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Masterminding Our Ordered Rage - curated by Atif Sheikh

This group show is the culmination of a series of monthly workshops, which have taken place at 12G to encourage collaboration and live performance. Inspired by Yolanda Wisher's poem From Imhotep's Kundalini, the artists participating in this Art Intervention explore from diverse angles and mediums the devastating American landscape strewn with the detritus of Black lives. It is the same landscape of systematic yet coolly indifferent state violence against Black people that generations of South Asian Americans also call home, immigrant and non-immigrant. #BLM@12G hopes to unflinchingly  explore the concrete difference in "context, experience and oppression" in the various Black and Desi lives at stake by examining the ways in which  we collectively participate in [anti-Black racism], even unintentionally" and by exploring the interplay between Black Lives Matter and other social justice movements in the South Asian context. Opening to feature poetry performances.  Works by:

Amina Ahmed | Komail Aijazuddin | Chuck Alston | Sarah Bloom & Mir Masud-Elias | Charles Burwell | Bryan DeProspero | Lynda Grace| Farha Najah | Amol K. Patil | Sean Plaskett | Maryanne Pollock | Daisy Rockwell | Fabian Rush | Sumesh Sharma | Saba Taj


Amina Ahmed was born in East Africa and is a Kutchi Turk Indian.  She grew up in England and has lived in Iran and the USA. Ahmed is a graduate of Winchester School of Art and the Chelsea School of Art.  She received her MFA from the Royal College of Art (1991), where she specialized in Visual Islamic and Traditional Arts and was awarded the Barakat Trust prize for excellence.  Her work has been exhibited in the USA, South Asia and Europe.  Ahmed is a former studio member of the EFA NYC and is currently a Studio Resident at Mana Contemporary NJ.  She lives in NJ.

Komail Aijazuddin is a visual artist and writer who lives and works in Lahore, Pakistan and New York City.  He was born in Abu Dhabi and completed his BA degrees in Art and Art History at New York University (2006) and an MFA at Pratt Institute (2010).  Aijazuddin has been exhibited internationally in Pakistan, Europe and the United States.  Significant recent shows include Canvas Gallery, Karachi (2015), Taseer Art Gallery, Lahore (2013); Khaas Gallery, Islamabad (2013, 2015).  His solo show God Particle was on view at 12G in 2016.

Chuck Alston is an artist originating from the San Francisco Bay Area, California.  He currently attends the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia PA and works in studio at MANA Contemporary, Jersey City.  His work is both visual and interdisciplinary, pulling from contemporary culture.  He is a freelance artist and his work has been shown in the San Francisco and Philadelphia areas.

Sarah Bloom is an artist and photographer from greater Philadelphia whose fine art focuses on aging and its relationship to grief.  A member of the Da Vinci Art Alliance since 2010, Bloom has shown her work in and around the area for many years.  She held her first solo show in 2011 at Da Vinci Art Alliance, successfully crowd-funded using Kickstarter.  She and her work have been featured in several print and online publications, including being named Best Visual Artist in Philadelphia Magazine in July 2015.  Her work in this show is a collaboration with Mir Masud-Elias.

Charles Burwell was born in Philadelphia and attended Tyler School of Art, where he graduated in 1977 with a BFA in Painting.  He completed his MFA in Painting at Yale University School of Art in 1979. His earliest artist influences were Cy Twombly, Mark Tobey, Agnes Martin and Jack Tworkov.  Burwell has exhibited extensively since 1980 in the Philadelphia area, as well as in the northeastern US.  The work he has been doing since the early 1990’s involves a specific layering process, which mostly relies on the interaction of the controlled dripped line, maze-like linear forms, and organic and geometric forms.   The paintings are constructed one layer of forms at a time, starting with layers of drips that have a specific color structure.  The forms he uses are part of a constantly evolving vocabulary of shapes that began with organic forms he started developing in the early to mid 1980’s.

Bryan DeProspero is currently attending the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.  He is primarily a plein air oil painter who strives to capture the beauty of the natural world in his pieces.  His recent work has begun to meld landscape with still life painting, allowing his sub-conscious to breathe into the work, which he calls stillscapes; they are his attempt to find a balance between representational and emotional art while maintaining the aesthetic qualities he finds to be beautiful.

Lynda Grace is a fiber mixed media artist who is currently engaged in creating a series of crocheted vessels representing people in the margins.  Through her work she wishes to make the invisible visible and proclaim the relevance of people often regarded unworthy or insignificant. Formally titled Aspirations of the Lost, the Longing and the Ignored, the vessels are a medium for deep hopes and declarations.  So far, she has made over 60 vessels.  Some are hung in trees in local parks to represent an injustice or lynching.  Born and raised in Philadelphia, as a child, Lynda Grace learned to knit and crochet while watching her grandmother, aunts and neighbors.  Today, the craft is her voice.  Lynda Grace’s work has shown in numerous Philadelphia and area venues.

Mir Masud-Elias is a poet and blogger who explores themes of coming of age, fractured memories, the immigrant experience, love, loss and aging in her works.  Originally from Dhaka, Bangladesh, she is Director of Legal Affairs for the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania.  She holds several volunteer leadership and fundraising roles with various nonprofit and professional organizations and has been recognized for her professional achievements by a number of legal publications in the United States.

Farha Najah is a second generation South Asian immigrant based in Tio'tia:ke (montreal).  She has an empowerment based poetry and visual art practice, rooted in social justice activism and organizing She is interested in art as a healing modality for herself, and in solidarity with others facing systemic oppressions.  

Amol K. Patil is a performance and visual artist from Mumbai.  He graduated from Rachana Sansad Academy in Mumbai with a Post diploma in Fine Arts in 2009.  He has exhibited work extensively in group shows across India, as well as in Europe and Hong Kong.  His has done two solo shows, in 2013 at Clark House Initiative in Mumbai and 2014 at Nature Morte in New Delhi.  The concepts in his work are inspired by his family’s background in the Dalit community of Maharashtra as folk performers called “Powada” and more recently as migrant workers employed by the Bombay Municipal Company; his father was an avant-garde playwright in his free time who died while Patil was still young, and some of Patil’s pieces have adapted his father’s unseen work.

Sean Plaskett was born in NYC and spent a significant portion of his childhood in Virginia.  He completed a BA in Psychology from Ohio State University in 2011.  He is a poet who has self-published a collection of poems called “Four Seasons” in 2010.

Maryanne Pollock is a graduate of Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and Rome, Italy.  She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking with a Teaching Certification in 1981.  Pollock continued her studies in painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Corcoran College of Art and Design and has done graduate work at the American University.  Living, working and exhibiting extensively in Egypt for six years profoundly changed her work.  Since 2000 she has been exhibiting her work across the East coast of the United States, as well as in Egypt, Paris, Switzerland and New Mexico.  She has lived in Adams Morgan, Washington DC since 1992.

Daisy Rockwell is a painter, translator and blogger from Northern New England who holds a PhD in South Asian Literature.  Rockwell selects subject matter from the digital imagery she encounters organically on the internet and through research based on reflection of these encounters.  Rockwell paints under the takhallus, or alias, Lapata (pronounced ‘laapataa’), which is Urdu for “missing,” or “absconded,” as in “my luggage is missing,” or “the bandits have absconded.”  She posts her paintings regularly to Flickr and writes for the blog Chapati Mystery. She has shown her work widely, including a solo show at 12G in 2012 and as part of Cinephiliac: Art Transending Technology and Motion in 2013.  Her essays on literature and art have appeared in Bookslut, Caravan, Outlook Magazine, and The Sunday Guardian.

Fabian Rush is a Philadelphia-based artist, musician and poet.  Rush was an early collaborator with curator, Atif Sheikh in conceptualizing the series of workshops culminating in this group exhibition. 

Sumesh Sharma is a curator based in Mumbai who co-founded the Clark House Initiative in 2010, a curatorial collaborative project located in an old office of the Thakur Shipping Company, which seeks to address the freedom that “you don’t yet know you don’t have.” Recently, he was invited to be the curator for the biennial of African contemporary art, Dak’Art 2016, in Senegal.  Sharma’s practice deals with alternate histories that are informed by the Black Arts movement, socioeconomics, immigration in the Francophone, and vernacular equalities of Modernism.  In October 2017, Sharma will curate a show on deconstructing modernism under the direction of Catherine David at the Centre Pompidou.

Saba Taj is a mixed media artist and activist who was born in Durham, NC.  Her work centers around identity and challenging Islamophobia and sexism.  In 2011 she earned her BA in Art Education summa cum laude from North Carolina Central University.  Taj completed her MFA at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2016, where she was a teaching fellow.  She has shown work extensively in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill since 2010.  In June 2016, Saba Taj was invited to take over the Huffington Post’s religion instagram account (@huffpostrelig) for a day to share some of her pieces.

#BLM@12G: Masterminding Our Ordered Rage will be on view from May 5 - June 24, 2017. Gallery hours are Wed - Sat: 11-5 and by appointment. For additional information please contact Aisha Zia Khan at (215) 253-8578 or by email:  





Masterminding Our Ordered Rage