Riding the Written

Sikander’s appreciation of language is expressed in her work through the wit of titles and her incorporation of script. In this example, the calligraphy of horses in motion was inspired by her childhood experience of reciting and memorizing the Quran in Arabic before understanding it in Urdu or English. “The ritual was to first get acquainted with the aural and visual before the meaning. It resulted in this amazing visual memory where the beauty of the Arabic script superseded everything else.”

Shahzia Sikander (born 1969)
Riding the Written, 1992
Screen print over handmade marbled paper
Collection of the artist
© Shahzia Sikander. Courtesy: the artist, Sean Kelly, New York and Pilar Corrias, London.