The Institute of Arab and Islamic Art Prepares for its Inaugural Show in New York

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Untitled, 2012
Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Untitled, 2012 | © Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian
Rachel Gould

Art & Design Editor

A group exhibition of artworks by Dana Awartani, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Nasreen Mohamedi and Zarina Hashmi will mark the Institute of Arab and Islamic Art’s inaugural show in New York City on May 4.

The Institute of Arab and Islamic Art (IAIA) is preparing to open the doors of its temporary location on Howard Street with EXHIBITION 1, a showcase of prints and works on paper by four pioneering women who have experimented with architectural and geometric forms in their artworks.

Nasreen Mohamedia, Untitled, ca. 1980

Hailing from India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran, Zarina Hashmi, Nasreen Mohamedi, Dana Awartani, and Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian are all deeply influenced by Islamic architecture; yet EXHIBITION 1 seeks to explore how their diverse upbringings across geographic regions shaped their perception of that architecture, which has, in turn, developed their respective oeuvres.

EXHIBITION 1 asks, “How do we respond to the spaces we have experienced and how does that compare to the way we remember them? When memories are recollected, how are they told? How much do history, nostalgia, self-exile and solitude impact the way we visualize our memories? How and when do we share them?”

In conjunction with the Institute’s inaugural show, IAIA will print a four-volume publication (one for each artist), examining their bodies of work through academic essays by art historians.

Zarina Hashmi – Pool II (1990) (burnt umber)

Founded in 2014 by Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Al-Thani and established in 2016, IAIA “is an independent, non-profit hub that promotes and advances the artistic and cultural dialogue between New York City and the Arab and Islamic worlds,” according to the press release, “[serving] as a much-needed platform for creative, innovative and forward-thinking artists, curators, critics, scholars and intellectuals.”

EXHIBITION 1 will open on May 4, 2017 at 3 Howard Street, New York, NY, 10013.

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