In Michigan’s Grand Rapids Art Museum, Anila Quayyum Agha’s Intersections is installed after being named the winner of ArtPrize 2014. The installation consists of a light source inside a laser-cut wooden cube, casting shadows that evoke Islamic sacred spaces.
ArtPrize began in Grand Rapids in 2009. It was launched by Rick DeVos, the venture capitalist and eldest grandchild of the billionaire co-founder of Amway, and it is the world’s largest art competition with prizes totaling $560,000. ArtPrize is open to any artist, with no selection committee or curators, and prizes are awarded by both an expert jury and a public vote. This year’s event included 1,537 entries and counted 398,714 votes.
Anila Quayyum Agha, a Pakistani-American artist who is an associate professor at the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, won the public grand prize as well as half of the juried grand prize. Her installation, Intersections, is created from a laser-cut wooden cube that contains a single light bulb. The cube’s intricate patterns are from the Alhambra, the 11th-century Moorish palace in Granada, Spain. When illuminated from within, the 6.5-foot box casts an intricate pattern of shadows and light onto the gallery’s walls, ceiling, and floor. The geometries create a wondrous experience separate from the object itself. Interpretations following shadow and light, internal and external, and public and private spaces are appreciable.
The Grand Rapids Art Museum has curated post-ArtPrize exhibitions since 2012. This year’s “ArtPrize Encore” includes eleven works in a range of media that will be on rotating exhibition until next year’s ArtPrize. Intersections is on view through January 25.
We recommend Hyperallergic’s interview with the artist:
ArtPrize Winner Anila Quayyum Agha Talks Sacred Spaces and Religion