Umar Rashid, Installation view, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, 2021, Photo: Josh Schaedel

Umar Rashid

"Pictures Girls Make": Portraitures

Curated by Alison M. Gingeras
September 9 – October 21, 2023
Los Angeles

Umar Rashid

Kagetora’s dream in the time of Sakoku.  (Reds and Blues). Part 1

The limits of isolation on the body politic creates the pockets of resistance. The rebellion is always glamorous in the beginning.
The revolutionary ultimately dies, acquiesces, or embraces escapism as a balm. The visionary, however, maneuvers uncertainty with purpose and nurtures the vision beyond the boundaries of mortality. There, it grows. Long live the dreamers of the impossible dreams. In Kirin, we confide.

September 2 – October 14, 2023

Umar Rashid

En Garde / On God

November 6 – December 18, 2021
Los Angeles

Sympathetic Magic

September 22 – October 24, 2020
Los Angeles


Umar Rashid (b. 1976, Chicago, IL) makes paintings, drawings, and sculptures that chronicle the grand historical fiction of the Frenglish Empire (1648–1880) that he has been developing for over seventeen years. Each work represents a frozen moment from this parallel world that often recalls our own fraught histories—both canonized and marginalized—with familiar signifiers and iconographies that channel the visual lexicons of hip hop, ancient and modern pop culture, gang and prison life, and revolutionary movements throughout time. This alternative history and its many subplots are told with elaborate visual and literary detail—with painterly tableaus depicting large networks of protagonists that relate to one another across bodies of work, and with lyrical and humorous artwork titles often a paragraph in length. Each exhibition is produced in response to the geographical locale of the host site; each time, Rashid builds upon his encyclopedic knowledge of global colonial history and conjures new fabulations that underline the roles of race, gender, class, and power in the tales of what was, what was recorded, what was negated, and what could have been. 

Umar Rashid lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. He received his BA in cinema and photography from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL. His work was featured at The Huntington and the Hammer Museum as part of the biennial Made in LA 2020: a version. Recent institutional solo exhibitions include Ancien Regime Change 4, 5, and 6, MoMA PS1, Queens, NY (2022); What is the color when black is burned? (The Gold War Part 1), University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ (2018); and The Belhaven Republic (A Delta Blues), University of Memphis Galleries A and B, Memphis, TN (2017). Rashid’s work is represented in the public collections of the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY; Jorge Pérez Collection, Miami, FL; Mount Holyoke Art Museum, South Hadley, MA; Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV; Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College, Clinton, NY; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT; and the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, South Africa, among others.

Selected Works


Flaunt | Umar Rashid: Under the Silver Moon


Juxtapoz: Umar Rashid’s Historical “Kagetora’s dream in the time of Sakoku. (Reds and Blues). Part 1” Kicks off the Fall


Cultured: This Week in Culture: August 28–September 3


X–TRA: The Frenglish Are Coming


Umar Rashid in Conversation with Hiroki Yamamoto


Los Angeles Times: With Cars and Kaiju, Artists Umar Rashid and Frieda Toranzo Jaeger Subvert American Myth


Related Publications

“Pictures Girls Make”: Portraitures

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