Rasheed Araeen

SAF Art Spaces, 2014


Known for his formal geometric sculptures made from simple materials, Rasheed Araeen is widely considered to be an early pioneer of minimalism. With no formal training in sculpture, it was his work as a civil engineer and an early encounter with the sculptures of Anthony Caro that influenced the formal language and use of simple or industrial materials characteristic of the artist’s best-known works.

Araeen’s work has been shown regionally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions, including Rasheed Araeen: A Retrospective, Van Abbemuseum (2017); 57th Venice Biennale (2017); Shamiyaana–Food for Thought: Thought for Change, documenta 14, Athens (2016–2017); Before and After Minimalism: Exploring the work of Rasheed Araeen, Sharjah Art Foundation (2014); Zero to Infinity, Museo de Arte, Lima, Peru (2013) and Tate Modern (2012); Shanghai Biennale (2012); Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2012); Migrations, Tate Britain, London (2012); Before and After Minimalism: Drawings, Painting, Sculpture and Concepts, 1959–1974, Aicon Gallery, London (2010); To Whom It May Concern, Serpentine Gallery, London (1996); 5th Havana Biennial, Cuba (1994); From Modernism to Postmodernism: Rasheed Araeen, A Retrospective.

He has curated exhibitions such as The Other Story, Hayward Gallery, London (1989) and The Essential Black Art, Chisenhale Gallery, London (1987) and published a number of works, including Art Beyond Art, Ecoaesthetics: A Manifesto for the 21st Century (Third Text Publications, 2010) and the autobiographical Making Myself Visible (Kala Press, 1984). Araeen also founded three art journals: Black Phoenix (1978), Third Text (1987) and Third Text Africa (2008).

Currently, he is involved in two major projects: bringing different disciplines together (e.g. artists, scientists, engineers, social scientists and philosophers) to create solutions to the ecological and social problems resulting from climate change and directing a project to revise and produce the most comprehensive and inclusive history of art in post-war Britain.

He earned a degree in civil engineering from the NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi (1962) and is the recipient of honorary doctorates from Southampton University, East London University and Wolverhampton University.

Born in Karachi in 1935, he currently lives and works in London.


Araeen, Rasheed

Sarah Abu Abdallah: Saudi Automobile (2011)

Through references to gender roles and the female experience, Sara Abu Abdallah's work explores issues of obscurity and value, probing the social and cultural conditions of life in contemporary Saudi Arabia.