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Chitra Ganesh

Brooklyn, New York

Artworks shown are selected from works submitted by the artist in their grant or residency application. All works are copyright of the artist or artist’s estate.

About Chitra Ganesh

Chitra Ganesh smiles broadly in front of greenery, wearing a teal patterned scarf, denim jacket, gold nose rings and earrings. She has medium-dark skin, and long wavy dark hair.
Photo by Ally Caple.

Chitra Ganesh (b. 1975 Brooklyn, New York, USA) received a BA in Art-Semiotics and Comparative Literature from Brown University, Providence, RI in 1996. She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2001 and received her MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University, NY in 2002. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Across a twenty-year practice, Chitra Ganesh has developed an expansive body of work rooted in drawing and painting, which has evolved to encompass animations, wall drawings, collages, computer generated imagery, video, and sculpture. Through studies in literature, semiotics, queer theory, science fiction, and historical and mythic texts, Ganesh attempts to reconcile representations of femininity, sexuality, and power absent from the artistic and literary canons. She often draws on visual forms from the South Asian subcontinent, including mythology, comics, and graphic art, and is currently negotiating her relationship to some of these images with the rise of right wing Hindu fundamentalism in India.

Ganesh's work has been widely exhibited in the United States and internationally, including solo shows at Brooklyn Museum, NY; MoMA PS1, NY; The Kitchen, NY; The Rubin Museum of Art, NY; The Andy Warhol Museum, PA; Gothenburg Kunsthalle, Sweden; and Times Square, NY. Her work has also been exhibited in important group exhibitions at The Walker Art Center, MN; 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; the Boca Raton Museum of Art, FL; the Hayward Gallery, London, UK; Saatchi Museum, London, UK: Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Italy; Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno, Italy; the ZKM Center for Art and Media, Germany; Göteborgs Konsthall, Germany; Arthotek Kunstverein, Göttingen, Germany; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, China; the Gwangju Contemporary Arts Centre, Korea; the Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai, India; Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, New Delhi, India; Devi Art Foundation, India; the Kochi Biennial, India; and the Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh, among others.

Ganesh’s work is represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; The Brooklyn Museum, NY; The Art Institute of Chicago, IL; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; The Ford Foundation, NY; University of Michigan Museum of Art, MI; The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, PA; the Devi Art Foundation, India; Kiran Nadar Museum, Delhi, India; the Ishara Foundation, Dubai; the Saatchi Collection, London, UK; the Tai Kwun Foundation, Hong Kong; and Deutsche Bank, among others.

Ganesh is the recipient of fellowships and awards from numerous foundations and organizations, including the New York Foundation for the Arts, Printed Matter, the Art Matters Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University, the Pollock Krasner Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.

Chitra’s experience working with artist-centered organizations is rooted in the queer and South Asian communities, including serving on the Board of Directors of the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective (1998-2004) and as a member of SLAAAP! Sexually Liberated Asian Artist Activist People (1999-2002). Ganesh currently serves on the Board of Governors at the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture (since 2003). Learn more about her work at

Program Participation

Painters & Sculptors Grant, 2010

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