- Contemporary Art at the Gardner
- ExhibitionsPast Exhibitions
- Jean-Michel Othoniel: Secret Flower Sculptures
- Nari Ward: Divination X
- Luisa Rabbia: Waterfall
- Carla Fernández: The Barefoot Designer: A Passion for Radical Design and Community
- Sophie Calle: Last Seen
- Hamra Abbas: Wall Hanging I
- Adam Pendleton: Untitled
- Raqs Media Collective: The Great Bare Mat & Constellation
- Stefano Arienti: Wild Carrot
- Luisa Lambri: Portrait
- Magic Moments: The Screen and the Eye–9 Artists 9 Projections
- (TAPESTRY) RADIO ON: New Work by Victoria Morton at the Gardner
- Points of View: 20 Years Artists-in-Residence at the Gardner
- Stefano Arienti: Ailanthus
- Danijel Zezelj: Once
- Taro Shinoda: Lunar Reflections
- Su-Mei Tse: Floating Memories
- Luisa Rabbia: Travels with Isabella, Travel Scrapbooks 1883/2008
- Cliff Evans: Empyrean
- Stefano Arienti: The Asian Shore
- Sculpture and Memory: Works from the Gardner and by Luigi Ontani
- Henrik Håkansson: Cyanopsitta spixii Case Study #001
- Michele Iodice: A Pagan Feast
- Variations On a Theme by Sol Lewitt and Paula Robison
- Danijel Zezelj: Stray Dogs
- Dayanita Singh: Chairs
- Maurizio Cannavacciuolo: TV Dinner
- Elaine Reichek: madamimadam
- Joseph Kosuth: Artist, Curator, Collector
- Nari Ward: Episodes: Bus Park & Forevermore
- Manfred Bischoff
- Ackroyd & Harvey: Presence
- Laura Owens
- Joan Bankemper: A Gardener's Diary
- Lee Mingwei: Living Room
- Josiah McElheny
- Abelardo Morell: Face to Face
- Mona Higuchi: Bamboo Echoes
- Juan Muñoz: Portrait of a Turkish Man Drawing
- Denise Marika: New Works by Denise Marika
- Dorit Cypis: The Body in the Picture
- Artists By 2012
- Lida Abdul working in the Contemporary department office, 2007.
- Lida Abdul working with Tobin School third graders, 2007.
- Lida Abdul working with Tobin School third graders, 2007.
- Lida Abdul and 2004 AIR Anne Nivat, following their conversation, <em>Creativity During Wartime</em>, 2007.
- Lida Abdul at Art Basel (Giorgio Persano Gallery stall), 2007.
2007, 2008, 2012
Lida Abdul (b. 1973 Afghanistan) has produced work in many media including video, film, photography, installation and live performance. Her work fuses the tropes of "Western” formalism with the numerous aesthetic traditions--Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, pagan and nomadic--that have collectively influenced Afghan art and culture to create poetic spaces that allow the viewer to interrogate the familiar and the personal. She invites the viewer to see the unfolding of new forms but never resolves the contradictions and the paradoxes, the purpose of which seems to be to make us doubt our claims of understanding and certitude. For the past few years, Abdul has been working in different parts of Afghanistan on projects exploring the relationship between architecture and identity.
Lida Abdul’s work has been shown at Galleria Giorgio Persano, Turin, Gotenborg biennale 2007, Location One, New York, the Venice Biennale 2005, Istanbul Modern, Kunsthalle Vienna, Museum of Modern Art Arnhem, Netherlands, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Illinois, CAC Centre d'Art Contemporain de Bretigny, and Frac Lorraine Metz, France. She has also exhibited in festivals in Mexico, Spain, Germany, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan; She was also a featured artist at the Central Asian Biennial 2004. Abdul was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and lived in Germany and India as a refugee when she was forced to leave Afghanistan after the former-Soviet invasion. She earned a B.A. in political science in 1997 and a B.A. in philosophy in 1998 from California State University, Fullerton, as well as an M.F.A. from the University of California, Irvine, in 2000. Lida Abdul currently lives between California and Kabul.
Lida Abdul first came to the Gardner Museum in 2007. She spent her time writing in the artist apartment and looking through archival materials such as Isabella Stewart Gardner’s travel scrapbooks from Japan and China and reading Gardner’s diary transcripts from 1875. She also became very interested in the Matisse drawings in the Short Gallery. The following year, Abdul returned for a conversation with writer and 2004 Artist-in-Residence Anne Nivat. The talk entitled, Creativity During Wartime, focused on their personal experiences working and creating in war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan and how artists and writers help images of war cross the threshold of national and international consciousness.
During her return trip Lida Abdul spent a week working with a group of Boston Public School third grade students at the Tobin School. Most of the students had been in the United States for less than two years, primarily spoke Spanish at home and have an understanding of what it is like to have no fixed notion of nationhood. Over the course of the week, the children spoke with Abdul about her experiences in Afghanistan, viewed and discussed her work, and participated in several 2-D and 3-D in art-making activities under her direction.
Abdul’s projects centered on looking and finding surprise in what one sees as well as the difference between movement and stillness in works of art. These themes followed through each day’s activity: drawing self portraits; taking photographs; painting an object from different perspectives and then turning it into something else entirely; creating paper airplanes. The students also visited the Museum with Abdul to learn about how it inspired her as an Artist-in-Residence.
Abdul also spoke to 8th grade School Partnership Program students about her experience as a refugee and her path to becoming a practicing artist. These students regularly produce art, and some were interested in pursuing careers as artists. After her presentation, several students stayed to speak with Abdul about her life and work, and shared some of their artwork with her.
Lida Abdul's video, In Transit (2008), Magic Moments: The Screen and The Eye- 9 Artists 9 Projections. This performance based video was staged in Afghanistan as a response to the spectacle of violence in war through the eyes of children.