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American Beauty

American Beauty: New Works by Hiba Schahbaz
March 7 - April 14, 2014
Philadelphia, PA

Twelve Gates Arts presents a solo exhibition by Pakistani-American artist, Hiba Schahbaz. The current series titled "American Beauty" - of mostly miniatures featuring a solitary, nude female figure - is concerned with self-identification, although Schahbaz does not consider them to be self-portraits in a strict or autobiographical sense. She is more concerned during her process with theoretical analysis and seems to employ the female figure as more of a symbol of her own awareness that inevitably we can only approach objectivity through our individual and specific experience. 

Schahbaz has skillfully combined her traditional miniature painting techniques learned at NCA Lahore with postmodernism here in the United States -- the result being work that is in direct conversation with her identity in her adopted homeland. According to art critic and professor Jonathan Goodman, she stretches the genre with a certain degree of rebelliousness, and viewers of her art "are the lucky recipients of her subversion." 

Hiba Schahbaz was trained in traditional miniature painting at the National College of Arts in Lahore (Pakistan) and earned an MFA in Painting and Museum Studies at Pratt Institute in 2012. She has been exhibiting work in Pakistan, the United States and Europe since 2002. Schahbaz is also an educator and was a curatorial intern at the Rubin Museum New York from 2010-2011. Her work was previously on view at Twelve Gates Arts in July 2012.