Extraordinary Realities IV

Enthroned and dressed in red, Sikander floats in a bubble above a painting she found in a market in Houston’s Little India neighborhood. Perhaps in a nod to her new Texas home, she seems to lasso some unseen desire lying outside her sphere.

This work is one from a series of six collages, each using as its base a traditional manuscript painting made for tourists. Sikander overlaid the paintings with photographs taken in an installation she had mounted at Project Row Houses, a community revitalization project and art space. The series was part of her continued experiment in disrupting traditional narratives.

Shahzia Sikander (born 1969)
Extraordinary Realities IV, 1996
Photo collage and watercolor on found tourist painting, mounted to tea-stained wasli paper
Collection of Lois Plehn, New York
© Shahzia Sikander. Courtesy: the artist, Sean Kelly, New York and Pilar Corrias, London.