of cities and their interplay of light, language, symbols, and networks, The Arch of My Eye’s Orbit (a title derived from a verse by the 14th-century Persian poet Hāfez) thematically points to a connection between architecture and the act of seeing. The exhibition uses the frame of the city and its architecture to explore and uncover the visual and physical space between ancient and modern, past and present.
Curated by Hrag Vartanian
Exhibition is open to the public during building hours. The Diker Gallery Café is open to the public during BAMcafé hours.
Intersections is an immersive single room installation that bathes the visitor in a geometric array of light and shadow. Inspired by traditional Islamic architectural motifs, Pakistani-American artist Anila Quayyum Agha's laser-cut steel lantern conjures the design of the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain, a historic site of cross-cultural intersection where a thousand years ago Islamic and Western cultures thrived in coexistence. Agha, an internationally renowned, award-winning artist, creates mixed media works that engage topics ranging from global politics and cultural multiplicity, to mass media and gender roles.