Alexandra Karakashian

Alexandra Karakashian (b. 1988, Johannesburg) is a South African artist based in Cape Town, South Africa.

Her work stems from her personal and family history and reflects on current issues of exile, migration and refugee-statues. Process and materiality is key to her practice. Employing used engine oil and salt as a medium for painting, she engages in ecological discussion, the threatening instability and subtle collapse; and the unethical seizing of rapidly dwindling natural resources, particularly on the resource-rich African continent. Furthermore she investigates notions of mourning – both of an individual and collective nature – and the lamentation of the loss of land and of those who have been ‘unhomed’.

Her work is part of private and public collections including the Iziko South African National Gallery in South Africa, the Spier Collection in South Africa, the Darvesh Collection in the UAE, The Royal Portfolio Collection, in South Africa, and the Luciano Benetton Collection in Italy.

 


Education


2015     Master of Fine Art Degree (MFA), Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town (UCT), Cape Town, South Africa.
2011     Bachelor of Fine Art Honours Degree (BFA), Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town (UCT), Cape Town, South Africa.

Solo Exhibitions

2019     A Rhythm For Falling. Sabrina Amrani. Madrid, Spain.
2018     In on Itself, Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, Seattle, USA.
2018     here they passed, SMAC Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.
2017     unbecoming, SMAC Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa.
2016     Alexandra Karakashian, Villa Medici, Gagliano del Capo, Italy.
2016     Passage, 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair: Special Project (SMAC Gallery), Somerset House, London, UK.
2016     GROUND, SMAC Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.
2015     Shifting Grounds, Michaelis Galleries, University of Cape Town (UCT), Cape Town, South Africa.
2015     Land, in collaboration with Buhlebeswe Siwani, Infecting the City: Public Arts Festival, Cape Town, South Africa.
2012     Passages, The Black Box, Cape Town, South Africa.

Group exhibitions

2019     Material Insanity. Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden. Marrakech, Morocco.
2018     Wish You Were Here, SMAC Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.
2018     Ravelled Threads, Sean Kelly Gallery, New York City, USA.
2018     Back to the Future III - Abstract Art in South Africa: Past & Present, SMAC Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa.
2017     X: Part III, SMAC Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa.  
2017     X: Part I, SMAC Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa.
2017     A Painting Today, STEVENSON, Cape Town, South Africa.
2016     SUMMER SHOW ’16, SMAC Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa.
2016     UPSTART/STARTUP, SMAC Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa.
2016     The Art of Humanity at The Pratt Institute, The Rubelle and Norman Schfler Gallery- Pratt Institute, New York City, USA.
2016     Recent Masters, Michaelis Galleries, University Of Cape Town (UCT), Cape Town, South Africa.
2016     Nothing Personal, SMAC Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa.
2016     Pastoral Abstraction, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.
2015     LUSH, SMAC Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa.
2015     MAP OF THE NEW ART, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, Italy.
2015     Defining the Narrative, Gallery MOMO, Cape Town, South Africa.
2015     Back to the Future II - Abstract Art in South Africa: Past & Present, SMAC Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa.
2015     Empire, Everard Read Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.
2015     Claim of the Land, Association for Visual Arts (AVA) Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.
2015     STELLAR, Salon91, Cape Town, South Africa.
2014     Imago Mundi: The Art of Humanity, [Travelling Exhibition], Museo Carlo Bilotti, Rome; Casa Dei Carraresi, Treviso, Italy.
2014     Sasol New Signatures Finalists, Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria, South Africa.
2014     Only Parts, Wits Substation, University of The Witwatersrand (WITS), Johannesburg, South Africa.
2014     Paint Matters, Barnard Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.
2014     Paperwork: An Exhibition of Contemporary South African Works on Paper, SMAC Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa.
2013     In the Night I Remember, STEVENSON, Johannesburg, South Africa.
2013     The Xmas Show, SMAC Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.
2013     Back to the Future - Abstract Art in South Africa: Past & Present, SMAC Gallery, Stellenbosch, South Africa.
2013     Between the Lines, Michaelis Galleries, University of Cape Town (UCT), Cape Town, South Africa.
2013     Small Canvas Project, Benneton Foundation, Venice, Italy.
2012     Impression: Sunset, Salon91, Cape Town, South Africa.
2012     Guest Resident, Nirox Project Space, Johannesburg, South Africa.
2012     Outside the Lines, WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town, South Africa.
2011     Michaelis Graduate Show, Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town (UCT), Cape Town, South Africa.
2011     Thresholds, Michaelis Galleries, University of Cape Town (UCT), Cape Town, South Africa.
2011     Passing Through, STEVENSON (Project Space), Cape Town, South Africa.

Art fairs

 

2019     viennacontemporary. Sabrina Amrani. Vienna, Austria.

2019     ARCOlisboa. Sabrina Amrani. Lisbon, Portugal.
2019     Art Dubai. SMAC Gallery. Dubai, UAE.
2019     ARCOmadrid. Sabrina Amrani. Madrid, Spain.
2018     Untitled. Mariane Ibrahim Gallery. Miami Beach, USA.
2018     FNB Joburg Art Fair. SMAC Gallery. Johannesburg, South Africa.
2018     Investec Cape Town Art Fair. SMAC Gallery. Cape Town, South Africa.
2017     Artissima. SMAC Gallery. Turin, Italy.
2017     FNB Joburg Art Fair. SMAC Gallery. Johannesburg, South Africa.
2017     Cape Town Art Fair. SMAC Gallery. Cape Town, South Africa.
2016     FNB Joburg Art Fair. SMAC Gallery. Johannesburg, South Africa.
2016     Cape Town Art Fair. SMAC Gallery.  Cape Town, South Africa.
2014     FNB Joburg Art Fair. SMAC Gallery. Johannesburg, South Africa.

Residencies

2016     Artist in Residence, Capo d’Arte, Gagliano Del Capo, Italy.
2014     The Talents’ Archive Project, curated by Double Decker London, Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens, Greece.
2014     National Research Foundation Innovation Scholarship for Masters Study, South Africa.

2014     Pretoria, South Africa.
2014     MacIver Scholarship, Cape Town, South Africa.
2013     National Research Foundation Innovation Scholarship for Masters Study, South Africa.
2013     Jules Kramer Music & Fine Arts Scholarship, Cape Town, South Africa.
2013     MacIver Scholarship, Cape Town, South Africa.

Awards

2014     Jules Kramer Music & Fine Arts Scholarship, Cape Town, South Africa.
2013     Top 10 Young African Artists, Business Day Wanted Magazine, Johannesburg, South Africa.
2013     Invited and awarded student, Between the Lines Symposium and Exchange between the Michaelis School of Fine Art & the Braunschweig University of Art - Organised by Colin Richards & Candice Breitz, Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town, South Africa.
2011     Judy Steinberg Painting Prize, Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town (UCT), Cape Town, South Africa.
2013     Simon Gerson Distinction Prize, University of Cape Town (UCT), Cape Town, South Africa.

Collections

The Royal Portfolio Collection, Cape Town, South Africa.
Capo d’Arte Collection, Gagliano del Capo, Italy.
The University of Cape Town Art (UCT) Collection, Cape Town, South Africa.
Luciano Benetton Collection, Treviso, Italy.
Spier Art Collection, Cape Town, South Africa.
Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.
Knights Bridge International, Los Angeles, USA.
Hans Porer Collection, Cape Town, South Africa.