Born in 1973in Lahore, Faiza Butt attended the National College of Arts in her hometown, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Painting in 1993. She then attended the Slade School of Fine Art, in London, where she received her Masters with Distinction.
Throughout her vast career as an artist, Faiza Butt has touched upon a variety of themes and topics for her artwork. From images of Iranian wrestlers to mug shots of Muslim men found in newspapers and magazines, Butt focuses on exaggerating and beautifying her subject matter, portraying them as a source of enjoyment and gratification. Butt’s Pakistani roots are prevalent throughout her work, whether she is creating works with the painstaking technique of tiny dots, very reminiscent of the par dokht style in miniature painting, or commenting on the social, gender, and political issues faced by young Pakistanis.
Faiza Butt’s impressive career has established her as one of the top contemporary South Asian artists, with shows spanning London, Los Angeles, New York, Lahore, Karachi, New Delhi, and Dubai.
Peju has become one of the most powerful and widely recognized contemporary artists living and working in Lagos. Through the last decade, her ever-evolving practice has consistently held audiences in awe. The exquisite nature of her technique produces and encounter between what is sense and what is known— as a material means to examine Nigeria’s shifting order of visibility within the global landscape.
Among her extensive resume highlights her recent experiences as a researcher at the Smithsonian Institute in D.C, as an art teacher in Venice, and as artist resident in Morocco and Turkey. She was one of three exhibiting artists in the Nigerian pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale of which her exhibit, ‘Flying Girls’ was described as “technically beautiful and haunting at the same time.” Peju is also the winner of the prestigious 2017 FNB Art Prize.
From her initial training as an architect to her experiments with an incredibly broad spectrum of media—from words to clay and cloth—she has positioned herself as a demiurge. That is to say she has the ability to unearth multiple layers of meaning (and often violent historical memories) from beneath the surface of everyday objects, language, and social relations. Crafting alternative social imageries and challenging master narratives in politics and media, her trajectory sharply illustrates how artists in Africa are filling in the gaps left by official histories.
Saba Qizilbash was born in Lahore in 1977. She grew up in Abu Dhabi, UAE and later moved back to Pakistan. She graduated from the National College of Art (NCA) with a BFA degree in Painting.
The same year, she went to Sitka Center for Art and Ecology on the idyllic coast of Oregon on an artist residency. She spent the following year in San Francisco collaborating with local artists. She later enrolled in Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), graduating in 2004 with an MA degree in Art Education. It was at RISD that Saba was introduced to Curriculum Development and Community Programming under the guidance of Dr Paul Sproll.
She has designed and facilitated a number of workshops for the marginalized in Lahore, Sheikhupura, New Delhi, Dubai and Rhode Island. At present, she teaches at the American University in Dubai and maintains a fulltime studio. Her works have been showcased in Lahore, Karachi, Dubai, Srinagar, San Francisco, L.A, Florida and Providence.
Mequitta Ahuja (1976), is a Baltimore-based contemporary feminist painter whose parents hail from Cincinnati and New Delhi. Mequitta seeks to redefine self-portraiture as picture-making, rather than an exercise in identity. She describes her earlier work as automythography, a combination of personal narrative with cultural and personal mythology. She received her BA in 1998 from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA and her MFA in 2003 from the University of Illinois, Chicago.
Ahuja’s works have been widely exhibited, including venues such as the Brooklyn Museum, Studio Museum in Harlem, Saatchi Gallery, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Crystal Bridges, Baltimore Museum of Art and Grand Rapids Art Museum. “Whip-smart and languorous” is how the July 24, 2017 issue of the New Yorker described a work by Mequitta Ahuja then on view at the Asia Society Museum. Mequitta is a 2018 Guggenheim fellow.
Rina Banerjee was born in Calcutta, India in 1963. She grew up in London, England, and eventually moved to New York, NY. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Polymer Engineering at Case Western University in 1993 and took a job as a polymer research chemist upon graduation. After several years, she left the science profession to receive her Masters in Fine Arts from Yale University in 1995.
Banerjee’s work has been exhibited internationally, including but not limited to New York, NY; Paris, France; London, England; Tokyo, Japan; Los Angeles, CA; New Delhi, India; Milan, Italy; Singapore; and notably a solo exhibition at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC in 2013. The artist’s works are also included in many private and public collections such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Centre George Pompidou, Paris, France; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA; Queens Museum, Queens, NY; and the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY. Rina Banerjee currently lives and works in New York City.