Chitra Ganesh Named Cornell University Teiger Mentor in the Arts

Colorful illustration of a mythical figure in the futuristic cosmos

Still from Chitra Ganesh's Metropolis (2018), courtesy of the Rubin Museum of Art. image / David De Armas Photography

January 2, 2019

The Department of Art at Cornell University has named Chitra Ganesh as the Teiger Mentor in the Arts for the spring 2019 semester. Ganesh's practice is based in drawing and brings to light narrative representations of femininity, sexuality, and power typically absent from canons of literature and art. Her installation, animation, prints, and drawings take historical and mythic texts as inspiration and points of departure to complicate received ideas of iconic female forms.

"I was first introduced to Chitra's work in the 2005 exhibition Fatal Love at the Queens Museum. Her prints, drawings, paintings, animations, and installations have consistently pushed social, cultural, and aesthetic boundaries on multiple fronts," says Jaret Vadera, assistant professor of the practice in new media. "Chitra's work is charged and timely — engaging with urgent social and political issues facing us today, while continually questioning the role of the artist in society."

Ganesh has had solo presentations at MoMA PS1, the Andy Warhol Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, Göteborgs Konsthall, the Rubin Museum, and The Kitchen in New York City. Her work has been exhibited throughout the U.S. and internationally. Exhibiting institutions in the U.S. include the Queens Museum, the Berkeley Art Museum, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, and the Baltimore Museum. International institutions include Fondazione Sandretto, Turin, Italy; Kunsthalle Exnergrasse, Vienna; Kunstverein Gottingen, Gottingen, Germany; the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, New Delhi; Princes of Wales Museum, Mumbai; Bhau Dai Lad Museum, Mumbai; Travancore Palace, New Delhi; and Dhaka Art Summit at Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Her work was also included in the 2018 Kochi Muzuris Biennial.

Ganesh received her B.A. from Brown University and M.F.A. from Columbia University. She is the recipient of numerous awards and residencies, including a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in the Creative Arts in 2012, a Pollock Krasner Foundation grant in 2017, and a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University's Lewis Center for the Arts for 2017–18, among others. 

"I am excited that our community of students and faculty will have a chance to work with Chitra as a Teiger Mentor in the Arts. She will add an invaluable perspective," adds Vadera.

As Teiger Mentor, Ganesh will visit campus multiple times during the spring semester, and spend several days of each visit meeting and working with graduate and undergraduate students in the Department of Art. She will deliver a public artist talk on February 11 at 5:15 p.m. in the Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium in Milstein Hall.

The Teiger Mentor in the Arts Program was created with a gift from David Teiger '51, a graduate of the School of Hotel Administration. Teiger, who died in December 2014, was a management consultant who lived in Bernardsville, New Jersey. Teiger was a contemporary art collector and patron of curatorial projects and exhibitions throughout the U.S. and Europe. Ganesh is the 12th Teiger Mentor to date. Previous mentors were Paul Pfeiffer, Sam Lewitt, Dana Hoey, Sean Landers, Craig Kalpakjian, Sam Durant, Sharon Hayes, Leslie Hewitt, Alejandro Cesarco, Shannon Ebner, and Josiah McElheny.

By Edith Fikes

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