Perspectives by Rina Banerjee

Elisabetta Marabotto of Saffronart shares a note on Rina Banerjee’s installation at the Smithsonian ‘s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington

Rina Banerjee Working on the Installation,A world Lost: after the  original island, single land mass fractured, after populations migrated,  after pollution revealed itself and as cultural locations once separated  merged, after the splitting of Adam and Eve, Shiva and Shakti, of race  black and white, of culture East and West, after animals diminished,  after the seas’ corals did exterminate, after this and at last imagine all  water evaporated…this after Columbus found it we lost it imagine this Rina Banerjee (b. 1963)  2013 Photo by Hutomo Wicaksono

Rina Banerjee Working on the Installation,A world Lost: after the original island, single land mass fractured, after populations migrated, after pollution revealed itself and as cultural locations once separated merged, after the splitting of Adam and Eve, Shiva and Shakti, of race black and white, of culture East and West, after animals diminished, after the seas’ corals did exterminate, after this and at last imagine all water evaporated…this after Columbus found it we lost it imagine this Rina Banerjee (b. 1963) 2013 Photo by Hutomo Wicaksono

A World Lost: after the original island, single land massfractured, after populations migrated, after pollution revealed itself and as cultural locations once separated merged, after the splitting of Adam and Eve, Shiva and Shakti, of race black and white, of culture East and West, after animals diminished, after the seas’ corals did exterminate, after this and at last imagine all water evaporated…this after Columbus found it we lost it imagine this.

London: The above sentence is the title of Rina Banerjee’s installation which is currently exhibited at the Smithsonian ‘s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington as part of the contemporary art series’ “Perspectives”.

Banerjee’s work discusses themes of migration and transformation of the people and of the world we live in drawing on her personal experience as an immigrant.

The installation is made of different kinds of materials which represent different cultures. Plastic objects, souvenirs, and organic items are merged together creating an intricate textile which reminds us of appealing yet threatening fairytale worlds.

Below you can enjoy few images of the installation.

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The installation will be on until June 2014. For more information click here.

Bharti Kher and Rina Banerjee in Art+Auction Magazine’s 50 Next Most Collectible Artists

Manjari Sihare explores Art + Auction’s June 2012 feature on the most collectible artists of the coming future.

New York: The current issue of Art+Auction magazine features a refreshing list of “50 Next Most Collectible Artists.” The list compiled by the magazine is based on conversations with collectors, art advisors, auction house specialists and dealers. One almost expects such lists to be predictable but this list includes the art of two Indian women artists, the Indian born and New York based Rina Banerjee, and Bharti Kher, who was born in London and lives and works in New Delhi. This says something not just about these artists, but about the market for contemporary Indian art in general, which is often acknowledged at the tail end of its modern counterpart.

The magazine editors emphasize that the artists who have made it to the list “have demonstrated past strength at auction or in primary sales and show promise of continued development. We did not want to merely list the people at the top of the market, but to cite those who might find themselves there in 10, 20, or 30 years.” Editor Benjamin Genocchio elaborates on the parameters for such an evaluation including comparisons with peers of the same generation, as also major next steps in an artist career – a major museum show or a change in dealer representation. Banerjee and Kher are regularly represented in international mainstream art fairs as also at leading museums across the world.  In the recent past, Banerjee had a solo booth at the Hong Kong Art Fair, her first in that part of the world, while Bharti Kher debuted in New York this March at the Hauser & Wirth Gallery. In the coming year, both artists are poised to participate in important shows, beginning with India: Art Now at the Arken Museum of Contemporary Art, Denmark. Further, Kher is slotted for a solo show at the Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art in London, a publicly funded institution, while Banerjee is slated to participate in the prestigious 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT7) in Queensland, Brisbane.

For the Art+Auction website, click here


Seven Sisters

Ambika Rajgopal of Saffronart posts about Rina Banerjee’s work at the Seven Sisters exhibition in Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco.

London: Rina Banerjee is one of the eight artists on view at the Seven Sisters exhibition at the Jenkins Johnson Gallery, in San Francisco. The other artists displaying their works are Carrie Mae Weems, Mickalene Thomas, Patricia Piccinini, Camille Rose Garcia, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Toyin Odutola, and Vanessa Prager.

Left: The Edge of Time - Ancient Rome from Roaming, 2006, Carrie Mae Weems; Right:  Din Facing Forward, 2012, Mickalene Thomas. Image Credit: http://www.jenkinsjohnsongallery.com/exhibitions/13seven.sisters/13seven_PR.html

Left: The Edge of Time – Ancient Rome from Roaming, 2006, Carrie Mae Weems; Right: Din Facing Forward, 2012, Mickalene Thomas. Image Credit: http://www.jenkinsjohnsongallery.com/exhibitions/13seven.sisters/13seven_PR.html

At the heart of this exhibition is the sororal significance of the constellation Pleiades, where each of the seven stars represents the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione. Each of the seven sisters have a mythological significance in Greek lore. These artists represent the sisterhood of femininity, which binds together the social fabric of our culturally heterogeneous society. Through works in diverse media like painting, drawing, sculpture and video, these artists represent the penetrative influence of the female identity. The works also interrogate personal identity and its correlation with themes like migration, race, gender, politics and heritage.

Upon first myth and empirical observation the hero her angel leaps in cry opens the moon to urge on a rain that may cleanse all from the sweat of her jealous man, 2013, Rina Banerjee. Image Credit: http://www.jenkinsjohnsongallery.com/exhibitions/13seven.sisters/13seven_PR.html

Upon first myth and empirical observation the hero her angel leaps in cry opens the moon to urge on a rain that may cleanse all from the sweat of her jealous man, 2013, Rina Banerjee. Image Credit: http://www.jenkinsjohnsongallery.com/exhibitions/13seven.sisters/13seven_PR.html

Indian born, New York-based artist, Rina Banerjee has had a long drawn history with investigating mythology, role of culture, fairy tales, anthropology and ethnography. On display in the exhibition are Banerjee’s works on paper and panel, where her visual language examines mythology and fairytales.  These concepts are fused with larger questions of migration, mobility of tourism and global commerce and how they influence personal identity.

My work deals with specific colonial moments that reinvent place and identity as complex diasporic experiences intertwined and sometimes surreal.

Detail of installation, "A world Lost" at Smithsonian‘s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 2013, Rina Banerjee. Image Credit: http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/current/rina-banerjee.asp

Detail of installation, “A world Lost” at Smithsonian‘s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 2013, Rina Banerjee. Image Credit: http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/current/rina-banerjee.asp

Banerjee was born in Calcutta, India and relocated to the UK with her family, before settling down in the USA. She pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in Polymer Engineering at Case Western University and then worked as a polymer research chemist. Banerjee decided to abandon scientific pursuit in lieu of a more symbolic and personal curiosity, which lead her to pursue a Masters of Fine Arts from Yale University. Banerjee has exhibited in a number of different art fairs and exhibitions, most recently appearing in Smithsonian‘s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, 7th Asia Pacific Triennale of Contemporary Art and the 55th Venice Biennale of 2013.

Take me, take me, take me to the Palace of Love, 2003, Rina Banerjee. Image Credit: http://www.artindiamag.com/quarter_03_03_13/now_voyager.html

Take me, take me, take me to the Palace of Love, 2003, Rina Banerjee. Image Credit: http://www.artindiamag.com/quarter_03_03_13/now_voyager.html

Despite her multicultural upbringing, there is inherent nostalgia for her cultural identity. Banerjee employs the use of heritage textiles, cultural motifs, colonial and historical objects, in order to rekindle a cultural association with the country of her origin. While using a visual language steeped in antiquarian heritage, Banerjee examines questions, which are relevant on a larger and more global level.

Banerjee uses an aesthetic that is hyper ornamental and relies on the narrative power of objects. These versatile objects, from touristy trinkets and thrift store bric-a-bracs, to bones, shells, feathers and textiles, form decorative aggregates that represent her transcultural perspective.

With or without name she was blue and who knew when she would slip into another mood for her understandable unwillingness to do, to speak to, to feel and determine her next move rests in her nest as would a Refugee 2009, Rina Banerjee. Image Credit: https://www.qagoma.qld.gov.au/exhibitions/past/2012/apt7_asia_pacific_triennial_of_contemporary_art/artists/rina_banerjee

With or without name she was blue and who knew when she would slip into another mood for her understandable unwillingness to do, to speak to, to feel and determine her next move rests in her nest as would a Refugee 2009, Rina Banerjee. Image Credit: https://www.qagoma.qld.gov.au/exhibitions/past/2012/apt7_asia_pacific_triennial_of_contemporary_art/artists/rina_banerjee

The show also features other artists who reframe the boundaries of personal identity. Similar to Banerjee, Camille Rose Garcia tackles the issue of fantasy. But the fantastical dreamscapes she paints are dystopian surrealist visions, replete with hollow eyed characters painted in a cartoon-like manner. She demonstrates the failures of capitalist utopias. Other artists like Carrie Mae Weems and Mickalene Thomas, through their art practice, answer questions relating to female black identity and beauty, through histories of racism, class and politics.

The exhibition is on view from October 3 through December 7, 2013. For additional information, please access the gallery website.

Imran Qureshi, Raqib Shaw and Idris Khan among the 50 Most Collectible Artists

Shradha Ramesh comments on ART+AUCTION’s 2013 list of The Next Most Collectible Artists Under 50

New York: In continuation of last year’s list of 50 collectible artists by ART+AUCTION, this year, the list focuses on artists under the age of 50.

The selected artists have global backgrounds, and are well known in the international art circle for their solo exhibitions and awards. The list encompasses artists such as Ernesto Neto from Brazil, Raqib Shaw, an Indian artist based in London, and others from Southeast Asia such as Chiharu Shiota and Eko Nugroho.

The shortlisted artists represent a versatile spread of techniques, mediums and styles. When it boiled down to the reason for choosing these artists, according to the editors, “…two reasons for this emerged. First, there is a genuine resurgence of non-representational painting as artists under 50 re-examine that key modernist pursuit. Second, collectors perennially favor painting because it is understandable within an established tradition and is comparably easy to display and conserve.”

According to the article, the other artists to take note of are Imran Qureshi, Ali Kazma, Tala Madani, and Idris Khan.

To read the full ART+AUCTION articles see Part 1 and Part 2.

Indian artists in the 7th Asia Pacific Triennale of Contemporary Art

Manjari Sihare shares a note on the Indian artists participating in the 7th Asia Pacific Triennale of Contemporary Art in Brisbane

Brisbane: The 7th Asia Pacific Triennale of Contemporary Art (APT7) opened at the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane on December 8th, 2012. APT7 is world renowned for being the only major series to focus exclusively on contemporary art from Asia, the Pacific and Australia. It is the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art’s flagship contemporary art exhibition started in 1993. This edition marks its 20th year and is the most ambitious in scale featuring new and recent works by a total of seventy five artists and artist groups from a total of twenty seven countries. These include works of eminent Indian contemporary artists such as Rina Banerjee, Neha ChoksiSheila Makhijani, Raqib Shaw, Dayanita Singh and major new commissions by LN Tallur and Atul Dodiya. Also on view is a project by Raqs Media Collective in a section titled The 20 Year Archive in which the APT acknowledges its 20-year history by bringing together artists who work with archives. The exhibition is on view until April 14, 2013. Read more here, and watch this blog for additional posts on this exhibition in the near future.

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