Ambreen Butt

Ambreen Butt,  Shoaib (8) from the series “Say My Name” , 2018, Watercolor, torn and collaged text on tea stained paper, 29 x 21 inches (73.7 x 53.3 cm)

Ambreen Butt, Shoaib (8) from the series “Say My Name”, 2018, Watercolor, torn and collaged text on tea stained paper, 29 x 21 inches (73.7 x 53.3 cm)

BIOGRAPHY

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. Often using text-based source materials that include the names of children who lost their lives to war, transcripts from terrorism trials, and quotations from news media, Butt’s work is built upon some of the most challenging moral questions of the 21st century. Rather than offer answers, her artworks exist as laborious meditations on humanity.   

Butt’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions at institutions including the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, The Asia Society, Houston, The Asia Pacific Museum, Pasadena, California, the Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany, The National Art Gallery in Islamabad, Pakistan, and the Sunshine Museum in Beijing, China, among others. 

Butt has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Brother Thomas Fellowship from the Boston Foundation, 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, Canada. 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 for 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, U.S. Art in Embassies, Islamabad, Pakistan, among others. 

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.  

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