Aicon Gallery Aicon Gallery News en-us Signed MF Husain Serigraphs from the Herwitz Collection
M F Husain
BLANKETING (Mother Teresa Series)
Limited edition serigraph (edition of 300)
individual serigraph $2,000; set of 3 $5,000
17 x 22 in.

Aicon Gallery

Aicon Gallery is offering a unique opportunity to collect hand signed serigraphs from the Herwitz collection. For details please contact ]]>
Fri, 26 Sep 2014 16:31:43 EST
Sadequain | Exaltations - Featuring works from the Lost Exhibition
Oil on canvas
72 x 48 in.

June 17 - July 18, 2015
Aicon Gallery


Aicon Gallery is proud to present the second major exhibition held in New York of the work of Sadequain, Pakistan’s most renowned and celebrated modernist painter. The exhibition includes rare works painted and left behind by the artist in Paris during the late 1960s. This body of work, now known as The Lost Exhibition, evinces Sadequain’s radically innovative calligraphic style of the period, while the individual works stand as some of the most formally commanding and revolutionary paintings of the artist’s long and prolific career.

Though Sadequain’s oeuvre is by no means limited to his calligraphic works, these paintings represent the pinnacle of his uniquely innovative approach, which allowed for calligraphy to be adapted into South Asian Modern art practices. Kufic, the oldest-known script in Arabic is characterized by angular strokes punctuated by dots and accents. The letters and words that sweep across Sadequain’s calligraphic canvases embody a richness of form and color that swirl together in majestic embrace. Sadequain explained how each letter in his calligraphic style exemplifies its own personality, mood, and character. Some are playful and radiant while others are thoughtful and dark. There is an intimate relationship between artist and artwork. Sadequain took the role of both painter and poet, fusing the two arts into a single, harmonious masterpiece.

“My paintings recite the poems that flow within them. Now I compose poetry to compliment my painting.”

In these paintings, Sadequain explored these new calligraphic forms, while maintaining their scriptural origins. In Islamic culture, calligraphy is seen to be the most dignified and representative element of the visual arts. To capture its intellectual beauty, Sadequain portrayed verses in varied shades and forms. Bold spectrums of color convey the mood and time of day, manipulating the imagery via an activated texture. This body of work represents both a spiritual and mystical artistic endeavor. If art imitates life, then its relationship with society defines the quintessential forms of our human existence. It was this belief through which Sadequain strove to explore and define the dichotomy between academic ideals and implicit realities throughout his career. To him, art was innovation and expression of truth, not merely a craft.

The same radical blending of tradition and innovation runs throughout the entirety of this exhibition, which centers around a unique thirty one-piece calligraphic series titled Sura-e-Rehman (Praise of the Lord). This iconic set of canvases represents the artist’s rendition of the sacred Quranic verse in which the Creator reminds mankind of the bountiful world that he has provided. Kufic inscriptions of the past were to preserve the mysticism and power of the letters. Sadequain’s paintings allow these surreal expressions to transcend the canvas and bring us to an exalted state. Many of the paintings in the exhibit pre-date the Parisian period, as well as a host of the artist’s drawings. However, the Parisian works on view remain the most elusive, due to the artist’s sudden departure from France in early spring of 1967, having promised to return in a few days’ time. Sadequain never returned to Paris, nor did he retrieve his belongings amongst which stood these magnificent paintings. The majority of work from this era remained locked in the attics and basements of Parisian galleries and private residences, and has only begun to emerge in recent years due to the collecting and cataloging efforts of the Sadequain Foundation, with whom Aicon is jointly sponsoring the current exhibition, providing for a rare showing of these works in New York. ]]>
Fri, 12 Jun 2015 18:27:11 EST
Rasheed Araeen - Minimalism Then and Now - Frieze NY: Stand A21, May 14 - 17 | 1960 - Present: Solo Exhibition
Rasheed Araeen
Wood and paint
Dimensions variable

May 7 - June 13, 2015
Aicon Gallery


Rasheed Araeen
Minimalism Then and Now: 1960s - Present
Aicon Gallery Exhibition May 7th – June 6th, 2015
Frieze New York: May 14th – 17th | Stand A21 – Randall’s Island

Aicon Gallery New York is proud to announce Rasheed Araeen – Minimalism Then and Now, the first major survey exhibition of the artist’s work in New York City. A pioneering artist and voice for alternative and Non-Western interpretations of Minimalist and Conceptual art in the 1960s and 70s outside of the typically referenced canon, Araeen’s work in this exhibition spans his oeuvre from his beginnings in Pakistan and London to the present day. The exhibition ranges from Araeen’s earliest and most iconic sculptures of the 1960s, through his pioneering kinetic, interactive and performance-based works, in addition to a group of increasingly complex relief constructions from his current practice. The exhibition at Aicon Gallery will be accompanied by a solo booth in this year’s Frieze New York, Stand A21, from May 14th though May 17th.

Writing on the occasion of Araeen’s retrospective at Birmingham’s Ikon Gallery in 1988, editor and curator Patricia Bickers argued: “The formal language Araeen began to develop during the Sixties owed much to his critical awareness of Modernist discourse about abstraction, particularly the theories of Mondrian and the Constructivists. Such ideas were then still current in England.” Araeen himself pinpointed the influence of Anthony Caro on his developing practice. “I have often talked about my encounter with Anthony Caro’s works after I arrived in London in 1964 and its influence on what I myself subsequently arrived at in 1965, which turned out to be a form of sculpture that later became known as Minimalism.” For Araeen, it was not so much the forms of Caro’s artistry that were interesting but his use of engineering material such as steel girders which, as Araeen recalls, “had the appearance of having been picked up from a discarded heap of demolished engineering works.” At the time, Araeen was working as a civil engineering assistant in London, producing drawings of industrial structures. The two influences of Caro and his day-job came together with the drawing for Sculpture No. 1, conceived in December 1965, which detailed four steel girders symmetrically placed next to each other. Conceived in the same year, the drawing for Sculpture No. 2 again showed painted steel girders, this time arranged in four stacked layers.

However, Araeen was keen to move away from what he saw as an ongoing traditional approach to the relationship of work to its surroundings, seen in the work of London’s New Generation sculptors and others. Instead, he was keen to explore a more non-hierarchical relationship between the work, the viewer and the work's surroundings. His solution was what he termed his 'structures'—works made in open modular form that theoretically could be re-positioned by the viewer. Moreover, Araeen introduced a lattice structure into the oeuvre of Minimalism, a visual language that had come independently to Araeen at the same time as it was taking root in New York; although, in Araeen's case, it was linked back to his background in structural engineering. Art critic Jean Fisher noted the key differences between Araeen's articulation of Minimalism and that of the New Yorkers: “There are, however, important distinctions to be made between the Minimalist cube and Araeen’s Structures, which to my mind resides in the difference between an instrumental, abstract-logical regulation of the world and an organic one.”

This acknowledgement of the spectator as being a constitutive element in the work resulted in a further development of Araeen’s work. He opined: “My interest in participation emerged from the nature of my own work in 1968. While manipulating four small cubes to see how many different arrangements I could make out of them, I realized the potential in them of infinite movement and transformation.” Works such as Char Yar (1968) contain this potential of the spectator unmaking and re-making the work through them. However, Araeen himself was moving away from making objects for viewing in galleries towards more participatory and collaborative work, which became increasingly informed by his growing political activism. In 1969, Araeen began working on Chakras and its subsequent counterpart Triangles, which were his first participatory works outside the gallery space. On the 21st of February 1970, Araeen and members of the public threw sixteen two-foot diameter discs into London’s St. Katherine’s Dock. This quantity of sixteen, selected to reference a four-by-four configuration of a Minimalist structure, would immediately be undone by the action of being thrown into water.

Araeen went on to have solo shows at institutional spaces such as the Ikon Gallery (1987), the South London Gallery (1994) and the Serpentine Gallery (1996). In all, mainstream critical discussion of the early part of his career up until the early 1970s was less prevalent, until 2007 when the Tate London purchased and displayed his works from the late 1960s. In 2010, Aicon Gallery, London hosted the first major retrospective of Araeen’s work in over a decade, paving the way for a new string of exhibitions and critical attention. In 2014, Araeen’s work was a prominent feature in the exhibition Other Primary Structures at the Jewish Museum in New York, a long-overdue exploration of Minimalism outside its art-historical canonically Western context. In that same year, a major exhibition hosted by the Sharjah Art Foundation emphasized that the hiatus in critical and institutional responses to Araeen’s works had finally passed. A variety of reasons contributed to that hiatus. Araeen’s own activist-publisher activities setting up the periodicals Black Phoenix and Third Text, his involvement in the debates around ‘Black Art’ and his curating of exhibitions such as The Essential Black Art and The Other Story meant that the critical and curatorial focus on his artistry was irregular at best. More crucial however, was confusion amongst curators and art historians as to how to account for the appearance of Minimalist sculpture in Britain not directly influenced by the work of contemporaneous New York Minimalists. It has now been over fifty years since Araeen produced My First Sculpture, and with the belated institutional recognition his work is now receiving, it seems critcal to bring this large survey of his works to New York in order to reconsider the various and overlapping accounts and artistic journeys that can be described as Minimalism.\

Please contact Aicon Gallery ( for more information. ]]>
Tue, 30 Jun 2015 20:40:37 EST
Magic Bus Auction - 6-8pm. Auction at 7pm
Aranka Israni
Photography (Printed on Canvas)
40” x 60”
Edition 1/1

June 25, 2015
Aicon Gallery

Aicon Gallery is collaborating with Magic Bus to help raise funds for underprivileged children in India.

We invite you to our benefit auction on June 25th, 2015 for the non-profit organization Magic Bus. Magic Bus is one of the world's highest-impact charity organizations working to improve the lives and education of impoverished children in the Indian Sub-Continent and beyond. The auction will feature works by M. F. Husain, Yogesh Rawal, Shreya Mehta. 100% of proceeds will go to Magic Bus.We sincerely hope you can join us for a wonderful ]]>
Tue, 30 Jun 2015 20:48:18 EST