Gallery Reception: Thursday, November 14, 2013, 6-8 pm
Apparitions, Ranu Mukherjee’s second solo show at Gallery Wendi Norris, features a vibrant array of new textile prints, ink paintings, collage and hybrid films. Expanding upon materials and themes developed for her exhibitions at the San Jose Museum of Art and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Mukherjee articulates relationships between the compressed spaces of the body, stage and picture plane. Operating as a conduit between the liminal and the social, these ‘apparitions’ are reflections of multiple and simultaneous senses of time travel, catastrophe, fragility, desire, and identification with the natural world. Mukherjee draws on Mark Baron’s and Elise Boisante’s collection of popular Indian mythological images from the 19th century. She translates and recasts these images’ elements while abstracting and remixing them using current media images that have mythic power, such as protesters, fashion models, and the sun.
Desert Bloom, a central work in the exhibition, is based on an 1883 Kali picture from the Calcutta Art Studio. This work displays side by side the competing intensities of an impending ecological shift and recent instances of human violence. Kali is a shadow across a post 911 U.S. desert where the presence of current activist, corporate, and military entities appear uncanny and simultaneous in a transitional aftermath.
Three large-scale works on paper, in ink and collage, also consider the landscape both as a stage recomposed from fragments and as an energetic body. As with Mukherjee’s previous series ‘what color is the sacred’, the images contain gaps and incomplete areas that open up opportunities for viewers’ projection. The flat condensed picture-planes are composed by moving between the hand, the lens, and the digital. Their creolized nature is aligned with anthropologist and art historian Christopher Pinney’s notion of the xeno-real –‘the form of colonially authorized realism that circulates outside its frame of origination’.
The works in Apparitions are inspired by the capacity of speculative fictions while expressing an intensely visceral relationship to the external, urban experience and the energetic trade between matter and culture.
About the Artist
Ranu Mukherjee is an artist based in San Francisco. Her work has exhibited and screened internationally, including such venues as SFMOMA, the San Jose Museum of Art, YBCA, Kala Art Institute, The Luggage Store, Victoria and Albert Museum and Art Dubai, and shows and events in Jakmel, Haiti, Los Angeles, Turin, Belfast, London, Berlin, Vancouver, Capetown and Budapest. She holds an MFA from the Royal College of Art, London, and a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Arts, Boston. Her work is included in collections including the San Jose Museum of Art and the Kadist Foundation. She taught for many years at Goldsmiths College in London and is currently the Assistant Chair of the MFA program at the California College of the Arts.
About the Gallery
Gallery Wendi Norris presents a compelling contemporary and modern program with a strong emphasis on the global market. Since 2003, we have worked with over one hundred of the top museums around the world, placing works in their collections and collaborating on solo and group exhibitions. Though, by design, the range of works we show is diverse, a common thread runs through them all: a focus on the human ability to create psychological and spiritual meaning through form and content. Both the artworks and the artists themselves are emblematic of this aesthetic ambition and our trans-cultural nature. Through our expertise in the modern art world, with an unparalleled network in Surrealism, and through our considered selection of some of today’s most dynamic artists, we support a range of private clients, museums, and not-for-profit art organizations.
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