Diptych from Tales of Amnesia (Bike Accident; The Spell) | New York, Rockefeller Plaza | chromogenic print | 61.6 x 53.5 cm,61.6 x 57.8 cm
“She has an eye for potent visual symbols: fleshlike flowers, mythological beings, ornate cursive script, Hindu hand mudras and other cosmic signs. She also has near-limitless facility for drafting—this woman can paint or draw anything.”
Benjamin Genocchio, The New York Times
Chitra Ganesh is well known for her images of women who elude social stereotypes and defy cultural expectations of obedience, passivity and subversiveness. Inspired by the work of Hannah Höch, Roy Lichtenstein and Martha Rosler, she borrows images from popular media—notably the Amar Chitra Katha comic books—to pose questions related to power and powerlessness, desire and punishment, creating “alternate narratives of sexuality and power in a world where untold stories keep rising to the surface,” as she explains in her artist statement. “In this process the body becomes a site of transgression,” she continues, “both social and psychic, doubled, dismembered and continually exceeding its limits.”
Of Indian descent, Ganesh was born in Brooklyn, and received her bachelor’s degree in semiotics and comparative literature from Brown University in Providence, RI. In 2001, she attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and received her M.F.A. in visual arts from Columbia University, in New York, in 2002. She is a part of the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective, which was founded in New York in 1997 by fellow artist, Jaishri Abichandani.
In her young career, her work has shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, in venues like the Brooklyn Museum and Queens Museum of Art, Jack Tilton Gallery in New York, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh; The Museum of Modern Art’s P.S.1 exhibition space, in New York; Thomas Erben Gallery in New York, and Haas & Fischer, in Zurich. She has earned numerous awards and residencies, including the Hermitage Artist Center Residency, an Art Matters Foundation Grant, and New York Foundation for the Arts Artist’s Fellowship.