Born in India and based in New York City, artist Rina Banerjee (b. 1963) draws on her background as a scientist and her experience as an immigrant. Her richly textured works complicate the role of objects as representations of cultures and invite viewers to share her fascination in materials. By juxtaposing organic and plastic objects—such as combining ornate textiles and animal forms with tourist souvenirs—she concocts fairytale worlds that are both enticing and subtly menacing. Visitors are invited to view the artist at work July 9–July 12, in advance of the opening.
Touching on themes of migration and transformation, the installation’s lengthy title conveys the sense of a long journey: A World Lost: after the original island, single land mass fractured, after populations migrated, after pollution revealed itself and as cultural locations once separated merged, after the splitting of Adam and Eve, Shiva and Shakti, of race black and white, of culture East and West, after animals diminished, after the seas’ corals did exterminate, after this and at last imagine all water evaporated…this after Columbus found it we lost it imagine this.
Audio: A conversation with Rina Banerjee and Carol Huh