ALYSSA PHEOBUS MUMTAZ is an artist and educator whose work explores contemplative practice and the poetics of remnants, traces and fragments. Her work is deeply influenced by the philosophy and aesthetics of pre-industrial material cultures that associate patient, skilled handwork with inward-looking contemplative aspirations. Early in her career she made intricate, monumental pencil drawings that foregrounded text as image and referenced early American sampler embroidery. This body of work later evolved into architectural abstractions inspired by geometric textile motifs. More recently her work has developed in relation to her experiences living and working in South Asia. Diverse in form, Mumtaz’s recent projects utilise artisanal materials like gold, indigo, mineral pigments, silk and handmade traditional papers. Her imagery references complex crafted objects (anthropomorphic monoliths, embroidered robes, hand-formed prayer beads, woven carpets, architectural surfaces and looms) that recall the human body engaged in ritual acts. She often works in series that explore the subtle fluctuations of a single object: for example, the many shapes formed by a string of prayer beads, or a loom depicted at different moments of weaving or unraveling.

Mumtaz’s work is exhibited and collected internationally, and has been included in solo and group presentations in Karachi, Lahore, Mumbai, New York, Palma, London and Dubai. In 2018 her work entered the permanent collection of the Seattle Art Museum, where it is currently on view in “Sound Affect,” a group exhibition of artists exploring personal and cultural histories through conceptual projects engaged with music and sound. In 2017 a large installation of her recent projects was presented in "The Language of Objects," a three-person museum exhibition at the University of Buffalo Art Galleries. Her work has also been shown in art fairs including Miami Art Basel (2011), the India Art Fair (2015, 2011) and Art Dubai (2014). She attended Yale University and completed her MFA at Columbia University's School of the Arts in New York City. Her projects have been supported by grants and fellowships from MASS MoCA, the Kittredge Fund, the Lighton International Artist Exchange Program, the Mid Atlantic Art Foundation, Dieu Donné, the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Neiman Center for Print Studies at Columbia University. She has taught widely in university art programs in the US and Pakistan and has participated in artist residencies in the US, India, Ireland and Spain. She lives and works in Williamstown, Massachusetts.


2008      MFA, Columbia University, New York, NY

2004      BA, Yale University, New Haven, CT



2019 Sound Affect, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA

Rhythms of Recurrence, Koel Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan

2018    SOLO: Nirgun Maala, Koel Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan

2017    Islamic Art Revival Series Annual International Exhibition of Contemporary Islamic Art, curated by Linda    

           Komaroff, Irving Art Center, Irving, TX 

           The Language of Objects, University of Buffalo Anderson Gallery, Buffalo, NY

2016    Sisters of the Moon, KMAC, Louisville, KY

   Confluence/Influence: Mingei in Contemporary Abstraction, curated by Bridget Donlon, 

   Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs, Long Island City, NY 

            Stormy Days, Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai, India

            SOLO: Stations, New City Arts Initiative, Charlottesville, VA

2015     India Art Fair, courtesy of Jhaveri Contemporary, New Delhi, India

            Permanent Exhibition, Embassy of the United States, Islamabad, Pakistan

            Why Can't It Be Everlasting?, Tracy Williams, LTD, New York, NY

2014    SOLO: Ghosts of the Great HighwayTracy Williams, LTD, New York, NY

            SOLO: Active DoorJhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai, India  

            Art On Paper 2014, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC 

            On the Blue Shore of Silence, Fitzroy Gallery, New York, NY

            Art Dubai, courtesy of Grey Noise, Dubai, UAE 

2013    Chick Lit: Revised Summer Reading, curated by Molly Rand and Pilar Vahey, Tracy Williams, LTD,

           New York, NY

            Art Los Angeles Contemporary, courtesy of Tracy Williams, LTD, Los Angeles, CA

            Illuminated Geographies: Pakistani Miniaturist Practice in the Wake of the Global Turn (featured in    

           collaborative project with exhibition artist Murad Khan Mumtaz), curated by Justine Ludwig,

           Tufts University Art Gallery, Medford, MA

2012     SOLO: ApparitionsLa Caja Blanca, Palma de Mallorca, Spain 

             SOLO: HourglassTracy Williams, LTD, New York, NY 

             New Natural History, Ruffin Gallery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 

2011      In Visible Ink, Court Square, Long Island City, NY 

            The Center Cannot Hold, Grey Noise, Lahore, Pakistan 

             India Art Summit, courtesy of Grey Noise, New Delhi, India 

            The Open Daybook Project, curated by David Earle, LACE, Los Angeles, CA 

2010    Looking Back: The Fifth White Columns Annual, curated by Bob Nickas, White Columns, New York, NY 

            Miami Art Basel, courtesy of Tracy Williams, LTD, Miami, FL 

            The Art of Captivity, Center Gallery, Fordham University, New York, NY 

            New Language, Ogilvy & Mather, New York, NY 

            Philagraphika: New Prints Part II, University of Pennsylvania School of Design, Philadelphia, PA

            Art Los Angeles Contemporary, courtesy of Tracy Williams, LTD, Los Angeles, CA

            New Prints: 2010/Winter, International Print Center, New York, NY

2009    SOLO: To Have, HoldTracy Williams, LTD, New York, NY 

            SOLO: Lay in the ReinsBellwether, New York, NY 

            Workspace Program 2008-9: New work in handmade paper by emerging artists in residence,

           Dieu Donné, New York, NY 

            The Open, Deitch Projects, Long Island City, NY

            Desire, Holster Projects, London, UK

            Unaddressed Circumventions: Folds from a Failed Suicide, curated by Ajay Kurian, Gresham's Ghost,

           New York, NY

            In Search of the Miraculous, Ochi Gallery, Ketchum, ID

            Nota Bene, Dorsch Gallery, Miami, FL

2008   Lost in Your Eyes, LeRoy Neiman Gallery, Columbia University, New York, NY

            The New Academy, Robert Lehman Art Center, North Andover, MA 

            Summer Mix Tape Volume One, Exit Art, New York, NY 

            Zero Zone, curated by David Hunt, Tracy Williams, LTD, New York, NY 

            Opportunity as Community: Artists Select Artists, Dieu Donné, New York, NY 

            Columbia MFA Thesis Exhibition, Fisher Landau Center for Art, Long Island City, NY

            Face Forward, LeRoy Neiman Gallery, Columbia University, New York, NY

2007   Text Messages, Adam Baumgold Gallery, New York, NY

2005   No Nouns Allowed (Drawing as a Verb), LeRoy Neiman Gallery, Columbia University, New York, NY



2019 Assets for Artists Matched Savings Grant

2018         Artist-in-residence, Webb School of Knoxville, Knoxville, TN

2016         John Anson Kittredge Fund Travel Grant, Varanasi, India

               Printmaker-in-residence, Clo Cill Rialaig, County Kerry, Ireland 

2015-16     Lighton International Artist Exchange Program Travel Grant

                Artist-in-residence, Kriti Gallery, Varanasi, India

                Artist-in-residence, New City Arts Initiative, Charlottesville, VA

2015         Artist-in-residence, Millay Colony, Austerlitz, NY 

                Artist-in-residence, Cill Rialaig, County Kerry, Ireland 

2014         Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Creative Fellowship

                Artist-in-residence, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Amherst, VA

2013         Artist-in-residence, Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe, NM

2012         Artist-in-residence, La Caja Blanca, Palma de Mallorca, Spain

2011          Artist-in-residence, Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe, NM

2010         Artist-in-residence, Ucross Foundation, Ucross, WY

2009        NYFA Fellowship in Printmaking, Drawing and Book Arts

2008        Emerging Artist Workspace Residency, Dieu Donné, New York, NY

2006-7     Andrew Fisher Fellowship, Columbia University

                LeRoy Neiman Printmaking Fellowship, Columbia University

2004        Marshall-Allison Travel Award, Yale University

                Richard B. Sewall Prize for Scholarship in the Arts, Yale University

2003        Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship, Yale in Norfolk School of Art

                John Boit Morse and Richter Travel Fellowships, Yale University




Akhtar, Rabia. Nirgun Maala (exhibition review), Artnow Pakistan, February 2018

Khan, Nimra. Between Body and Spirit (exhibition review) DAWN, February 11, 2018


The Language of Objects (exhibition catalogue with curatorial essays), University of Buffalo Anderson Gallery, Spring 2017

Tyrrell, Dana. The Language of Objects (exhibition review), Buffalo Rising, July 25, 2017

Foran, Jack. The Language of Objects (exhibition review), The Public, May 24, 2017


Donlon, Bridget. Curatorial essay: "Confluence/Influence: Mingei in Contemporary Abstraction." Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs, Autumn 2016

Yates, Joey. Curatorial essay: "Sisters of the Moon: Art and the Feminine Dimension." KMAC, Louisville, Winter 2016

Derby, Elizabeth. "Art as craft: the modern contemplation of ancient practices." C-ville Weekly, January 27, 2016


Featured in Top 100 Fall Shows, Modern Painters, October 2014

Bailey, Stephanie. "Trading Histories for Futures: A Report from Art Dubai and the Sharjah March Meeting." Ocula, March 25, 2014

Sorabjee, Deepika. "The art of repetition." Livemint, March 1, 2014

D'Mello, Rosalyn. "Shows that Matter." Artinfo India, February 17, 2014

Pal, Deepanjana. "Alyssa Pheobus Mumtaz's Active Door." Going anon and on (blog), March 1, 2014.


Review of Hourglass, Solo exhibition at Tracy Williams, Ltd., New York, Modern Painters, June 2012

Clar, Asun. "Maridajes Geograficos.” El Mundo, November 12, 2012

Valles, M. Elena. "La misteriosa inscripcion de Santa Eulalia se hace arte," Diaro de Mallorca, July 3, 2012

F. Mari. "Revisa La Historia." Diari de Ballears, July 3, 2012

Annotation: Active Compass, Triple Canopy, April 5, 2012


Origin, Departure, (in collaboration with Murad Khan Mumtaz), Triple Canopy, Issue 13

Raaj, Neelam. "Spotlight on young Pak talent," The Times of India, January 22, 2011


The Open Daybook (catalogue), edited by David P. Earle

Heinrich, Will. "Curation's Onslaught: White Columns Annual and Larry Poons," New York Observer, December 14, 2010

Charlesworth, J.J. "Edel Assanti/Jack Bell Gallery/Holster Projects," Time Out London, August 2010

"Under the Influence," interview in Tokion Magazine, April 2010 

d'Amecourt, Gilles. "ALAC Fair 2010," BOMBLog, February 8, 2010


Rosenberg, Karen. "Yes, There Still is Avant-Garde Art in Soho," New York Times, December 4, 2009

Étapes: 172, September 2009 

Brooklyn Review, Issue 26 

BLACK IS THE COLOR (Special Project), NYFA Current, May 2009

Nichols, Matthew. Review of Lay in the Reins, solo exhibition at Bellwether, New York. Art in America, April 2009

Cotter, Holland. "The Practice of Joy Before Death; It just would not be a party without you," New York Times, April 17, 2009

Doran, Anne. "The Practice of Joy Before Death; It just would not be a party without you," Time Out New York, April 2009


Coburn, Tyler. “The Rundown: Columbia University’s 2008 MFA Thesis Exhibition,”, May 14, 2008

Costello, Marie. The New Academy: 2008 Graduates of the Columbia University MFA Program (exhibition catalogue)

Withrow, Joel. “2008 Columbia MFA Thesis Exhibition,” Flavorpill, May 4, 2008



Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA

US Department of State Art in Embassies Program, Embassy of the United States, Islamabad, Pakistan

Dieu Donné, New York, NY

Private collections in the US, Pakistan, India, UAE, UK, Spain and Mauritius



2012 - 2017     American University, Washington, DC - Adjunct Faculty, Printmaking/Drawing

2012 - 2016     University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA - Adjunct Faculty, Drawing

2013               Columbia University, New York, NY - Adjunct Faculty, Drawing 

                      George Mason University, Fairfax, VA - Adjunct Faculty, Drawing

2012 - 2013     George Washington University, Washington, DC - Adjunct Faculty, Painting/Design

2010 - 2011      National College of Arts, Lahore - Visiting Faculty, Graduate Tutor, MA Program in Visual Art

                      Beaconhouse National University, Lahore - Assistant Professor, School of Art and Design

2008              Columbia University, New York, NY - Adjunct Faculty, Printmaking

2006 - 2007    Columbia University, New York, NY - Graduate Teaching Fellow, Printmaking