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Solo show of recent works by Chitra Ganesh on view at Gallery Espace
Central to her practice is her thematic interest in exploring narratives and iconographies of femininity or female sexuality that are typically relegated to the margins of history, literature and art.

NEW DELHI.- Gallery Espace is presenting a solo show of recent works by Chitra Ganesh.

Brooklyn-based, Chitra Ganesh (b. 1975) has a vibrant, multi-faceted practice that draws on a variety of media. Whether she is working with digital collage, painting, installation, photography or video, drawing remains at the core of her practice. At a time when images are digitally rendered and mass produced, Chitra is particularly sensitive to the presence of the hand in her process, one which invariably draws as much on digital technologies as it emphasizes physical, manual ones. Her Lightjet prints (like Zebra Among Horses and Atlas, 2013, amongst the ones being featured in this exhibition) for instance, are composed through a digital process of fusing scans of her own pen and ink drawings, written texts, appropriated imagery from Amar Chitra Katha comics, and drawings made directly onto a digital tablet. Drawing on strategies of collage, appropriation and surrealist texts, Chitra’s works constantly seek to push at boundaries, often piercing through and emerging out of the surface to spill right out of their frames.

Central to her practice is her thematic interest in exploring narratives and iconographies of femininity or female sexuality that are typically relegated to the margins of history, literature and art. Her lush, narrative works delve into religion, epics, myth, art history, fantasy and political action, realms that tend to be rather male-centric, to compose a fresh, new re-telling that centers women as players and protagonists. These multi-headed, multi-breasted women, bursting with vaginas, vagina-like wounds, eyes and limbs, resist being contained within conventional physical trappings. Their protean forms offer a different exploration of female bodies – as sites of collision, spillage, transformation, contemplation and eroticism.

Although text and image cohabit her frames, there is often a noticeable disjuncture in the way they relate to each other. Rather than explain or add to a reading of the illustrations, the text and image invariably offer two distinct narratives that only occasionally coincide. Such deliberate gaps in her narrative grammar allow for multiple, subjective readings of the imagery.

Chitra’s vivid visual vocabulary is influenced by a variety of references from both high and low art. Aspects of popular visual culture like the street art and graffiti she grew up seeing in New York, Indian and American comic books, cartoons, manga, anime, and religious iconography, shape her visual grammar. In addition to this she is also inspired by lyric poetry and song lyrics that often find echoes in her work. More recently she has been exploring science fiction as a contemporary mythology to investigate the eternal questions about how we live, why we live, and where are we headed.

Besides a suite of 8 lightjet prints, this exhibition will feature a collage on board, and a series of mixed-media drawings on paper. In addition to this, Chitra will make a site specific mural-based installation, composed in-situ the gallery space.

The exhibition on view until November 15, 2013.

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