Rasheed Araeen

  • Born 1935 in Karachi, Pakistan
Rasheed Araeen left his homeland of Pakistan in 1964 and moved to the United Kingdom. Before this decisive step he underwent no artistic education, but was trained and worked as a civil engineer in Karachi. Before his migration he already produced works of art such as ink paintings, sketches, photographs and Minimalist-inspired sculptures. In those early works, like his “Hula Hoop” series (1959–61), he showed an interest in wavelike movement and curved forms. Soon after his arrival in London he started to produce his well-known geometric sculptures. These modular units consisted mostly made of open display structures created from colored wood, in which vertical and horizontal lines are held together by a network of diagonals. Since the 1970s Araeen’s work has become politically engaged with the recognition of black and Asian artists within the British postwar art scene. He joined the British Black Panther movement in 1972 and founded three art journals: Black Phoenix (1978), Third Text (1987) and Third Text Asia (2008). He also curated two famous exhibitions: The Essential Black Art in 1988 at the Chisenhale Gallery and The Other Story at the Hayward Gallery in 1989.

Artworks by Rasheed Araeen in the exhibition