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Walker Reader

Chitra Ganesh

Chitra Ganesh’s drawing-based practice brings to light narrative representations of femininity, sexuality, and power typically absent from canons of literature and art. Her installations, animations, prints, and drawings take historical and mythic texts as inspiration and points of departure to complicate received ideas of iconic female forms, allowing untold stories to rise to the surface. Her vocabulary draws from surrealism, expressionism, mythic iconographies, and pictorial forms such as Kalighat and Madhubani painting, connecting these with contemporary mass-mediated visual languages comics and science fiction. In 2018 Ganesh had solo exhibitions at Rubin Museum, The Kitchen, and Times Square Arts Alliance, with previous solo exhibitions including MoMA PS1, the Andy Warhol Museum, Brooklyn Museum, and the Gothenburg Kunsthalle. Her work has been exhibited locally and internationally, including at the Queens Museum, Berkeley Art Museum, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and Baltimore Museum, with international venues including Fondazione Sandretto (Turin), Kunsthalle Exnergrasse (Vienna), EVAM (Spain) and Kunstverein Gottingen (Germany). Ganesh’s work also circulates widely in South Asia and has been shown at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (New Delhi), Princes of Wales Museum (Mumbai), Bhau Dai Lad Museum (Mumbai), Travancore Palace (New Delhi), and Dhaka Art Summit at Shilpakala Academy (Bangladesh). She is the recipient of awards from the John Simon Guggenheim memorial foundation (2012), the Pollock Krasner Foundation (2017), the Joan Mitchell Foundation (2010) among many others. She was a Hodder Fellow at Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts (2017–2018), a Robina Foundation Fellow for Arts and Human rights at Yale University Law School (2015–2016), a US Art in Embassies Program resident at NIROX, South Africa (2015), an Estelle Lebowitz Endowed Visiting Artist (2015), a Kirloskar Visiting Scholar at RISD (2014), and Artist-in-Residence at New York University’s Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program (2013–2014). Her works are held in prominent public collections, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the San Jose Museum of Art, the Baltimore Museum, the Whitney Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art.