Sundaram Tagore is pleased to present an exhibition of work by eight pioneering women whose paintings, installations and photography reimagine spaces both real and symbolic. From an immersive large-scale light installation that transforms the surrounding environment to vibrant photographic imagery of staged narratives, this work challenges norms.
Pakistani-American artist Anila Quayyum Agha creates immersive large-scale light installations, which she laser-cuts into elaborate patterns. When suspended and lit from within, they cast floor-to-ceiling shadows that allude to the ornamented public spaces Agha was excluded from as a female growing up in Lahore. Agha’s light installations are on view now in the United States at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Texas, and the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Alabama.
During the 2020 lockdown, New York City-based American artist Miya Ando created a calendar of moon drawings based on her observations of the night sky. The drawings inspired a larger body of work, which she produced using the only materials she had on hand: Japanese Kozo paper, pure silver powder and natural indigo. Ando’s work is on view now in the United States at the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C., and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Arizona.
Lalla Essaydi is intimately familiar with how Arab women’s personal histories are interlinked with segregated spaces. Raised in a traditional Muslim household, where men move freely in the public sphere while women are often confined to private realms, the Morocco-born photographer explores how these cultural constructs inform her views as an artist and as a woman living between two worlds. Essaydi’s work is on view now in an exhibition at the Hunter Museum of American Art, Tennessee.
In her London-based practice, photographer Karen Knorr examines the meaning of place, drawing from ancient myths and allegories to express contemporary ideas. She employs grand interior spaces of palaces, temples and museums across Asia and Western Europe to frame issues of gender and class structure rooted in cultural heritage. Knorr’s work is on view now at Frac Des Pays De La Loire in Carquefou, France, and the Imperial War Museum in London.
The sumptuous, tactile paintings created by Singapore artist Jane Lee are often conceived to engage with the surrounding space. For Lee, walls are important—not merely as a backdrop or support, but as an activating space carrying subtle energies and possibilities. In 2015, Lee’s work was a highlight of Medium at Large, a yearlong exhibition at the Singapore Art Museum, where her large-scale wall-mounted installation Status was acquired for the museum’s permanent collection.
Dhaka-based artist Tayeba Lipi draws inspiration from the artifacts of domestic settings. She re-creates everyday objects typically associated with feminine spaces using stainless-steel razor blades—a reference to a tool commonly used in childbirth and to the violence women often face in Bangladesh. In 2012, Love Bed, an early work from the series, was included in the acclaimed Guggenheim Museum survey of contemporary Southeast Asian art No Country and is now part of the museum’s permanent collection.
Neha Vedpathak’s tactile paintings made from plucked Japanese paper often draw from investigations of her physical environment. Growing up in Pune, India, the Detroit-based artist has always been inspired by the natural world, but having lived in several large cities around the U.S. for more than a decade, she has begun to incorporate elements of the urban landscape into her colorful, abstract compositions. Her work is currently in U.S. shows at the Flint Institute of Arts, Michigan, and the National Indo-American Museum, Chicago.
One of the most revisited themes throughout American artist Susan Weil’s groundbreaking 70-year career is her exploration of space. Weil often fractures the picture plane. She deconstructs and reconstructs images, inviting the viewer to contemplate multiple perspectives at once. Her work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, among others.
A Room of Her Own will be on view during Singapore Art Week, Jan 14–23, 2022.