Seher Shah’s Successful Year

Elisabetta Marabotto of Saffronart celebrates Seher Shah’s art through her recent exhibitions

London: Earlier this year the Huffington Post listed Seher Shah in their list of 10 International Artists to Watch in 2013. And their insightful acknowledgement proved true, given the shows that the artist has participated in this past year.

Seher Shah, Mammoth: Aerial Landscape Proposals, 2012

Seher Shah, Mammoth: Aerial Landscape Proposals, 2012. Image Credit:

Recently Shah participated in a group exhibition at the James Gallery at the City University of New York. Curated by Katherine Carl, Observed Ratios opened in August and was on view till 19 October, 2013. The exhibition brings to fore the artists’ engagement with modernist forms, which they survey in their works, while contemplating their own histories, producing works that respond to their individual enquiries into the modernist landscape. The exhibition was accompanied with a extensive program which included talks and interactions. A conversation with the artists that throws light of their practice at large and their works for this particular exhibition can be seen here.

Earlier in the year she opened a solo show titled Constructed Landscapes at The Contemporary Austin in Texas. Curated by Rachel Adams, the works further investigate Shah’s preoccupation with modernist architecture and urban monuments, by exploring ideas of large-scale urban structures embedded in the landscape. This exhibition also includes a site specific sculptural work titled Object Repetition. The work consisted of identical geometric forms that are place together on the floor, lending the viewer a aerial view of the work which seems to reference architectural forms prevalent in Shah’s oevre.

Seher Shah, Detail of Object Repetition (Line to Distance), 2013

Seher Shah, Detail of Object Repetition (Line to Distance), 2013. Image Credit:

For the first time, these new works are shown alongside her earlier drawings that reference the 1903 British coronation ceremony held in India, known as the Delhi Durbar. Here Shah combines archival imagery of the grand event with hand drawn and digital elements, to explore the multi spacial tangents of the ceremony. A work from this series titled Perversions of Empire: Cluster was part of Saffronart’s autumn auction of Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art in September 2013.

Seher Shah, Perversion of Empire: Cluster, 2008

Seher Shah, Perversion of Empire: Cluster, 2008. Image Credit:

Seher’s works explore themes related to art and architecture through the use of drawing, prints, photographs and sculptural installations. The artist often explores the spacial relationships between different entities- human, monuments, landscapes; often times to highlight spaces of power and authority that navigate the relationships between these entities- sometimes inherent but often veiled and hidden. Given the artist’s consistent progression and commitment towards developing her artistic discourse, Shah is an artist to seek by genuine connoisseurs and followers of the Contemporary South Asian Art genre.


Seher Shah in Huffington Post’s “10 International Artists to Watch in 2013”

Manjari Sihare shares details of Seher Shah’s mention in Huffington Post’s List of Ten International Artists to Watch in 2013

Seher Shah_Radiant Lines-X Block

Seher Shah
Capitol Complex: X-Block
Collage on paper, 11 x 14 inches, 2012
Image courtesy of Nature Morte Berlin

New York: Contemporary art in Pakistan is finally receiving much deserved international recognition after bordering along the shadows of art from India. Last week, the Huffington Post listed Seher Shah in its take on international artists to watch out for in the coming year. New York based artist of Pakistani origin, Seher Shah has lived in different parts of the world  including Pakistan, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and now the United States. Most recently, Seher’s has been in the news for her work in a current exhibition at the Rubin Museum of Art, Radical Terrain which celebrated the genre of modern Indian landscape painting juxtaposed with new work by younger contemporary artists. Watch the blog for more on this exhibit in the coming weeks.

Over the past 5 years, contemporary Pakistani artists have gained major international recognition. Among these are Rashid Rana who is well known for commanding high prices for his photomontages in global auctions. In November last year, the Deutsche Bank conferred Imran Qureshi with their “Artist of the Year” award. Similarly Shazia Sikander, a graduate of Lahore’s National College of the Arts, now based in the US,  has long been popular across the globe, receiving attention  and place in the collection of avid art collectors such as Bill Gates. In November, Saffronart held its inaugural auction of Pakistani Contemporary Art, which featured a total of seventy lots and represented an eclectic overview of the genre. Read more about some geniuses of Pakistani contemporary art in this article.