Rasheed Araeen is a civil engineer, an artist, writer and inventor – with an international patent. As an artist, he began his journey in 1953 and continued to pursue art while studying civil engineering at NED Engineering college in Karachi. After doing some important works in Karachi, seminal to his later pursuits, he left for London in 1964 and has since lived there.
In 1965, he pioneered minimalist sculpture – representing perhaps the only Minimalism in Britain. After having been active in various groups supporting liberation struggles, democracy and human rights, he began to write in 1975, and then started publishing his own art journals: Black Phoenix (1978), Third Text (1987) and Third Text Asia (2008). He has also established online versions of Third Text in Cape Town, South Africa, entitled Third Text Africa, and the Spanish language Tercer Texto in Lima, Peru, both free to their readers. He has curated two important exhibitions: The Essential Black Art (1987), The Other Story (Hayward Gallery, 1989); and is a recipient of three honorary doctorates (PhDs) from universities of Southampton, East London and Wolverhampton. He is now directing a project that will revise and produce the most comprehensive and inclusive history of art in postwar Britain.
Rasheed Araeen has published an autobiographical book, Making Myself Visible (1984), comprising texts and visual images, and his forthcoming book, Art Beyond Art / Ecoaesthetics: A Manifesto for the 21st Century, will be published in August 2010.