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Presented By: University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA)

2021 Doris Sloan Memorial Program Chitra Ganesh: On Utopia and Dissent

Zoom Event / Virtual Event Presented by the Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series and UMMA

Penny Stamps Series Facebook page.

Chitra Ganesh (b. 1975, Brooklyn, NY) is an artist living and working in Brooklyn. For the past 20 years, Ganesh's drawing-based practice has shed light on narrative representations of femininity, sexuality, and power typically absent from canons of literature and art. Ganesh’s installations, comics, animation, sculpture, and mixed media works on paper often take historical and mythic texts as inspiration and points of departure to complicate received ideas of iconic female forms. Her studies in literature, semiotics, and social theory have been critical to a steady engagement with narrative and deconstruction that animates her work. Her work has been widely exhibited in the United States, Europe, and Asia, with solo exhibitions at MoMA P.S.1, The Warhol Museum, Göteborgs Konsthall, Brooklyn Museum, Rubin Museum, Kitchen, and most recently, A city will share her secrets if you know how to ask, the 4th Annual QUEERPOWER Facade Commission at the Leslie Lohman Museum in New York City. (currently on view through October 2021). 

Her work Sultana’s Dream was recently acquired by the University of Michigan Museum of Art and will be featured in the upcoming exhibition Oh, honey… A queer reading of the collection in fall 2021. Learn more about Sultana’s Dream in UMMA’s online presentation of the exhibition. 

Her work has also been exhibited in group exhibitions across the United States, including at The Walker Art Center, MN; The Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC, the Baltimore Museum of Art, MD; The Queens Museum of Art, NY; The Asia Society, NY; The Bronx  Museum, NY, The Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX; the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, CA; the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, CA; and the Boca Raton Museum of Art, LA, among others. Ganesh’s work has also been widely exhibited across Europe and Asia, including at the Hayward Gallery, London, Saatchi Museum, London; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Italy; Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno, Spain; the ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe; Göteborgs Konsthall, Sweden; Kunstalle Exnergrasse, Vienna, Arthotek Kunstverein, Göttingen; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai; the Gwangju Contemporary Arts Centre, Korea; Parasite, Hong Kong, the Bhau Daji Lad and Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai; Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts and the Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi; The Kochi-Muzuris Biennale, India, & the Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh among others.

Ganesh's works are held in prominent public collections including The Museum of Modern Art, The Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Berkeley Museum of Art, San Jose Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum, among others. She has received numerous awards, including  the New York Foundation for the Arts; Art Matters Foundation; John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation; the Joan Mitchell Foundation; and the Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University, Pollock Krasner Foundation, and most recently the Anonymous was a Woman Award in 2020. She received her B.A. from Brown University and her M.F.A. from Columbia University.

Lead support for Oh, honey...A queer reading of the collection is provided by Alan Hergott and Curt Shepard and the University of Michigan Office of the Provost.

Notice of uncensored content: In accordance with the University of Michigan’s Standard Practice Guidelines on “Freedom of Speech and Artistic Expression,” the Penny Stamps Speaker Series does not censor our speakers or their content. The content provided is intended for adult audiences and does not reflect the views of the University of Michigan or Detroit Public Television.  

The 2021 Doris Sloan Memorial Program is presented in partnership with the Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series. Established through the generosity of Dr. Herbert Sloan, this annual program honors one of the Museum’s most ardent friends and supporters, Doris Sloan, a long-time UMMA docent.

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