Rasheed Araeen

Born 1935 in Karachi, Pakistan

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).

Select Solo Exhibitions

1963 The Arts Council Gallery, Karachi.
1974 Indus Gallery, Karachi.
1975 Artists for Democracy, London.
1984 Pentonville Gallery, London.
1986 Pentonville Gallery, London.
1987 'From Modernism to Postmodernism: Rasheed Araeen, A Retrospective: Ikon Gallery, Birmingham; Cornerhouse, Manchester; John Hansard, Southampton; Chapter, Cardiff.
1988 The Showroom, London.
1991 The Central Space, London.
1993 'Strife and/or Strugure' Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka-Shi, Japan.
1994 SKUC Gallery, Ljubijana, Slovania.
V Habana Bienal, Havana, Cuba.
South London Gallery, London.
1995 John Hansard Gallery, Southampton.
1996 The Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Luthuania.
'To Whom It May Concern' Serpentine Gallery (external project), London.
1997 The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
Middlesbrough Art Gallery, Middlesbrough, UK.
2010 'Before and After Minimalism, 1959 - 1974', Aicon Gallery, London
2012 ‘Zero to Infinity’, Tate Modern, London
2014 ‘Before and After Minimalism’, Sharjah Art Foundation Art Spaces, Sharjah
‘Homecoming’, VM Art Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan
2015 ‘Rasheed Araeen – Minimalism Then and Now: 1960 – Present’, Aicon Gallery, New York

Select Group Exhibitions

1957-64 numerous group exhibitions in Pakistan.
1970 'Manufactured Art', Camden Arts Centre, London.
1971 'SPACE', Midland Art Gallery, Nottingham, UK.
1973 'Artists from Five Continents', Swiss Cottage Library, London.
1975 'Vietnam Festival', Artists for Democracy,
1978 'Art for Society', Whitechapel Art Gallery, London.
1979 'Art from the British Left', Artists' Place, New York.
Tape/Slide Show', Audio Arts, Riverside Studios, London.
1980 'Accrochage', Gimpel Fils, London.
'Koffer fur Rottweil', Forum Kunst, Rottweil; and Kunstverien, Freiburg.
'Kontact: From Contemplation to Agitation', Gelleria MDM, Warsaw.
1982 'New Art Platform', Midland Group Gallery, Nothingham, UK.
1983 'New Beginning', Pentonville Gallery, London.
1984 'Creation for Liberation', Brixton Art Gallery, Brixton, London.
1985 'Roadworks', Brixton Art Gallery, London.
1986 'Conceptual Clothing', Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK.
'From Two Words', Whitechapel Art Gallery, London.
1987 'Heros', Air Gallery, London.
'State of the Nation', Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry, UK
1989 'Magiciens de la terre', Centre George Pompifou/La Villette, Paris.
1989 'The Other Story', Hayward Gallery, London.
1990 ‘New Necessity', First Tyne International, Gatehead, UK.
1991 ‘Lost Illusions', Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada.
‘'IV Habana Bienal', Havana, Cuba.
1995 'Dialogue for Piece', Palais de Nations, Geneva, Switzerland.
1996 'Inklusions:Exklusions', steirischer herbst, Graz, Austria.
1997 '2nd Johannesburg Biennale', South Africa.
1998 'every day', Sydney Biennale, Australia.
1999 'Art-Worlds in Dialogue: From Gauguin to the Global Present', Museum
Ludwig, Cologne, Germany.
2000 'Live in Your Head', Whitechapel Art Gallery, London.
2001 'Live in Your Head', Museu do Chiado, Lisbon, Portugal.
2009 ‘The Death of the Audience’, Wiener Secession, Vienna
2010 ‘Raising Dust – Encounters in Relational Geography’, Calvert22, London
‘A Rock and a Hard Place’, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Greece
‘A Missing History: The Other Story Re-visited’, Aicon Gallery, London
2011 ‘Situation Z art-cade’, Galerie des grands bains douches de la Plaine, Marseille
‘3rd Thessaloniki Biennial of Contemporary Art’, Greek State Museum of Contemporary
Art, Thessaloniki
‘3rd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art’, Old Intersections – Make it New, Thessaloniki
Biennale of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki
‘The Global Contemporary’, Art Worlds After 1989, ZKM Zentrum fur Kunst and \
‘Medientechnologie Karlsruhe’, Karlsruhe
‘Super Farmer’s Market’, Handel Street Projects, London
2012 ‘9th Gwangju Biennale’, Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju
‘ Migrations, Journeys into British Art’, - Tate Britain, London
2014 ‘Dark Waters Group exhibition’, Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris
‘Other Primary Structure’s, The Jewish Museum, New York, USA
‘As Exciting As We Can Make It: Ikon in the 1980’s’, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK

Public Collections

Guggenheim, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK.
Arts Council of England
CANAL PLUS, Paris.
Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukueka-Shi, Japan.
Wifredo Lam Centre, Havana, Cuba.
Tate Gallery, London.
Imperial War Museum, London.
Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Luthuania.
Museu de Arte Moderna Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro
Arthr Gallery, Jeddah

Other biographical information

1962 Graduated in civil engineering, N.E.D, University of Karachi.
1964 Moved to London
1964-65 Architectural draughtsman with Wimpey Construction Co.
1965-69 Assistant architect/civil engineer, BHC/BP, London
1978 Founded/edited an art magazine, Black Phoenix (3 issues).
1982-84 Initiated and developed multiracial art/art education programme, as a result
of which the Arts Council in 1994 established INIVA in London.
1984 Published a collection of writings, Making Myself Visible, Kala Press.
1987 Founding Editor of art journal Third Text (107 issues so far).
1989 Initiated and curated 'The Other Story' exhibition, Hayward Gallery, London
1995 Honorary Doctorate of Letters (PhD), University of Southampton.
1997 Honorary Doctorate of Arts (PhD), University of East London.
1998- Member, Advisory Board for the School of Communication, Design &
Media, University of Westminster.
2001 Received an International Patent for an invention.
2003 Honorary Doctorate of Arts (PhD), University of Wolverhampton.

The artist lives and works in London, UK.