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Artist Biography 

Christopher Gregory for The New York Times

Kameelah Janan Rasheed (she/they) was born in East Palo Alto, CA. Rasheed lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

She has an MA in Secondary Social Studies Education from Stanford University (2008) and a BA in Public Policy from Pomona College (2006). She was an Amy Biehl U.S. Fulbright Scholar at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa (2006–7).

A learner, Rasheed’s work grapples with the poetics, politics, and pleasures of the unfinished. Engaging primarily with text, Rasheed works on the page, within digital interfaces, on walls, and in public spaces. Rasheed creates ecosystems of iterative and provisional projects. These projects include sprawling, “architecturally-scaled” xerox-based collages; large-scale public installations; publications; prints; digital archives; lecture-performances; library interventions; performance scores; poems/poetic gestures; and other forms yet to be determined. She is invested in Black storytelling technologies that invite us to consider ways of [un]learning that are interdisciplinary, interspecies, and interstellar. Because not all stories are for everyone, Rasheed’s work considers Black storytelling technologies in relation to the surveillance states, or how we tell stories that consider interiority, lenticularity (or varying modes of visibility and legibility), revision, and syncretism.

You can learn more about her practice in the Art 21 documentary (October 2021) or a recent interview in Art in America (July 2021).

Rasheed’s work has been exhibited nationally at the Brooklyn Museum; the New Museum; MASS MoCA; the Queens Museum; the Bronx Museum; the Studio Museum in Harlem; Portland Institute for Contemporary Art; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Jack Shainman Gallery, New York; the Brooklyn Public Library; and the Brooklyn Historical Society, among others. Her work has been exhibited internationally at NOME; Transmission Gallery, Glasgow; Kunsthalle Wien; Bétonsalon Centre d'art et de recherche, Paris; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Artspace Peterborough; the 57th Venice Biennial; and the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, among others. Her public installations have appeared at Ballroom Marfa; the Brooklyn Museum; For Freedoms x Times Square Art, New York; Public Art Fund, New York; Moody Center for the Arts, Houston; The California Air Resources Board; and several others.

Rasheed is the author of three artist’s books: An Alphabetical Accumulation of Approximate Observations (Endless Editions, 2019), No New Theories (Printed Matter, 2019), and the digital publication Scoring the Stacks (Brooklyn Public Library, 2021). Her writing, including longform essays and interviews, has appeared in Triple Canopy, The New Inquiry, Shift Space, Active Cultures, and The Believer.

She is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow in Fine Arts.

Rasheed is currently an adjunct at the School of Visual Arts - MFA Fine Arts (2016–present), Yale School of Art - MFA Painting and Printmaking (Core Critic, 2021–present), and The Cooper Union (2022). She serves as a Program Mentor for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s low-residency MFA Program (2021–present). For the 2021–22 school year, she is the inaugural Douglass Discovery Arts Fellow at Rutgers University’s Douglass Residential College.

Rasheed is the founder of Mapping the Spirit, a digital archive documenting how Black faith lives, shifts, and self-revises. She is also the owner and founder of Orange Tangent Study, a boutique consultant service that nurtures tentacular and transdisciplinary projects as well as provides quarterly microgrants to artists. 

Representation: NOME (Americas and Europe).

Museum Exhibitions: Brooklyn Museum; New Museum; MASSMoCA; Queens Museum; Bronx Museum; Studio Museum in Harlem; Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University; Portland Institute for Contemporary Art; Institute of Contemporary Art - Philadelphia; School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University; MoCADA; and Stamp Gallery at University of Maryland

Gallery Exhibitions (US): Jack Shainman Gallery; Jenkins Johnson Gallery; Los Angeles Contemporary; Brooklyn Academy of Music; Ghebaly Gallery; AA|LA Gallery; Richard & Dolly Maass Gallery at SUNY Purchase; Visitor Welcome Center; 8th Floor; The Luminary; Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Governors Island; SOAP Factory; BRIC; and Vox Populi

Gallery Exhibitions (International): NOME Gallery;  Transmission Gallery; Akershus Art Centre; Kunsthalle Wien; Bétonsalon - Centre d'art et de recherche; Haus der Architektur; Contemporary Art Gallery-Vancouver; Artspace Peterborough; 2017 Venice Biennial; Pinchuk ArtCentre; Wysing Art Centre; and National Gallery of Zimbabwe

Community + Public Institutions Exhibitions: Brooklyn Historical Society; Brooklyn Public Library - Central; Project Row Houses; Weeksville Heritage Center; Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; and Printed Matter

Public Art: Ballroom Marfa, Brooklyn Museum, For Freedoms x Times Square Art, Public Art Fund, Rice University - Moody Center for the Arts, The California Air Resources Board, and Yaletown Roundhouse

Grants + Awards: Center on African American Religion, Sexual Politics and Social Justice (CARSS) at Columbia University Rapid Response Grant (2020); Visiting Artist in the Print Department, University of Texas, Austin (2020); Northern Trust Purchase Prize at EXPO Chicago (2019); We, Women Photography Grant (2019); Alumni Award for Art in Community - Laundromat Project (2017); The Harpo Foundation Grant (2016); On Religion Photography Grant, Magnum Foundation (2016); Triple Canopy at NYPL Labs Award (2015); Artadia Grant (2015); and Art Matters Foundation Grant (2014)

Residencies: International Studio & Curatorial Program (Vision Residency, 2020); Tiger Strikes Asteroid Short Term Residency (2020); Triangle Arts (2019), Pioneer Works (2018-2019); Katowitz Radin Brooklyn Public Library-Central (2018-2019); Summer Art & Social Justice Residency and Exhibition at the New Museum (2018); Smack Mellon (2016-2017); Creative Exchange Lab - Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (2016); Center for Afrofuturist Studies at PS1 (2016); Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Process Space (2015); Lower East Side Printshop (2015); Vermont Studio Center (2014); Working Classroom (2014); Center for Book Arts (2012); Center for Photography at Woodstock (2012).

Fellowships: Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts (2021); AIR Gallery Fellowship (2015); Jerome Foundation Fellowship Program - Queens Museum (2015); and Create Change Laundromat Project Fellowship (2013).

Artist Publications: An Alphabetical Accumulation of Approximate Observations (Endless Editions, 2019), No New Theories (Printed Matter, 2019), and in the proper direction: forward/also the ache of (perceived) velocity (Printed Matter, 2017)

Public Collections: Kadist, CA2M (Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo), Rubin Foundation, Center for Photography at Woodstock/Extended Loan-Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, Studio Museum in Harlem, Center for Book Arts, Leeway Foundation, University of Maryland - College Park, The Speed Art Museum, Block Museum of Art - Northwestern University

Board Membership: Board of Directors - Sadie Nash Leadership Program (2017-2021); Board of Trustees - Metropolitan New York Library Council (2020-present); Board of Directors - Printed Matter, Inc. (2021-present)  

All content © Kameelah Janan Rasheed 2010-2021. Please do not reproduce any of the content on this site without the expressed written consent of Kameelah Janan Rasheed.

COLOPHON: Website design by Rush Jackson via Onyx Self-Imaging, 2020–2021.