Born in 1968, Karachi, Pakistan. Lives Dallas & Karachi.
Pakistani born Simeen Farhat describes her work as a record of her own evolution, in that art is synonymous with life. The abstract forms created out of dyed cast resin and acrylic have their roots in literature. The texts used by Farhat in her work are poems written in Urdu, Farsi, Arabic, German and English. Personal writings and concerns have a place alongside writings of worldwide importance.
Farhat has a strong appreciation for the importance of language in allowing one the opportunity to make sense of a situation that seems to be in chaos. Her work embodies this: a cloud of letters, words and phrases, decipherable only by locating a word amongst many and tracing its path. The physicality of her work is poetic and graceful, utilizing form and shadow, positive and negative space. It presents an opportunity to step past the chaos and discover the sense.
2000 M.F.A., Texas Christian University Fort Worth, Texas. Summa cum Laude.
1998 B.F.A., Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. Summa cum Laude.
The text in my sculptures and installations are revolutionary poems, appropriated mostly from famous Farsi and Urdu poets, such as Rumi, Saadi, Ghalib and Faiz Ahmed Faiz, who all wrote powerfully about freedom of thought and speech. The small-scale wall-mounted sculptures, “Speech Bubbles,” represent the poems’ poignant and piercing power to induce strong emotions. As many of these poems have also been sung by famous singers from the sub-continent, the suspended installations also express the poems’ melodic power and ability to elicit uplifting thoughts. The shadows cast on the wall are also vital to the aesthetic as they add additional depth and layers behind their meaning. My goal is to translate their poetic dynamism into visual energy.
By pairing female forms with poetic text, I strive to show a connection between the mind and soul: a mind is free to think and a soul free to exist. Separate from their utterance as a sound and with or without the coverings of an outer garment. The text is used aesthetically, as a flowing pattern; as well as philosophically, paired with the ethereal figures it enables a dialogue with the viewer or monologue between mind and body.
Through the interactive nature of my installations, sculptures, and textual drawings, I pose questions for each culture to examine from their own perspective: Considering that there is a figure but no embodied form showing, can this be called contemporary figurative Islamic Art? Do these life-size veiled figures threaten or confuse non-Muslim Westerners and why? Recognizing that this work represents women’s freedom to think, can this work be called a universally Feminist art?
Selected Solo Exhibition
2022 Twelve Gates Gallery, Philadelphia, PA (Forthcoming)
2022 Scripted, The Grace Museum, Abilene, TX
2022 The Shape of Words, Cris Worley Fine Arts, Dallas, TX
2018 Contemporary Calligraphy Biennial, Sharjah Museum of Contemporary Art, UAE
2017 The Breath of Poetry, La Fontaine Center of Contemporary Art, Manama, Bahrain
2017 Cris Worley Fine Arts, Dallas, TX (Forthcoming).
2016 XVA Gallery, Dubai, UAE (Forthcoming). Khas Gallery, Islamabad, Pakistan (Forthcoming)
2016 XVA Gallery, Dubai, UAE (Forthcoming).
Khas Gallery, Islamabad, Pakistan (Forthcoming).
2015 From A Whirlwind To A Gentle Breeze, Artchowk Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan.
Simeen Farhat: Curiouser and Curiouser, JAMM Art, Dubai, UAE. Dar-ul Funoon, Kuwait.
2014 Volta Art Fair, (represented by Pentimenti Gallery, PA), NYC. Logical Thinking; Illogical Thoughts, Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia.
2013 Cris Worley Fine Arts, Dallas, TX.
2011 Art Chowk Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan
2011 La Fontaine Contemporary Art Center, Bahrain
2011 Anya Tish Gallery, Houston, TX
2011 Twelve Gates Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
2010 Xerxes Fine Arts, London, UK
2010 Sharjah Museum of Modern Art, UAE
2010 V.M. Art Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan
2010 Anya Tish Gallery, Houston, TX
2008 The MAC, Dallas, TX
2008 Mighty Fine Arts, Project Room, Dallas, TX
2006 Kiva Gallery, Mountain View College, Dallas, TX
2005 Commerce Street Artists Warehouse, Houston, TX
2001 Fort Worth International Center, Fort Worth, TX
2000 New Talent Gallery, Irving Art Center, Irving, TX
2000 Elder Gallery, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln, NB
Selected Public and Corporate Collections
KPMG, Dallas, TX
US Embassy, Islamabad, Pakistan
Abu Dhabi Palace for the Crown Prince of UAE,
King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Al Ghurair Arjaan Rotana Hotel, Dubai, UAE
Peninsula Hotel, Paris, France
Uptown Dermatology, Dallas, TX
Tudor Pickering Holt and Co, Houston, TX
Four Seasons Hotel, Dubai
US Consulate, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Ammar Architecture Group, Bahrain
Residencies, Fellowships and Awards
2018 Reading n Writing We R U Writing Intensive, Mystic Lyon, Houston, TX, July
2012 Oryx Foundation/AB Gallery, Artists in Residence, Switzerland
2011 Xerxes Artist Residency, Hampshire, UK
2010 Nominee, Prix Arte/ Slick, Paris, France, 2010
2010 Nominee, Dallas Mastermind Award, 2010
2005 Artist Grant, Vermont Studio Center. Johnson, VT
2002 Clay Fellowship Residency, Women’s Studio Workshop, Rosendale, NY
2001 Artist in Residence, “Series Project VIII,” Coronado Studios, Austin, TX
2000 Feature Show Award, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln, NB
2000 Cash award, Fred Wells 24th National Juried Exhibition, NWU, Lincoln, NB
1998-2000 Graduate Departmental Assistantship, TCU
1996-1998 Board of Regents Scholarship, Arizona State University ASU.AZ
Selected Group Exhibitions
2021 Bridges, The Gallery at the University of Texas at Arlington, curator, Benito Huerta, Arlington, TX
2020 Zarafa Unfolding, University of Texas at Dallas, curator, Greg Metz, Richardson, TX
2019 Eco System Leaks: The Karachi Biennale 19, curator, Mohammad Zishan, Karachi, Pakistan
2017 The Enduring Reasons Why, Pentimenti Gallery, PA
2017 Beirut Art Fair, Beirut, Lebanon
2016 Pulse Art Fair, NYC, NY.
2015 In The Eye Of The Thunderstorm, Collateral Event Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale,
2015. Dallas Art Fair, Dallas, TX.
2014 One Thousand Nights and One Night, Watermill Center, Hamptons, NY. Draftsmen of the Apocalypse, CentralTrek: The UT Dallas Artists Residency, Dallas, TX. MAC@20 Pt. II, The McKinney Ave Contemporary (The MAC), Dallas, TX. Singapore Art Fair. Abu Dhabi Art Fair. Art Taipei, Taiwan. Art Market Hamptons, Bridgehampton, NY. On your mark: Opus I, Cris Worley Fine Arts, Dallas, TX. Art London, UK. Art Dubai, (two-Person) UAE. India Art Summit, New Delhi, India.
2013 Art Miami, Context, FL. Scope, Miami Beach, FL. Abu Dhabi Art Fair, UAE. Text Embodied, Twelve Gates Gallery, Philadelphia. Sri: Multiple Feminism, American Center, New Delhi, India. Art 13 London, UK. Dallas Art Fair, Dallas TX.
2012 XVA Gallery, Dubai, UAE
2012 Public Art Installation, London, UK
2012 Vienna Art Fair, Austria
2012 Art Cologne, Germany
2012 Art Abu Dhabi, UAE
2012 Scope Art Fair, Basel, Switzerland
2012 Contemporary Asian Art: Texas Connection, Asia Society Texas Center, Houston, TX
2012 AB Gallery, Lucerne, Switzerland
2012 Engendered Space Gallery, New Delhi, India
2011 Contemporary Istanbul, Turkey
2011 Kirk Hopper Fine Arts, Dallas, TX
2011 Sabine Knust Gallery, Munich, Germany
2011 Anya Tish Gallery, Houston, TX
2011 Abu Dhabi Art Fair. UAE
2011 Heritage House, Dubai, UAE
2010 Abu Dhabi Art Fair. UAE
2010 Contemporary Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
2010 Slick Art Fair, Paris, France
2010 Eastfield College, Dallas, TX
2010 Khaki Gallery, Verge Art Fair, NYC, NY
2010 Bath House Cultural Center, Dallas, TX
2010 Khaki Gallery, Boston, MA
2009 Haggerty Gallery, Dallas, TX
2009 Visual Arts Main Gallery, University of Texas at Dallas, TX
2009 Chawkandi Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan
2009 Mexican American Cultural Center. Austin, TX
2009 National Art Gallery, Islamabad, Pakistan
2009 500X Gallery, Dallas, TX
2009 Mighty Fine Arts Gallery, Dallas, TX
2007 Studio 107 Gallery, Austin, TX
2007 Gerald Peters Gallery, Dallas, TX
2007 Alliance Française Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan
2006 Studio107 Gallery, Austin, TX
2006 Gerald Peters Gallery, Dallas, TX
2006 Mighty Might Arts, Dallas TX
2006 Arlington Museum of Art, Arlington, TX
2006 University of Art and Design, Helsinki, Finland
2005 500X Gallery, Dallas, Texas
2005 Broadway 417 Gallery, New York, NY
2005 Gescheidle Contemporary, Chicago, IL
2005 Frisbee Fair, Miami, FL
2005 Craighead-Green Gallery, Dallas, TX
2005 Women and Their Work Gallery, Austin, TX
2005 Graceland University, Lamonie, IA
2005 5oo X Gallery, Dallas, TX
2004 5oo X Gallery, Dallas, TX
2004 El Centro College Gallery
2004 Buffalo Bayou Art Park, Houston, TX
2003 Fort Worth Community Art Center, TX
2003 CSAW, Houston, TX
2003 Visual Arts and Technology Gallery, San Antonio College, TX
2003 Performance Hall Lobby, Richland College, Dallas, TX
2003 The Art Corridor II, Arlington, TX
2003 Rockwall Art Center, Rockwall, TX
2002 Mezzanine Gallery, Arlington Museum of Art, TX
2002 The Art Corridor II, Arlington, TX
2002 Contemporary Art Center, Sacramento, CA
2002 Faculty Biennial, Lago Vista Gallery, Richland College, Dallas, TX
2002 Amin Gulgee Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan
2002 Cyberspace gallery (http://www.arttextnet.com)
2002 Betty Rymer Gallery, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL
2002 Reed Art Gallery, University of Maine at Presque Isle, ME
2002 St. Edwards University Fine Arts Building, Austin, TX
2002 Shaw Center Art Gallery, Graceland University, Lamonie, IA
2002 Continental Gallery, Dallas, TX
2002 Gallery 72, Omaha, NB
2002 Sadeqain Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan
2001 Ridglea Recital Hall, (alternative space) Ft. Worth, TX
2001 Dallas Center for Contemporary Arts (former DVAC), Dallas, TX
2001 Lago Vista Gallery, Richland College, Dallas, TX
2001 Diverse Works, Houston, TX
2001 Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL
2001 Women & Their Work Gallery, Austin, TX
2000 New Works Space, The McKinney Avenue Contemporary Dallas, TX
2000 Fort Worth Central Library Arts Gallery, Fort Worth, TX
2000 13th Parkside National Small Print Exhibition, U W, Parkside, Kenosha, WI
2000 15th Annual National Works on Paper, 2000, U T, Tyler, TX
2000 Work was exhibited at various sites in the U.S. Fred Wells 24th National Juried Exhibition, Nebraska Wesleyan University. NB
2000 Americas 2000 Paper Works Competition, Minot State University, SD
Publications and Press
An Immersive Dyke Bar and Other Mixed-Media Moments from Pulse Art Fair
by Allison Meier on March 3, 2016 http://hyperallergic.com/280378/an-immersive-dyke-bar-and-other-mixed-media-moments-from-pulse-art-fair
The News, “The World as Word.” By Quddus Mirza, January 10, 2016
2015 Simeen Farhat: Texas’ Contribution to the Venice Biennale.” By Joan Davidow, October 30, 2015
Gulf News, “A Deeper Perspective Hidden In Garbled Words.” By Jyoti Kal . April 1, 2015
Harper’s Bazar. Image Coutesy, Jamm Art.
Bazar Magazine, “Poetic and Prosaic”, By Deepa Pant
2014 Knight Arts, “Gestures tie together opposing abstractions at Pentimenti,” by Chip Schwartz, September 24, 2014
Canvas Guide, Art Dubai, March, 2014.
Firstindigoandlifestyle.com, “VOLTA NY 14: Simeen Farhat’s ‘Alice’ and the language puzzles”, March 11, 2014.
Installationmagazine.com, “Deconstructed Text: Simeen Farhat at Volta NY.
Gallery Intell, Gallery Intell’s Top 5 Recommendations: VOLTANY, by Kristina Nazarevskai, March.
Financial Express, “Hall of Fame”, February 3 201.
Mail On Line India, “Delhi’s art affair comes to an end with major deals on the final day of gala”, by Mathew Ashlin. Feb 2, 2014.
Time Out picks out seven artworks to view at the India Art Fair
Born of Web, “Sky Shot”, by Karan Bhardwai, February 3, 2014.
The Label, “India’s Cultural Carnival”, by Sitara Kapoor, February 10 2014
The South Asian Life and Times—Salt, India Art Fair, Spring 2014
India Express, “A Mixed Bag”,by Pallavi Pundir, Premankur Biswas, Dipanita Nath, February 3, 2014.
2013 Denton Record-Chronicle, “Briefly in the Arts”, by staff reporter, December 7, 2013.
Contemporary Practice, “In the Time of Love and Politics”, by Camilla Chaudhary, Fall 2013
Ikono TV, “Temporal- Search: Simeen Farhat” HYPERLINK “http://www.ikono.org/program/temporal-search” http://www.ikono.org/program/temporal-search.
Artnow, Pakistan, Profile, “Simeen Farhat: Words, Shapes and Colours.” By Brett Bourbon. August, 2013.
Elephant Magazine, “Going East: Newer Horizons of Tradition”, by Margherita Dessanay. Issue 15, Summer 2013. pg, 50.
Culture Map, “Gallery picks Gallery picks of the month: Word play, outsider art and drawing the line”, by Kendall Morgan, June 28, 2013
Modern Dallas, ”Simeen Farhat at Cris Worley Fine Art”, by Tod Camplin
2012 Selection Magazine, “Art Scene: Poetry made flesh”, by India Stoughton, November, 2012
L’orientlejour, “Simeen Farhat, entre calligraphie et spiritualité”, by Edgar Davidian, July 24, 2012 Omrikon Magazine, July, 2012.
Daily Star, Lebanon, “New Name, Direction for Beirut Art Fair”, by India Stoughton, July 4th, 2012
Curve, Lebanon, “Exclusive Dossier: Beirut Art Fair”, By Camilla Chaudahry, June/July 2012
Arab News, Saudi Arabia, “Beirut Art Fair: Celebrating Me.Na.Sa.Art”, By Lisa Kaaki, July 4th, 2012
Dallas Observer, “Dallas Artist Simeen Farhat Made One Damned Cool Phone Booth for the Streets of London” by HYPERLINK “http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/author.php?author_id=2916” Brentney Hamilton Tuesaday, Jul. 17
India Art Journal, “Changing Perspective.” By Maria Lopez, March, 2012
India Today, “Global Art Comes Home.” Georgina Maddox, February 5, 2012
2011 Arts and Culture, Houston, “Ten Years Later.” by Charissa Terranova, September 2011, Page 10.
Glasstire.com, Platform 2011. July 8th, 2011
The Philadelphia Inquirer, “ Art From Muslim Poetry.” By Victoria Donahue, April 15, 2011
Khaleej Times, “Treading Common Ground.” By Karen Ane Monsy. March, 25th, 2011
Gulf Today, “NM Art Gallery & Xerxes Art to showcase 18th Contemporary International
Explorer, “New Location for XVA.” Jan 9, 2011
2010 The New York Times, “Art Fair Illustrates Abu Dhabi’s Commitment to Culture.” By Nazanin Lankarani. November 10, 2010.
The News, “No Honor in Killing, by Shahid Husain.” Tuesday, December 7, 2010
The Express Tribune, “ HYPERLINK “http://tribune.com.pk/story/87299/there-is-absolutely-no-honour-in-killing/” There is absolutely ‘no honour’ in killing.” by Husna Anwar. December 7, 2010.
Voteragent. France, “FIAC 2010: Contemporary Art in Paris triumph.” By Robin Massonnaud, Thursday, October 21, 2010.
Hurriyet Daily, OPINION: Contemporary Istanbul hosts Iranian and Armenian artists.” By Emin Mahir Balciogliu, Saturday, November 13, 2010.
Persianesue Magazine, “ HYPERLINK “http://www.persianesquemagazine.com/2010/09/15/simeen-farhat-charmed-frenzied-and-mad/” Simeen Farhat: Charmed, Frenzied and Mad.” September 15, 2010.
Canvas guide.com “ HYPERLINK “http://www.persianesquemagazine.com/2010/09/15/simeen-farhat-charmed-frenzied-and-mad/” Simeen Farhat: Charmed, Frenzied and Mad, October, 2010.
Kodom.com. Solo Exhibit by Simeen Farhat
Dallas Observer, The Other Six Master Minds Awards, By Elaine Liner, November 4, 2010.
Payvandnews.com. Simeen Farhat: “Charmed Frenzied and Mad,” September 16, 2010.
View, HYPERLINK “http://www.viewlondon.co.uk/” www.viewlondon.co.uk
Newsline Magazine, Speak: Your Life is Still Yours.” by Hawra Harianwala. June 26, 2010.
The Express Tribune, “Artist strips away layers for better picture.” May 21, 2010
The Daily Times, “Attempt to ‘end Midlevel treatment of women'” by Ameer Ahmed. May, 23, 2010.NB.
2009 Liner, November 04, 2009
The Daily Times, Buried in Nasirabad yet breathing in painter’s brush,” by Mahtab Bashir Thursday, April 16.
2008 DFW Classical Radio Station, WRR 1011.1 FM, “Art Matters,” Interview by QuinMathews. Sunday, September 19th, 4:30 p.m. and Thursday, September. 23, 6:30 p.m. 2008.
Dallas Observer, ” Gut Reaction,” by Andrea Grimes. “http://www.dallasobserver.com/events/laray-polk-simeen-ishaque-and-sasha-dela-1075301/.
Capturing Language through the Veil: On the Work of Simeen Ishaque in Words Without Voices; Forms Without Bodies. By Charissa N. Terranova. catalogue
The Daily Dawn, “New Media Art: A Metaphor of Our Time,” by Niilofur Farrukh. March 8, 2008.
2006 Fall Gallery Night Bro, wwwfwada.com/Fall-Gallery-Night-2006.pdf.2005
Dallas Arts Review, www.dallasartsrevue.com/ArtSpaces/ D-Art/2005, member show/DCCA-memshow.shtml.
2003 Artlies,”A Light Discussion,” by Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe. Summer. 2003, Number. 39, Pg 52.
Star-Telegram, “Artists Construct Persuasive Artworks with Words,” by Peggy Henkel-Wolfe. April 12, Pg.8F.
Dallas Morning News, “Language and Art,” by Tom Sime. Wed. April 2, 2003. Pg. 6E.
The Collegian, “Artists to Join SE Discussion,” by Moderna Harwood. Ap. 2, 2003. Pg 10.
2002 Fort Worth Weekly, “Night & Day,” by Kristian Lin. July 25-31, 2002.
Guide, The Dallas Morning News, August 2, 2002. Review, page 49.
Star Telegram, “Arlington Click,” Friday, July 26, 2002. Page, 6E.
The Ranger, “Duty Free Exhibit Explores Cultural Diversity,” by Abbey Cedeno. Nov. 22, 2002 Article, Pg 9.
Star Time, “Art Party,” Friday July 26, 2002. Page 4.
Fort Worth Weekly, “Over Ovaries,” by Anthony Mariani. Aug. 1-7, volume 7, Number 18, 2002. Article, page 20.
2001 The News, Artist talk and Serigraph Demonstration at the Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi. Sunday, August 19, 2001.