Mansoora Hassan

Visual Artist

Spiritual Journey Series, 1998
Mixed Media on canvas, 21in. x 28.5 in.

Mansoora Hassan was born in Peshawar, Pakistan. After graduating from the National College of Arts, Lahore, she got an MFA from Pratt Institute, New York. Her works are in many public and private collections in the US as well as prominent collections internationally, including the Gulf Corporation Council, Saudi Arabia, Crown Princess Sarvath of Jordan, and Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan. Two mixed media paintings, from the "Rumi" series, are in the collection of the British museum, London, England. In October 1998, her works were exhibited in the Soni Gallery, London at the 20th anniversary celebration of Egee Art. This exhibition later traveled to the Middle East. Her art video, "Tavern to Tavern: A Spiritual Journey," which she directed and shot, was previewed in "DAKART '98," at the Maison de la Cultura, Senegal. It was also shown in Lahore and Islamabad, Pakistan. Her art received a distinction in the 1997 Malta Bienalle. She was invited to exhibit in Al-Fann-Die Kunst in Hann, Munden, Germany in August, 1995. She participated in "Women in Art and Culture," Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, China and "Global Focus Artists," Elite Gallery, Moscow, Russia, the same year. She took an exhibition, "Women Artists of Pakistan" to Tokyo, Japan in 1996. The same year selections from the "Original Print Calendar" was shown at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC.

Hassan became actively involved in the Washington Women's Art center in 1977 and joined the Touchstone Gallery where she also served as president. She moved to La Paz, Bolivia, from 1981-1983, where she ran her Printmaking workshop. She exhibited widely in South America including the National Museum of Art in La Paz, Bolivia. Museo de Maldanado Montevideo, Uruguay. Hassan's works were included in the International Trinalle in Bangladesh and India. In 1987 she was part of such shows as "Seven Artists from Pakistan", Oslo, Norway and "Reading Ourselves", in New York. Two of her paintings, from the permanent collection of the National Museum of Jordan, were exhibited at the Barbican Arts Center, London in 1989. The same year, "Revelations", curated by J.W. Mahoney involved the works of a Christian, Hindu and Muslim artist. In 1991 Mel Watkins curated a show called "Eight Paths to a Journey" dealing with Cultural Identity and the Immigration Experience. In 1995 this show traveled to museums in the US.

Hassan participated in the Cultural Arts Festival of Asilah, Morocco (1993, 1994, 1998), and exhibited at the Dar Batha Museum, Fez, Morocco. In 1993 she had a major one person show in Tunis, Tunisia. The same year, Hassan collaborated with Fatima Mernissi, a Moroccan feminist writer. This culminated in a series of exhibitions called "The Harem Within, Fear of the Difference", also the title of her book. The 1994 group exhibition, "An Intelligent Rebellion", Women Artists of Pakistan, traveled in the United Kingdom and was exhibited at the UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France in 1995.

Hassan's latest work has been inspired by texts of classical as well as contemporary writers and poets. An ongoing "work in progress" series called "The Spiritual Journey" is inspired by the epic poem of Farid-ud-din Attar, called The Conference of the Birds. This poem is about spiritual discovery and growth. Mystical encounters, and Mansoora's passion for music are also inspired by the Sufi poet Mevlana Rumi. On a contemporary vein, Hassan's series based on the work of a Pakistani feminist poet, Kishwar Naheed, was exhibited in Islamabad at the National Art Gallery in 1995. She also dedicated some works to the memory of Parveen Shakir, a Pakistani poet. Hassan continues to employ various techniques that she has experimented with and further developed along the years. Although architectural elements, marks, symbols, and gestures, continue to be woven into the multi-layered mixed media paintings, the "process" from which the final work is derived is now secondary to what the "story" communicates.

Mixed Media Works


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