The drawings, installations, text-based work, and collaborations of Brooklyn-based artist Chitra Ganesh are inspired by buried narratives and marginal figures typically excluded from official canons of history, literature, and art. She is widely recognized for her experimental use of comic and large-scale narrative forms to communicate submerged histories and alternate articulations of femininity to a broader public.
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 wall installations, comics, charcoal drawings, and mixed media works on paper often take historical and mythic texts as inspiration and points of departure to complicate received ideas of iconic female forms. Ganesh’s studies in literature, semiotics, and social theory have been critical to a steady engagement with narrative and deconstruction that animates her work. Her vocabulary draws from surrealism, expressionism, Hindu and Buddhist iconography, and South-Asian pictorial forms such as Kalighat and Madhubani painting, connecting these with contemporary mass-mediated visual languages of comics, science fiction, news photography, and illustration. Since 2004, Ganesh has maintained a long-term collaboration with Mariam Ghani as Index of the Disappeared, an experimental archive of detentions, deportations, and human erasures, as well as a public platform for dialogue on related issues.
Ganesh’s works have been widely exhibited across the United States including at the Queens Museum, Asia Society, New York, Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, California, and the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, with solo presentations at PS1/MOMA, New York, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, and Goteborgs Konsthalle, Sweden. Ganesh is the recipient numerous awards and fellowships including the Art Matters Foundation, the Joan Mitchell Foundation for Painting and Sculpture, and a 2012 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in the Creative Arts. Support this awesome Femmie!
Photos courtesy of Chitra Ganesh.