Anila Quayyum Agha
Mysterious Inner Worlds
University of New Mexico Art Museum
February 18 – July 2, 2022
Mysterious Inner Worlds is the first solo exhibition in New Mexico featuring Anila Quayyum Agha. The exhibition features four sculptures activated by light, including the large-scale light installation titled Intersections (2014) and the debut of the sculpture Steel Garden (Red) (2021).
Agha combines forms from Islamic architecture with her own concepts about patterns of sacred and worldly spaces. Her work ranges in scale from monumental installations to intricate embroidered drawings. She is inspired by her personal experiences as a woman and an immigrant from Pakistan, arriving in the US just before September 2001, as well as her concerns about the environment. Agha’s work engages more broadly with the dynamic and contradictory relationships among immigrant experiences as well as the intersectionality of gender, religion, labor, and social codes.
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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.