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Umar Rashid: Ancien Regime Change 4, 5, and 6

September 22, 2022 – March 13, 2023


Umar Rashid’s (American, b. 1976) first solo museum exhibition in New York City will feature over 30 new works that mark the final chapters of his ongoing series, Ancien Regime Change, on view from September 22, 2022 through March 13, 2023. Looking back to the 18th century and its colonial regimes, Rashid’s work explores this critical period of global upheaval and modern transformation through extensive research. This exhibition, Umar Rashid: Ancien Regime Change 4, 5, and 6, features new works that draw specifically on the history of New York. Through his multidisciplinary practice—including paintings, drawings, textiles, armor, and a new multimedia sculpture being created for the exhibition—Rashid draws on both history and fantasy to create epic narratives that examine how political and cultural power is established and might be undone.

Using a range of sources, Rashid’s work spans real and fictional empires, as well as figures from antiquity to popular culture. Traversing periods, geographies, and cultures, he references sources including 18th century European manuscripts, byōbu (Japanese screen painting), Persian miniatures, Yoruba deities, ancient Egyptian cosmologies, and American rappers. Rashid’s research-based process frees historical events from dominant narratives, and instead proposes counternarratives and critical fabulations. By foregrounding Black and brown people in his paintings, Rashid references the erasure of the key roles that historically marginalized people have played in the construction and deconstruction of Western histories. Within his practice, positions and references collide to reveal multiplicities across places and times, breaking free from a static past into one that is continuously being reshaped in the present.

Umar Rashid: Ancien Regime Change 4, 5, and 6 is organized by Ruba Katrib, Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs, MoMA PS1.

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Umar Rashid. KHOISANLAND (after Galanin) The gallantry of the Force Fantastique, the Khoi, and their Xhosa allies hold off a V.O.C. landing at Kaapkolonie. Or, avoid tearful, ìKarensî at all costs. 1792. 2022. Acrylic on canvas. 60 x 60 x 1 1/2 inches (152.4 x 152.4 x 3.8 centimeters). Photo: Josh Schaedel

Umar Rashid. The gods are indifferent but occasionally rapture the souls of humanity to hold for later judgment. Naval siege of the Fort Zeelandia expansion project by indigenous, and Frenglish raiders. The primary target escapes in a Ferrari whilst condemning everyone else to bombardment. Or, mooning in a canoe while Black and White Jesus look on in awe and terror. 2022. Acrylic and spray paint on canvas. 60 x 60 x 1 1/2 inches (152.4 x 152.4 x 3.8 centimeters). Photo: Josh Schaedel

Umar Rashid. Harlem Carl, commander of the desperate, and saint of the domesticated. 2022. Acrylic and ink on panel. 48 x 48 x 1 1/2 inches (121.9 x 121.9 x 3.8 centimeters). Photo: Josh Schaedel

Umar Rashid. In the House of the Bear, the Jaguar, and the Crocodile, The Triumvirate. Or, the miracle at the Californian Alhambra. The rebel leaders hover above their acolytes adept in the ways of reverse conversion. The priests have a 50 percent survival rate. Meanwhile, some djinn show up to see what is going on. Black and White Jesus in the El Camino appear shocked.2021. Acrylic on canvas. 72 x 72 x 1 1/2 inches (182.9 x 182.9 x 3.8 centimeters). Photo: Josh Schaedel.

Umar Rashid. Philomena of the Long Knife, born to the struggle, dreams in vivid animations and unafraid of the void and the allure of chaos, though, she comes in colors. 2021. Ink and acrylic on paper. 51 1/4 x 35 7/8 inches (130.2 x 91.1 centimeters). Framed Dimensions:
55 3/8 x 40 1/4 x 2 inches (140.7 x 102.2 x 5.1 centimeters). Photo: Josh Schaedel.

Umar Rashid. A Protean map of the 5 boroughs of Novum Eboracum (New York City) in the death throes of a
popular, yet complicated revolution. 1798. Or, Monster Island. 2022.
Ink, coffee, and tea on paper.
51 1/4 x 47 3/4 inches (130.2 x 121.3 centimeters).
Photo: Sai Tripathi.

Umar Rashid. Kweku, veteran soldier of the Bartica Brigade atop an effigy of a white man. 2021. Acrylic and Ink on Canvas. 40 x 30 inches (101.6 x 76.2 centimeters).

Umar Rashid. The Polo Dons and Donna Karan doing it in the (Central) Park. 2021. Acrylic and Ink on Canvas. 48 x 48 inches (121.92 x 121.92 centimeters).