Reception for the artist:
Thursday, 8 May, 6–8 pm
Venice, CA -- L.A. Louver is pleased to present a solo exhibition by New York-based artist, Rina Banerjee. For her inaugural show at L.A. Louver and West Coast gallery debut, Banerjee will present a new body of work – drawings on paper, paintings on wood panel, and a selection of assemblage sculptures.
“My work explores the collecting intention and how this ambition deepens desire for exchange, travel and migration. I am curious about the ways in which our mobility, increased freedom, and access propel us towards more commerce and sustain a singular sense of culture that is also many cultures, a world culture.” – Rina Banerjee
Born in Calcutta, India, Banerjee immigrated with her family at a young age to the UK and then to the US. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Polymer Engineering from Case Western Reserve University, and after a brief career in the sciences, she left her position as a research chemist to pursue a MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University School of Art.
Banerjee borrows heavily from the aesthetic and cultural inheritance of her South Asian heritage, but her expression is fiercely individualistic, urbane and empathetic to the conundrums of 21st century life. Taking a sumptuous and obsessive approach to abstraction and ornamentation, Banerjee creates new, hybridized worlds that oscillate between the real and imagined – spinning her own narratives that touch on gender, migration and cultural identity. Her long, lyrical titles spill forth as poetic evocations, imbuing the works with mystery and beguilement.
Banerjee’s drawings are alive with a diversity of marks, in watercolor, inks, acrylic, and accentuated with collaged materials. With a vibrant and sophisticated palette, exaggerated figures emerge from loose washes of color, and are brought into focus against intricately delicate line work. Her painted panels on wood also frame highly detailed compositions, with surfaces that shimmer with marble dust, paint and inks. Sculptures range from wall-mounted works and floor-standing pieces to voluminous, immersive installations – and are created with a profusion of fanciful, mundane and unique materials: feathers, fur, metallic thread, glass bottles, Victorian furniture, antique Indian textiles, doll parts, carved wood, gourds and seashells.
Women are often the focal point of Banerjee’s works, at times portrayed with animalistic attributes, and depicted as victims, objects of desire, heroines, villains. The title for the exhibition “Disgust” refers to the artist’s reflections on the term’s physical and ideological manifestations, and its ability to not only reject, but to shape and transform critical thinking. “Disgust for me is a way of thinking about what is so clear in our emotional response that it forms a boundary,” says Banerjee, “…those boundaries are sometimes what we play with in terms of our cultural orientation.”
Rina Banerjee has participated in numerous prestigious invitational exhibitions worldwide, including the 55th Venice Biennale, Italy (2013), 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland, Australia (2012-2013); Yokohama Triennial (2011); Tsumari-Echigo Exhibition 3rd Triennial, Hatchi, Japan (2006); Greater New York, Museum of Modern Art PS1, New York (2005); and the Whitney Biennial (2000). Her work has also been seen in distinguished museums, such as the Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Arken Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; Musée Guimet, Paris; Yerba Buena Art Center, San Francisco, CA; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, KS; Tel Aviv Art Museum, Israel; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Harmony Art Foundation, Mumbai, India; Les Abattoirs, Toulouse, France; Kunstallen Brandts, Odense, Denmark; Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto.
Banerjee’s work resides in private and institutional collections, including Hammer Museum, University of California, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Brooklyn Museum, New York; La Fondation Louis Vuitton pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris; Les Abbatoirs, Touluse, France; Boghossian Foundation, Villa Empain, Brussels, Belgium; and Kiran Nadar Museum and India Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi, India.
To view a short film on the artist, please visit www.lalouver.com/Banerjee.