ALEXANDRA KARAKASHIAN

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 degree in Fine Art from the same institution in 2015.  Karakashian was an 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.

In 2020 Karakashian will present her most recent body of work with SMAC Gallery at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair in Cape Town, South Africa as part of the curated SOLO Section. Her work will also be included in Matereality, a group exhibition at Iziko South African National Museum in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2019 Karakashian’s work formed part of notable group exhibitions including, Inner Landscapes at Galleria Anna Marra in Rome, Italy; Material Insanity, at MACAAL in Marrakech, Morocco, SMAC Gallery’s presentation at the 13th edition of Art Dubai, in Dubai, UAE and Filling in the Gaps, at Iziko South African National Museum in Cape Town, South Africa. Solo exhibitions include: A rhythm for falling, at the Sabrina Amrani Gallery in  Madrid, Spain in 2019; here they passed at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa and In on itself, at the Marianne Ibrahim Gallery in Seattle, USA, in 2018; unbecoming, at SMAC Gallery in Johannesburg to coincide with the release of her self-titled publication in 2017; Passage, a special project at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London, UK and, GROUND at SMAC Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa, both in 2016.

Karakashian’s works have been included in Sabrina Amrani’s group presentation at ACROlisboa in Lisbon, Portugal; ACROmadrid in Madrid Spain, and Vienna Contemporary at Marx Halle in Vienna, Austria, all in 2019; SMAC Gallery’s presentation at the 2019 Investec Cape Town Art Fair. Karakashian works were recently included in SMAC Gallery’s group presentation at this years FNB ART Joburg at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa as well as Artissima at the Oval Lingotto in Turin, Italy. Earlier group exhibitions include Ravelled Threads, at Sean Kelly Gallery in New York City, USA; A Letter to My 22-year-old Self  at BKhz Studio & Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa; Back to the Future III – Abstract Art in South Africa: Past & Present at SMAC Gallery in Stellenbosch, South Africa all in 2018. 

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.

In 2020 Karakashian will present her most recent body of work with SMAC Gallery at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair in Cape Town, South Africa as part of the curated SOLO Section. The fair runs from 14 – 16 February 2020.

Karakashian’s work form part of  Matereality, a group exhibition opening 12 February 2020 at Iziko South African National Museum in Cape Town, South Africa. 

Emilie Gambade | Daily Maverick | At Art Dubai, diversity of works and cultures prevails | 18 March 2019 – PDF

Cultured Mag | 10 Artists on their 2018 Discovery 27 December 2018 – PDF

Siobhan Keam | ArtThrob | In Context: Frieze London and 1:54 | 18 October 2016 – PDF

Lloyd Pollak | ArtAfrica | Such Sweet Thunder: Alexandra Karakashian and the Catastrophic Imagination | 13 September 2016 – PDF

Isabella Kuijers | ArtThrob | A Dark Ascending Horizon: Alexandra Karakashian’s ‘Ground’18 August 2016 – PDF

Sean O’Toole | Wanted Online | Young African Artists – Alexandra Karakashian | September 2013 – PDF