The Scroll II

In this more abstract version of The Scroll, Sikander refers to the tradition of the Gandharan Buddhist birch-bark scrolls. She incorporates bark into the painting, inscribing its materiality with light and form to extract a psychological dimension from the space. The activity in this series of vignettes is visually linked yet mysterious. Seen through windows and mirrors, the figures depicted feel hidden. At the center of the composition a woman lies on the ground, seemingly shattered by the bark and the house itself.

Shahzia Sikander (born 1969)
The Scroll II, 1991 Watercolor on bark and tea-stained wasli paper
Collection of Munazzah and Tariq Malik
© Shahzia Sikander. Courtesy: the artist, Sean Kelly, New York and Pilar Corrias, London.