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Breathing Room

Amina Ahmed, Maria Dumlao, Yamini Nayar

April 2, 2021

April 2 - May 28, 2021

Artist Conversation Wednesday, April 14 at 4:30pm

streaming live on

During the pandemic, the experience of moving through space has profoundly shifted. The space between things– the invisible, the air, the distance– has crept to the front of our psyche. Breathing Room is named for this space between artworks; space to understand, contextualize, and locate the passage from one to another. Though each artists' practice and objects are unique, they are tied together in mutual understanding. Each artist explores movement and dimensionality in their process with intimacy and abstraction. The Pearlstein Gallery's vast, meandering, mutable space offers a realm of possibility to explore the intersections of Ahmed,Nayar, and Dumlao's practices.

Amina Ahmed’s artistic process stems from a geometry practice. Her work expands on the eight-fold, referred to as the breath pattern, which layers the dynamic and static square—universally found in folk and traditional art. Her mark-making embodies repetition and pattern, with rhythm tracing through the work, offering a multitude of intimate perspectives on nature and transformation. To complement, Yamini Nayar’s photographs of assemblage sculptures are interrogations into materiality, temporality, and the body. Maria Dumlao amalgamates elements of truth-telling and subverting dominant narratives by utilizing tri-color viewing slides to investigate archives of old negatives and photographs. In this manner, her work exposes and veils imagined truths in historical narratives by dynamizing a discerning focus.

With each artist's process, viewers analyze notions of belonging regarding the perspectives on view and the interrelations between works—drawing out specific elements otherwise hidden when standing alone. This engaging process names Breathing Room as a palimpsest, challenging ideas of the predominant structures of art-making and art-viewing, launching a dialogue between the past and present gaze. In turn, each artist attempts to confront colonial narratives and indigenous knowledge, and ultimately to de-colonize their studio practice through forms of mapping in a field of language and memory.

Breathing Room is curated by Aisha Zia Khan and Atif F. Sheikh, the co-founders, directors and curators at Twelve Gates Arts. Twelve Gates Arts is an art gallery based in old city that promotes contemporary and modern South Asian, Middle Eastern, and Diasporic artists.

The Pearlstein gallery is committed to cultivating engagement with emerging artists, community partners, and contemporary culture. The gallery is a free, open and inclusive space for visitors to experience and reflect on current socio-cultural climates. Gallery hours for Breathing Room are Thursday, Friday, Saturday 12p.m. to 5p.m. and by appointment. To schedule an appointment outside of regular gallery hours please at least 24 hours in advance of your desired visit.For your safety, masks and social distancing are required. All visitors will be asked to fill out a health checker form for contact tracing and occupancy is limited to no more than 20 people in the gallery, including gallery staff.