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Press Release

The Gallery at UTA is pleased to present an exhibition by Anila Quayaam Agha, Ambreen Butt and Simeen Farhat on view at the University of Texas at Arlington from February 15 through April 3, 2021.

The three artists take inspiration from centuries-old cultural motifs but transform the traditional forms into dynamic vehicles for contemporary personal expression. Anila Quayyum Agha says of her work, “ art is deeply influenced by the simultaneous sense of alienation and transience that informs the migrant experience. Through the use of a variety of media, from large sculptural installations to embroidered drawings I explore the deeply entwined political relationships between gender, culture, religion, labor and social codes.” Ambreen Butt, who was trained in traditional Indian and Persian miniature painting, creates politically and socially informed works that use “the aesthetics of sacred geometries and Islamic ornamentation” to ruminate on challenging 21st century moral questions. Simeen Farhat uses language and text as the starting point in the creation of artworks that “explore the space where language emerges as shapes.” Inspired by language poets’ texts in several languages, she seeks to engage the viewer in works “where thoughts meet the substance of sight, of line, of object.”

Anila Quayyum Agha received her BFA from the National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan and an MFA from the University of North Texas. Recent solo shows include the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA, National Sculpture Museum in Valladolid, Spain, The Cincinnati Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville, FL, and the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio. For the 2019 Venice Biennale Agha was included in a collateral event, She Persists, with 22 contemporary feminist artists. Recently, Agha received an Endowed Chair position, Professor – Morris Eminent Scholar in Art at Augusta University in Georgia, as well as the prestigious Smithsonian Fellowship in the arts for 2021. Her work has been collected by institutions and private collectors, nationally and internationally. She is represented by Talley Dunn Gallery, Dallas.

Ambreen Butt received her BFA in traditional Indian and Persian miniature painting from the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan and her MFA in painting from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at institutions throughout the United States and she has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants. Her work has been collected by numerous public institutions including The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, the Library of Congress, Washington, DC, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota, National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington, DC, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, U.S. Art in Embassies, Islamabad, Pakistan, among others. She is represented by Gallery Wendi Norris in San Francisco

Simeen Farhat received her BFA from Arizona State University in Tempe and her MFA from Texas Christian University, Fort Worth. Her work has been collected and exhibited worldwide including solo exhibitions in England, India, Pakistan, Switzerland, Bahrain, Kuwait, and the UAE. In the United States, she has shown in numerous states including New York, Arizona, California, Illinois, Florida, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Simeen was invited to participate in an exhibition at the 2015 Venice Biennale, In the Eye of the Thunderstorm: Effervescent Practices from the Arab World, curated by Martina Corgnati. She has also participated in several artist residencies and been the recipient of numerous awards. She is represented by Cris Worley Fine Arts, Dallas

In association with the exhibition, two artists will discuss their work in virtual hour-long gallery talks starting at 12:30 pm. Using the YouTube Live format, Simeen Farhat will speak on Thursday, February 25 and Ambreen Butt will speak on Wednesday, March 31. Links to the talks: Simeen Farhat talk and Ambreen Butt talk and on the gallery website.

Gallery hours are 10 am - 5 pm Monday through Friday and 12 - 5 pm on Saturday.
The Gallery is located in the Fine Arts Building, room 169, 502 S. Cooper Street, Arlington, TX.

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