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What Comes to My Lips is the first monograph on the artist Ambreen Butt. Trained in the thousand-year tradition of Indo-Persian miniature painting and contemporary Western art and theory, Butt's studio practice circumvents history, tradition and contemporaneity, creating a multifaceted project that explores civil liberties and rights, mutual responsibilities and complex geopolitical forces.Illuminated with images of the artist's paintings, collaged works on paper and large-scale installations from the past three decades, this in-depth book features essays by curator/writer Sara Raza and artist/critic Quddus Mirza. Raza examines Butt's practice through the thematic lens of the sciences of Islam's Golden Age (7th-14th century), proposing a bridge that connects art, history and cosmology. In his essay, Mirza places the conventions of the artist's work in relation to longer historical narratives and traditional gendered roles across the spectrums of time and locality.An intimate archive of Butt's technically rich, aesthetically delightful work, What Comes to My Lips invites the reader to enter the symbolic landscape of Butt's oeuvre and discover the hidden, unseen and unrecorded aspects that shimmer beneath the surface of even the most fraught realities.
About the Author
Ambreen Butt Using techniques rooted firmly in tradition, Ambreen Butt (b. 1969 Lahore, Pakistan) creates works that explore the complexities of contemporary global politics, female identity and living as a Muslim in the United States. Employing actions including staining, cutting, ripping and tacking with repetitive urgency, Butt's painted and collaged works on paper and large-scale resin installations espouse the radiant aesthetics of sacred geometries and Islamic ornamentation.Butt's work has featured in solo exhibitions at institutions including the Dallas Contemporary, TX; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA; Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, MA; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC; and Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA.Butt has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Brother Thomas Fellowship from the Boston Foundation; the Maud Morgan Prize from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; a Joan Mitchell Foundation grant; and a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario. In 1999, she was the first recipient of the James and Audrey Foster Prize from the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston in addition to being an artist-in-residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum that same year.Her work is collected by 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 of Women in the Arts, Washington DC; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts; the Hood Museum at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire; the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Massachusetts; and the US Art in Embassies.Butt lives and works in Southlake, Texas. She received her BFA in traditional Indian and Persian miniature painting from the National College of Arts in Lahore. She earned her MFA in painting in 1997 from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. Sara Raza Sara Raza is an award-winning contemporary art curator and writer based in New York City, where she founded the curatorial studio Punk Orientalism, which specialises in global art and visual cultures, mainly from Central and Western Asia and its international diaspora.Sara is a member of the faculty at the School of Visual Arts for the MA Curatorial Practice Programme. Between 2015-2018, she was the Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator of Middle Eastern and North African art in New York, and has also curated numerous exhibitions for international museums, biennials and festivals, including the Rubin Museum of Art, New York; Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar; the 55th Venice and Tashkent Biennials; and the 3rd Baku Public Art Festival.She has been the Head of Education and Public Programs at YARAT, Baku, Azerbaijan; Founding Curator at Alaan Art Space, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and Curator of Public Programmes at Tate Modern, London. Sara has also written for numerous artist monographs, books, catalogues and publications, and is the West and Central Asia Desk Editor for ArtAsiaPacific magazine.Quddus Mirza Quddus Mirza is a visual artist, art critic and independent curator. He was the former Professor of Fine Art and the Head of Fine Art Department at the National College of Arts, Lahore. Mirza has shown extensively in numerous group shows, along with several one-person exhibitions, held in Pakistan and the UK. He has also curated a number of exhibitions in Pakistan, the UK and India.Mirza is an art critic and writer for Pakistan's major newspaper The News on Sunday and for Art India magazine, and contributes to publications including Dawn, Herald, Himal, Depart, Libas, Contemporary and Flash Art. He is the co-author of 50 Years of Visual Arts in Pakistan and has extensively written essays on Pakistani art in different international catalogues and other publications. He is the editor of online magazine Art Now Pakistan.