No Fly Zone


Sikander returned to the same Persian painting here that was the base for Sly Offering (on display nearby). Painted just as the United States was ramping up its response to the 9/11 attacks, No Fly Zone imbues the monstrous protagonists of Sikander’s early vocabulary with new political relevance. As scholar Sadia Abbas has noted, the empty throne in this painting—one of Sikander’s favorite motifs of the early 2000s—“marks a crisis of postcolonial sovereignty in an era of revived imperialism.” The jets and angels clad in red, white, and blue wings make clear the central role played by the United States.

Shahzia Sikander (born 1969)
No Fly Zone, 2002
Watercolor, gravure, and inkjet outline, on wasli paper
Collection of Mitzi and Warren Eisenberg
© Shahzia Sikander. Courtesy: the artist, Sean Kelly, New York and Pilar Corrias, London.