Ala Ebtekar, “Zenith V” (2014), acrylic over cyanotype on canvas, four panels 60 1/4 x 30 1/4 inches each (© Ala Ebtekar, courtesy the artist and The Third Line, Dubai)

Long, Winding Journeys: Contemporary Art and the Islamic Tradition presents a group of thirty artists of Middle Eastern and South Asian descent, who engage diverse forms of Islamic visual tradition. Their sweeping thematic interests emerge in the rich forms of calligraphy, miniature painting, geometric patterning, and architecture. Artists such as Shahzia Sikander, Shoja Azari, Shiva Ahmadi, and more transform visual tradition to explore its intersection with facets of contemporary life that carry the weight of history. Religious customs, political upheaval, effects of diaspora, and notions of identity, too, constitute a kind of inheritance. For these artists, a distinct history of art acts as a lens through which to view present-day experience.

Organized for the Katonah Museum of Art by Elizabeth Rooklidge, the exhibition features over fifty works in all mediums. The group of international and intergenerational artists includes Anila Agha, Faig Ahmed, Ammar Al Attar, Noor Ali Chagani, Khadim Ali, Shiva Ahmadi, Ghada Amer, Afruz Amighi, Nazgol Ansarinia, Nasser Al Salem, Fereydoun Ave, Shoja Azari, Ala Ebtekar, Monir Farmanfarmaian, Shadi Ghadirian, Babak Golkar, Susan Hefuna, Shirazeh Houshiary, Pouran Jinchi, Hayv Kahraman, Baseera Khan, Hassan Massoudy, Jordan Nassar, Shirin Neshat, Hadieh Shafie, Shahzia Sikander and Ayad Akhtar, Kurosh ValaNejad and Peter Brinson, and Imran Qureshi.

The exhibition is made possible in part by the generous support of Janet Benton, the Kathwari Family Foundation, Robin Simon, the Howard and Maryam Newman Family Foundation, Betty Himmel, Yvonne Pollack, Marilyn Glass, Vanessa Diebold, Katherine Moore, and Ellen and Bob Grimes. Exhibition programming sponsored by a Humanities New York Action Grant.

The KMA is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am–5pm and Sunday from 12pm-5pm.

For more information, visit

Long, Winding Journeys: Contemporary Art and the Islamic Tradition continues at the Katonah Museum of Art (134 Jay Street, Katonah, New York) through June 17, 2018.