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Chitra Ganesh

Reimagine: Himalayan Art Now

March 15–October 6, 2024


Photo by Margarita Corporan



Chitra Ganesh (she/her)

b. 1975, Brooklyn, NY; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY

Chitra Ganesh is a Brooklyn-based visual artist whose work encompasses drawing, painting, comics, installation, video art, and animation. A visual artist of Indian heritage, she attempts to reconcile representations of femininity, sexuality, and power absent from the artistic and literary canons. Spanning printmaking, sculpture, and video, her work draws from broad-ranging material and historic reference points, including surrealism, expressionism, Hinduism, Greek and Buddhist iconographies, South Asian pictorial traditions, nineteenth-century European portraiture and fairy tales, comic books, song lyrics, science fiction, Bollywood posters, news and media images.  

Chitra Ganesh holds a BA in art-semiotics and comparative literature from Brown University, and an MFA from Columbia University. She has exhibited widely across the US, Europe, and South Asia, and her work is held in numerous museums, such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, San Jose Museum of Art, Baltimore Museum, the Whitney Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art.

chitraganesh.com / @chitraganeshbkny



Chitra Ganesh; Silhouette in the Graveyard from The Scorpion Gesture; 2018; digital animation; 1 min. 22 sec.; The Shelley and Donald Rubin Private Collection

Silhouette in the Graveyard incorporates the figure of Maitreya, a sculpture from the Rubin Museum’s collection, front and center within the frame of the moving time-based image. Maitreya is the Future Buddha, whose prophetic arrival will usher in a new age at a time when the terrestrial world has lost its way. Chitra Ganesh’s narrative approach of incorporating an endless stream of images of contemporary political, social, and ecological upheaval seems in uncanny alignment with the apocalyptic significance of Maitreya’s silhouette.



Maitreya, Buddha of the Future (after models designed by Zanabazar [1635–1723]); Mongolia; late 18th–early 19th century; gilt copper alloy with pigment; Rubin Museum of Art; C2005.12.1 (HAR 65413)

This object from the Rubin Museum’s collection is presented in the Reimagine exhibition in dialogue with Silhouette in the Graveyard, inviting new ways of encountering traditional Himalayan art.

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