ALEXIS ROCKMAN – 09.24.19*
SAVANNAH KNOOP – 11.19.19*
IBRAHIM MAHAMA – 01.28.20*
THE BLACK SCHOOL – 02.18.20*
DIANA AL-HADID – 03.24.20**

7 PM
*Higgins Hall Auditorium
**Memorial Hall Auditorium
Pratt Institute Brooklyn Campus
Free and open to the public

Each year Pratt Fine Arts invites contemporary artists to campus for a public lecture and to conduct studio visits with fine arts graduate students. This Visiting Artists Lecture Series (VALS) is coordinated by graduate student leaders. The aim is to provide our students with exposure to a wide array of artists working in a variety of fields at various stages in their career.

Recent visiting artists include: Narcissister, Pradeep Dalal, James Hyde, Jill Magid, Schezerade Garcia, Rochelle Feinstein, Lavar Munroe, Lorna Simpson, Rico Gatson, Anicka Yi, Jill Magid, Daniel Heidkamp, Nicole Eisenman, Tom Sachs, Aura Satz, Leigh Ledare, Judith Bernstein, Dan Walsh, Kalup Linzey, Keltie Ferris, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Diana Al-Hadid, Mary Walling-Blackburn, Michelle Handelman, Phoebe Washburn, Rashaad Newsome, Dora + Maja, Bryan Zanisnik, Nancy Grossman, Guido Van Der Werve, Carrie Schneider, Tamy Ben Tor and Miki Carmi, Peter Saul, Michael Berryhill, Wafaa Bilal, and Catherine Opie.


Born in 1962 and raised in New York City, Alexis Rockman has exhibited extensively worldwide since 1985. He has been the subject of many international solo and group exhibitions, including a major retrospective organized at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. His work is also included in public and private collections around the world, and he has held a number of A mid career survey Alexis Rockman A Fable for Tomorrow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC (2010; traveling to the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus); East End Field Drawings at the Parrish Museum of Art in Water Mill, NY ( 2015). The Great Lakes Cycle, Grand Rapids Art Museum; Chicago Cultural Center; Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis; Flint Institute of Art, MI; The Haggerty Museum, Milwaukee Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland (2018-20) His work is represented in public and private collections, including the Brooklyn Museum, New York; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven. His forthcoming monograph, Alexis Rockman: Works on Paper will be published by Damiani in 2020. Rockman lives and works in New York City.


Diana Al-Hadid was born in Aleppo, Syria in 1981 and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

She received a BFA in Sculpture and a BA in Art History from Kent State University in 2003, and an MFA in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond in 2005. She also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2007. She has been the recipient of a Joan Mitchell Grant, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Grant, a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, and a Pollock-Krasner Grant. She is also a United States Artists Rockefeller Fellow. Al-Hadid has had solo exhibitions at the David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University, Providence, RI, NYU Abu Dhabi University Gallery, Abu Dhabi, UAE, The Vienna Secession in Vienna, Austria, the Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH, the Akron Museum of Art, Akron, OH, the Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA, the Weatherspoon Museum of Art, Greensboro, NC the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, the University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, TX, the Centro de Arte Contemporánea, La Conservera, Murcia, Spain, the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV, the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY, Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA, and The Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN. Her work is included in collections such as the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, and Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC. She has had large public installations at Madison Square Park, New York, NY, Williams College, Williamstown, MA, and Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, Nashville, TN. She is represented in New York by Marianne Boesky Gallery.


Ibrahim Mahama (b.1987) in Tamale Ghana is an artist who lives and works in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale, Ghana. He started his practice through his interest in the history of materials and architecture. Failure and delay through specific forms always inform his choice of sites which believes the works do not only occupy but are also occupied within the works/objects. Residues and points of chaos registered as marks within the forms he selects, they present us alternative perspectives of looking into the materials/Labour conditions of society. Form is important. His work has included objects from jute sacks used to transport commodities to the point of decay and later sewn together with a network of collaborators under specific Labour conditions which is then superimposed on architecture. The politics of the hand and it’s parallel relation with architectural forms become a lot more evident. His most recent work, a straight line through the carcass of history has also dealt with forms related to the second world war and bacteria life. His work has been included in the 56, 57 and 58 Venice Biennale, documenta 14 Athens and Kassel, Orderly Disorderly, Accra, Images An Age of Our Own Making, Denmark, the island is what the sea surrounds, valletta 18, Malta and Spectacles Spectations, Kumasi Ghana and Labour of Many at the Norval Foundation, Cape Town. He finished a year residency with the DAAD in Berlin in 2018. His current interests are using specific architectural forms with history in the formation of spaces inspired by the potentialities and failures of modernity.


Korakrit Arunanondchai (b. 1986, Bangkok, Thailand) earned his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2009 and his MFA from Columbia University in 2012. A visual artist, filmmaker, and storyteller, Arunanondchai employs his versatile practice to tell stories embedded in cultural transplantation and hybridity. His body of work merges fiction with poetry and offers synesthetic experiences engaged in a multitude of subjects primarily based on lives of family, friends, and colleagues as much as local myths. Arunanondchai is an avid collaborator who has worked on videos, performances and music together with an extensive list of people. Arunaondchai was subject to numerous institutional solo shows including  Kiasma (Helsinki), S.M.A.K. (Ghent), UCCA (Beijing), Palais de Tokyo (Paris) and MoMA PS1 (New York) among others.In 2019  his work was included in the 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia as well as the Whitney Biennial. In early 2018, Arunanondchai co-founded Ghost Foundation, a non-profit organization aimed to support a video and performance art series in Thailand entitled “GHOST”. He curated its inaugural series, Ghost:2561, during 11-28 October 2018, in Bangkok Thailand. Korakrit Arunanondchai works between New York and Bangkok.


Savannah Knoop is a New York-based artist who insights strategies of permission and consent through writing, performance, and object-making. In 2001, Savannah Knoop founded the clothing line Tinc, which ran until 2009, with creative partner Parachati Pattajotti. From 2009-2016 Knoop co-hosted the monthly queer audio-visual party WOAHMONE. They received their BA at at CunyBa under the mentorship of Vito Acconci, and their MFA at Virginia Common Wealth University in Sculpture+ Extended Media. They have shown and performed at the Whitney, MoMA, the ICA Philly, Movement Research, Essex Flowers Gallery, and ACP in Los Angeles. In 2007, they published the memoir titled "Girl Boy Girl: How I Became JT LeRoy" (Amy Scholder, Seven Stories Press) cataloguing their experiences of playing their sister in law's writing persona and avatar JT Leroy. With director Justin Kelly, they adapted it into a feature length film starring Kristen Stewart and Laura Dern. Savannah has studied dance and martial arts for over twenty years. They currently study Brazilian JiuJitsu under the tutelage of Marcelo Garcia.


Born in Lahore, Pakistan in 1969, Shahzia Sikander received her BFA in 1991 from the National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan, where she underwent rigorous training under master miniaturist Bashir Ahmed. The first student Ahmed invited to teach alongside him, she subsequently became the first artist from the Miniature Painting Department at the NCA to challenge the medium’s technical and aesthetic framework. Sikander’s breakthrough work, The Scroll (1989-90), received national critical acclaim in Pakistan, winning the prestigious Shakir Ali and Haji Sharif awards for excellence in miniature painting and launching the medium into the forefront of the NCA’s program. Sikander moved to the United States in 1993 to pursue her MFA at the Rhode Island School of Design, which she completed in 1995.

Sikander’s pioneering practice takes classical Indo-Persian miniature painting as its point of departure and challenges the strict formal tropes of the genre by experimenting with scale and various forms of new media. Informed by South Asian, American, Feminist and Muslim perspectives, Sikander has developed a unique, critically charged approach to this time-honored medium––employing its continuous capacity for reinvention to interrogate ideas of language, trade, empire, and migration. Sikander’s innovative work led to her meteoric rise internationally in the mid-nineties with survey exhibitions at the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (1998), the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (1998), the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (1999), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (2000). 

Sikander has had major solo exhibitions throughout the world, including most recently at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco (2017); the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto (2017); MAXXI | Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome (2016); the Asia Society Hong Kong Center, Hong Kong (2016); the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (2015); the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C. (2012); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2010); the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2007); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2007); the Pérez Art Museum Miami (2005); and at the San Diego Museum of Art, California (2004). Sikander has also participated in significant international group shows such as Shehr-O-Funn, Lahore Biennale 01, Pakistan (2018); Witness, Karachi Biennale 17, Pakistan (2017); Our Land / Alien Territory, 6th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Manege, Russia (2015); Infinite Challenge, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul (2014); Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh (2014); Mom, am I barbarian? 13th Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (2013); If you were to live here… 5th Auckland Triennial, New Zealand (2013); Re:emerge, Towards a New Cultural Cartography, Sharjah Biennale 11, Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE (2013); Future Pass: From Asia to the World, 54th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, Italy (2011); Taswir: Pictorial Mappings of Islam of Modernity, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (2009); Without Boundaries, Seventeen Ways of Looking, the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2006); Always a little further, 51st International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, Italy (2005); and the Whitney Biennial, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1997).

Amongst the numerous awards, grants, and fellowships Sikander has received are the KB17 Karachi Biennale Shahneela and Farhan Faruqui Popular Choice Art Prize (2017); the Religion and the Arts Award (2016); the Asia Society Award for Significant Contribution to Contemporary Art (2015); the National Medal of Arts Award presented by U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton (2012); the John D. and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation Achievement ‘Genius’ award, (2006), and Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, the National Pride of Honor Award presented by the Pakistani Government (2005).

Her work can be found in the permanent collections of many prestigious institutions worldwide, including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia; Asian Art Museum, San Francisco; Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas, Austin; Brooklyn Museum, New York; DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Athens; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; Linda Pace Foundation, San Antonio; MAXXI | Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, amongst others. In 2017, Sikander’s first major public art commission, a spectacular sixty-six-foot mosaic and a twenty-five-foot luminous multilayered glass painting, was installed in the Economics Department and Louis A. Simpson International Building at Princeton University. In the same year, MoMA Publications released a children’s book about Sikander entitled, Shahzia Sikander: My Life as an Artist. Sikander lives and works in New York City.


The Black School (TBS) is an experimental art school teaching Black/PoC students and allies to become agents of change through art workshops on radical Black politics and public projects that address local community needs. Founded in 2015 by Joseph Cuillier III and Shany Peters, TBS has facilitated over 50 workshops and hosted three annual Black Love Festivals in Brooklyn, Harlem, and Houston, TX to date. We are socially engaged artists, designers, and educators, and members of the global African Diaspora working at the intersections of K-12/university teaching, art, design, and activism.

Pratt Institute's Department of Fine Arts 2019/2020 Visiting Artists Lecture Series was made possible in part by a generous grant from The Robert Lehman Foundation.

Additional support provided by Locanda Vini e Olii.

Locanda Vini e Olii logo