Pakistani artist, writer, and curator. He studied engineering at the University of Karachi, and moved to London in 1964. He was self-taught as an artist and began making abstract sculptures. These were colourful cage-like structures close to the systemic work of an American *Minimalist such as Sol *LeWitt. Concern at the racism of the art world led Araeen towards radical politics, and in 1972 he joined the Black Panther Movement. He founded the magazine Black Phoenix, which explored the relationship between contemporary art and racial politics. In 1987 it became Third Text, a more academic journal that addressed issues of culture and post-colonialism. In 1989 he organized the exhibition ‘The Other Story’, which was held at the Hayward Gallery (see Arts Council) and Manchester Art Gallery; it showed the wealth of art produced by artists of Afro-Asian descent in Britain, including Francis *Souza and Sonia *Boyce, and also raised issues about their marginalization.
Text source: A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art (Oxford University Press)