ALEXANDRA KARAKASHIAN

b. 1988, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Lives and works  in Cape Town, South Africa.

b.1988, Johannesburg, South Africa. Lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.

Karakashian obtained her Bachelor of Art in Fine Art degree at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town in 2011. On graduation, she was awarded both the Judy Steinberg Painting Prize and the Simon Gerson Distinction Award. She went on to graduate with a Masters in Fine Art degree from the same institution in 2015.

In 2018, Karakashian participated in Ravelled Threads, a group exhibition at Sean Kelly Gallery in New York City, USA; and presented her work as part of SMAC Gallery’s booth at the Joburg Art Fair in Johannesburg, South Africa. Karakashian’s solo exhibition, entitled here they passed, was up on exhibition at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town towards the end of 2018; and her solo show, In on itself, at the Marianne Ibrahim Gallery in Seattle, USA, concluded in December 2018. Most recently, Karakashian’s work was included in SMAC Gallery’s group presentation at the 2019 Investec Cape Town Art Fair; and is a part of the group exhibition, Material Insanities, at MACAAL in Marrakech, Morocco. Karakashian will also be included in SMAC Gallery’s presentation at the 13th edition of Art Dubai, in Dubai, UAE. Karakashian’s work is also up on exhibition as part of the group show, Filling in the Gaps, at the Iziko South African National Gallery. Karakshian is currently working towards a solo exhibition, undone, at Sabrina Amrani Gallery in Madrid, Spain; as well as two group presentations with Sabrina Amrani Gallery – one at ARCOlisboa in Lisbon, Portugal; and the other at ARCOmadrid in Madrid, Spain.

In 2017, Karakashian presented her solo exhibition, entitled unbecoming, at SMAC Gallery in Johannesburg to coincide with the release of her self-titled publication, with text by Khanya Mashabela. Karakashian was the artist in residence at Capo d’Arte in Gagliano del Capo, Italy in 2016. The residency culminated in a solo presentation, self-titled Alexandra Karakashian, at the Villa Medici in Gagliano del Capo. Additional solo presentations in 2016 include: Passage, a special project at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London, UK; and GROUND at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2015 Karakashian presented Shifting Grounds in Cape Town, South Africa; and collaborated with performance artist Buhlebeswe Siwani in Land, a performance piece selected for Infecting the City Public Arts Programme.

Karakashian is represented in numerous private and public collections including: the Iziko South African National Gallery, South Africa; the Spier Collection, South Africa; the Darvesh Collection, UAE ; The Royal Portfolio collection, South Africa; and the Luciano Benetton Collection, Italy.

[upcoming] A rhythm for falling | Sabrina Amrani | Madrid, Spain | 2019

In on Itself | Mariane Ibrahim Gallery | Seattle, USA | 2018

here they passed | SMAC Gallery | Cape Town, South Africa | 2018

unbecoming | SMAC Gallery | Johannesburg, South Africa | 2017

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 | 2016

Shifting Grounds | Michaelis Galleries, University of Cape Town (UCT) | Cape Town, South Africa | 2015
Land | Infecting the City: Public Arts Festival | Cape Town, South Africa | 2015

Passages | The Black Box | Cape Town, South Africa | 2012

[upcoming] ARCOlisboa (Sabrina Amrani) | Cordoaria Nacional | Lisbon, Portugal | 2019

Art Dubai (SMAC Gallery) | Madinat Jumeirah | Dubai, UAE | 2019

ARCOmadrid (Sabrina Amran) | Feria de Madrid (IFEMA) | Madrid, Spain | 2019

Material Insanity| Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden (MACAAL) | Marrakech, Morocco | 2019

Investec Cape Town Art Fair (SMAC Gallery) | Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) | Cape Town, South Africa | 2019

Untitled | Art (Mariane Ibrahim Gallery) | Miami Beach, Florida, USA | 2018

Wish You Were Here | SMAC Gallery | Cape Town, South Africa | 2018

A Letter to My 22-year-old Self | BKhz Studio & Gallery | Johannesburg, South Africa | 2018

FNB Joburg Art Fair (SMAC Gallery) | Sandton Convention Centre | Johannesburg, 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 | 2018

 Investec Cape Town Art Fair (SMAC Gallery) | Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) | Cape Town, South Africa | 2018

Kuijers. I. 2016. A Dark Ascending Horizon: Alexandra Karakashian’s ‘Ground’. ArtThrob [online]. Available at:

https://artthrob.co.za/2016/08/18/a-dark-ascending-horizon-alexandra-karakashians-ground/. [Accessed 18.01.19].

O’Toole, S. 2013. Young African Artists – Alexandra Karakashian. Wanted Magazine. September 2013. P.23.

Cultured Mag. 2018. 10 Artists on their 2018 Discovery. Cultured Magazine [online]. Available at: https://www.culturedmag.com/10-artists-on-their-2018-discovery/. [Accessed 18.01.2019].

Keam, S. 2016. In Context: Frieze London and 1:54. ArtThrob [online]. Available at: https://artthrob.co.za/2016/10/18/in-context-frieze-london-and-154/. 18 Oct 2016 [Accessed 20.10.2016].

Pollak, L. 2016. Such Sweet Thunder: Alexandra Karakashian and the Catastrophic Imagination. ArtAfrica [online]. Available at: http://artafricamagazine.org/such-sweet-thunder-alexandra-karakashian-and-the-catastrophic-imagination/. 13 September 2016. [Accessed 18.01.2019].