Anila Quayyum Agha
A Beautiful Despair
Amon Carter Museum of American Art
September 25, 2021 – January 9, 2022
Light and shadow come together in the latest immersive contemporary exhibition at the Carter! Commissioned by the museum, Pakistani-American multidisciplinary artist Anila Quayyum Agha will create an immersive, site-specific sculptural installation and related drawings informed by her multicultural experience. Agha’s sculptures are created from intricately cut steel illuminated by a single light source, dramatically filling the room with ornate patterns of light and shadow. Bridging modern and traditional materials with historic and contemporary meanings, her work weaves together complex themes of global politics, social and gender roles, and mass media while simultaneously creating a contemplative, welcoming space that draws you in.
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Anila Quayyum Agha (b. Lahore, Pakistan) received her BFA from the National College of Arts, Lahore and an MFA from the University of North Texas. Recent solo shows include the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA, National Sculpture Museum in Valladolid, Spain, The Dallas Contemporary Art Museum, Cincinnati Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville, FL. Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, and the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio. For the 2019 Venice Biennale Agha was included in a collateral event, She Persists, with 22 contemporary feminist artists. Agha has received the Efroymson Art Fellowship, Cincinnati Art Museum’s 2017 Schiele Prize, and DeHaan Artist of Distinction Award. Agha’s 2014 ArtPrize entry, titled “Intersections”, earned the Public Vote Grand Prize and split the Juried Grand Prize in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 2017, she was awarded the Glenn W. Irwin, Jr., M.D. Research Scholar Award by Indiana University. Recently, Agha received an Endowed Chair position titled Professor – Morris Eminent Scholar in Art at Augusta University in Georgia, as well as the prestigious Smithsonian Fellowship in the arts for 2021 and will be working with both SAAM and AAA in Washington DC in May 2021. Her work has been collected by both institutions and private collectors; nationally and internationally.