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Shahzia Sikander: breathe, air, life

For the multimedia exhibition Havah… to breathe, air, life, artist Shahzia Sikander has created major new work on the theme of justice. The work in its entirety is composed of four distinct elements, two of which will be on display at the University of Houston Spring 2024. Havah… is a culmination of Sikander’s exploration of female representation in public monuments and marks her first major, site-specific outdoor exhibition in sculptural form. Disrupting more classic forms of public sculpture, the  artist proclaims, “I have always had an affinity for the anti-monument within my practice.” It is the history of monumental public works, from which women and people of color have largely been absent, that provide a starting point for Sikander to reinsert the female figure into our field of visual culture.

Havah…to breathe, air, life is co-commissioned by Public Art UHS and Madison Square Park Conservancy and it is the first major co-commission for both institutions. The exhibition was first on view in Madison Square Park from January 17 – June 4, 2023, and it will open at the University of Houston Spring 2024.