THE INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART/BOSTON



Ambreen Butt

BORN 1969 | LAHORE, PAKISTAN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ON VIEW THROUGH JULY 2014 in
ICA Collection: Expanding the Field of Painting

Untitled, from the series Bed of My Own Making, 1999
Watercolor, gouache, and thread on Mylar and paper
14 x 11 inches
Promised gift of Barbara Lee


A student of Persian and Mogul miniature painting, Ambreen Butt expands on the format of these ancient techniques. With intimately scaled imagery on overlaid sheets of stitched Mylar and paper, she weaves open-ended narratives that are both formally and conceptually layered. This work is from the 1999 series Bed of My Own Making, which introduced Butt’s female protagonists looped in cycles of impending calamity. Untitled shows a lone, long-haired figure standing in profile with a lit torch, about to march forward, yet her own tresses moor her to a sprouting tree behind her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


ON VIEW THROUGH JULY 2014 in
ICA Collection: Expanding the Field of Painting

Multiplicité (AB95), from the series Cirque du Monde, 2007
Watercolor, white gouache, and thread on Mylar and handmade paper
15 x 12 inches
Promised gift of James and Audrey Foster


Multiplicité (AB95) comes from Butt’s recent series, Cirque du Monde, also exploring metaphors of constraint, this time with figures that multiply and acrobatically stretch themselves in resilient arabesques. The protagonist is now a blue-shirted avatar of the artist herself, facing the demands of her contemporary experience. The work presents a five-headed dragon from the mouths of which emerge our heroine, arms active and face determined
and resolute.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ON VIEW THROUGH JULY 2014 in
ICA Collection: Expanding the Field of Painting

Untitled, from the series Bed of My Own Making, 1999
Watercolor, gouache and thread on Mylar and paper
14 x 11 inches
Gift of Nancy B. Tieken


Untitled depicts a woman with a potted tree on her head, juggling balls as she poses on the apex of a hill that descends into uncertain territory. As in the other Untitled above, we see a woman in profile balancing conflicting forces—like a yin and yang, these two works bookend each other as metaphors for going and staying, leading and following.

 


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