Rasheed Araeen / Pakistan/United Kingdom b.1935 / Chaar Yaar I (four friends) 1968/2014 / Wood, house paint / Four pieces: 61 x 61 x 61cm (each)  / Purchased 2017. Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / Foundation / Collection: Queensland / Art Gallery / © The artist

Rasheed Araeen
Chaar Yaar I (four friends) 1968–2014

On Display: GOMA, Gallery 1.1

Rasheed Araeen’s early works like Chaar Yaar I (four friends) 1968 were created from DIY products, such as balsa wood and house paint. Lacking exhibition opportunities, however, they were often documented and quickly deconstructed by the artist. Their focus on modularity and interactivity, together with their homemade ‘look’, distinguished them from the hard-edged, static minimalist sculptures of the time. Araeen approached works of art not as finished objects, but as a collective process. He developed sculptures and proposals for modular structures that could undergo continual rearrangement in order to create multiple formal relationships.

Rasheed Araeen began making conceptual and abstract art in his hometown of Karachi in Pakistan in the late 1950s, before moving to London in 1964. Now regarded as a leading minimalist sculptor, Araeen is also an activist and a leading voice in challenging the dominant (Eurocentric) discourses of contemporary art.

Soon after his arrival in London, Araeen created some pioneering works of Minimalism, building on experiments he had developed in Karachi.

Contemporary context

How does Rasheed Araeen:

  • challenge ideas of the past?
  • use materials, technologies or approaches to affect the audience experience?
  • employ imagery and/or display techniques to challenge aesthetic traditions?

Personal context

How does Rasheed Araeen:

  • communicate influences on her life and experiences?

Cultural context

How does Rasheed Araeen:

  • respond to influences of art movements, styles and origins of time and place?

Formal context

How does Rasheed Araeen:

  • employ specific art elements and principles to communicate meaning?
  • communicate intentions using symbols, motifs or signs?
  • enhance the interpretation of the artwork through processes, materials and media?
  • share characteristics with art movements, times, places or events?