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October 10, 2018

Opening Soon: Rina Banerjee’s Make Me a Summary of the World

Author
Suji Kanneganti

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The conversations in the art world are becoming increasingly inclusive as of late.  And while the US has still a long way to go, more often now we are seeing diverse perspectives embraced: black, Latino, Asian…
Rina Banerjee is a Bengali native whose works have been exhibited internationally, but for the first time in States, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) and the San José Museum of Art (SJMA) will be exhibiting an in-depth retrospective of this contemporary artist’s practice, delving into her “complex and fanciful worlds”.
The work will feel simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar.  Sculptures somewhat reminiscent of Isa Genzken, they’re draped in bright color and materials sourced from many cultures.  These are honest celebrations of diversity.
Banerjee was born in 1963 in Kolkata, India. She has lived in both London and Manhattan, where she now resides.  She has a B.S. in polymer engineering from Case Western, and an MFA from Yale in Painting/Printmaking, completed in 1993.
While Banerjee is not exactly focused on her specific cultural identity (though, elements from her childhood do appear in her works), she is exploring the concept of self-identity and its relationship to a world full of appropriation, globalization, and diaspora.
The exhibition asks: Should her works be seen through the lens of an Indian artist?  An American artist (what entails an American artist?)?  A female artist?  A chemist turned into professional artist?
Or simply…an artist?
Her retrospective will be on view at PAFA from Oct 27, 2018 – Mar 31, 2019.
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