Friday, July 19, 2013

Shahzia Sikander @ Beyond Belief: 100 Years of the Spiritual in Modern Art

Source: The CJM website

Highlights from SFMOMA's collection

On view through October 27, 2013

Beyond Belief is an expansive exhibition exploring the spiritual dimensions of modern art, especially as seen through the lens of Jewish theological concepts. The exhibition features forty-eight internationally-known artists whose work—painting, sculpture, photography, video, and installation art—are all drawn from SFMOMA’s outstanding collection. Ranging from a 1914 abstraction by Dutch artist Piet Mondrian to a luminous 1960 abstraction by Mark Rothko and oversized prayer beads by contemporary artist Zarina, Beyond Belief provides an engaging alternative that prioritizes spirituality in the reading of art.

The Limitations of  Legibility
For Shahzia Sikander, who grew up listening to the Koran but unable to read it in Arabic, the presence of letters was both an invocation of the holy and a reminder of the limitations of language. In her rendering of verses from the Laotian epic Sang Sinxay, a sixteenth- and seventeenth-century poem based on classical Buddhist literature, the legibility of the letters becomes less important than the dynamic presence they invoke.
Shahzia Sikander

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