CV Rasheed Araeen

Born in Karachi, India (now Pakistan), Rasheed Araeen is civil Engineer, artist, writer, inventor, Founding Editor of Third Text, and Founder Director of BLACK UMBRELLA (formerly PROJECT MRB), an organisation set up in 1982/1984 to research and promote the work of artists of Afro-Asian origins whose modernist work has been institutionally ignored.

Trained and graduated as a civil engineer, but he turned to art as a profession. While still in Karachi in 1959, he pioneered the idea of making sculpture by burning and transforming an object from one material/form to another. After arriving in London in 1964, he encountered the fascinating modernist sculpture of Anthony Caro; which led him in 1965 to his pioneering Minimalist sculpture. (This work is not recognised by the official art history, because prevailing art history of modern art is still based on the idea that a pioneering modernist work can only be produced by white artists; and that if such a work is produced by an 'other' artist it can only be an aberration which when recognised as part of art history would disrupt its white genealogy.)

Frustrated by his experience as an artist with the art establishment in Britain, in 1975 he turned to writing which focused on the racist and imperialist legacies that still prevail and haunt the mainstream of art discourse in the West.

In 1978 he founded an art magazine, Black Phoenix, but produced only three issues. However, this magazine was resurrected and relaunched by him as a theoretical art journal of THIRD TEXT -- which is now in its 14th year and has produced 56 issues.

In 1982, he set up PROJECT MRB: Art Education in Multiracial Britain, which researched the contribution of Afro-Asian artists to the mainstream; and which then led to his curating the exhibition THE OTHER STORY at the Hayward Gallery in 1989.

He has delivered papers in conferences in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Italy, USA, Mexico, Cuba, South Africa, and Australia, and these papers have been translated and published in the languages of the countries.

In 1995, he received Honorary Doctorate of Letters (PhD) from University of Southampton; while in 1997 Honorary Doctorate of Arts (PhD) from University of East London.

In 1999, he was granted a US Patent for an invention, which is both a floating sculpture and water sport, followed in 2001 by a full International Patent. This work will be launched in the summer of 2002.

At present he is developing a project, which will lead to re-examining and rewriting of the history of post-war art in Britain. This history will be inclusive of artists from all cultures who have contributed within the historical framework of modern developments.


Rasheed Araeen

Engineer, Artist , Writer , Inventor

Founder Director of Black Umbrella