Born 1935 in Karachi, Pakistan
Lives and works in London
Rasheed Araeen is a civil engineer, artist and writer. In 2009, he was granted a US patent for an invention, which is both a floating sculpture and water sport, followed in 2001 by a full international Patent. Trained as a civil engineer, Araeen eventually turned to art as a profession. As an artist, he began his career in 1953, continuing his pursuit art while studying civil engineering at Karachi’s NED Engineering College. While still in Karachi in 1959, he pioneered the concept of making sculpture by burning and transforming an object from one material (or form) to another. After establishing himself in Karachi, he left for London in 1964 (where he presently resides).
In 1965, he pioneered minimalist sculpture, representing what is arguably the only Minimalism in Britain. After being active in several groups for liberation struggles, democracy and human rights, he began to write in 1975, and published his own art journals: Black Phoenix (1978), Third Text (1987) and Third Text Asia (2008). He also established online versions of Third Text in Cape Town, South Africa, entitled Third Text Africa, and the Spanish language Tercer Texto in Lima, Peru – both available free of cost to readers. He curated two significant exhibitions: The Essential Black Art (1987), The Other Story (Hayward Gallery, 1989); and, he is a recipient of three honorary doctorates (PhDs) from the universities of Southampton, East London and Wolverhampton (UK). In 2011, he developed a project that generated a comprehensive and inclusive history of art in postwar Britain, which was inclusive of all artists from all cultures who have contributed within the historical framework of modern developments. Rasheed Araeen published an autobiographical book, Making Myself Visible (1984), along with a second book, Art Beyond Art / Ecoaesthetics: A Manifesto for the 21st Century (2010).