The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is pleased to present its major fall exhibition, Rina Banerjee: Make Me a Summary of the World, the first mid-career retrospective on the contemporary practice of Rina Banerjee, co-organized with the San José Museum of Art, California (SJMA).
Known for her large-scale sculptures and installations made from materials sourced throughout the world, Banerjee’s works investigate the splintered experiences of identity, tradition, and culture, prevalent in diasporic communities.
Make Me a Summary of the World will be on view to the public from October 27, 2018 through March 31, 2019 in the galleries at PAFA. It will be accompanied by extensive programming and a full-color, 160-page catalogue co-published with PAFA and SJMA. The exhibition will then open at SJMA from May 18, 2019 – October 6, 2019 before embarking on a national tour.
Banerjee (born 1963) is one of the most important artists of the post-colonial Indian diaspora living in the United States and her work has been shown most extensively in Europe and South Asia. This exhibition, the first in-depth examination into the artist’s work, will consider Banerjee in both American and global frameworks, specifically in relation to Banerjee’s intersectional approach to feminism.
Bringing together several of Banerjee’s monumental installations in conversation with more than two dozen sculptures, as well as a thorough selection of works on paper, Make Me a Summary of the World will transform PAFA into an otherworldly and multi-sensory space.
Using a variety of gathered materials ranging from African tribal jewelry to colorful feathers, light bulbs, and Murano glass, Banerjee’s art celebrates diversity at every level. These sensuous assemblages present themselves simultaneously as familiar and unfamiliar, thriving on tensions between visual cultures and raising questions about exoticism, cultural appropriation, globalization, and feminism. Her works are paired with thought-provoking and poetic titles that are works of art in themselves, ranging in length from 50 to 180 words.
Born in Calcutta, India in 1963, Banerjee was raised in the United Kingdom and United States. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Polymer Engineering from Case Western in 1993 and took a job as a polymer research chemist upon graduation. After several years, she left the science profession to pursue her MFA in Fine Arts from Yale University. Banerjee currently divides her time between New York City and Philadelphia.
She has exhibited in New York, Paris, London, Tokyo, New Delhi, and notably in a solo exhibition at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC in 2013. Her works are also included in many private and public collections such as the Whitney Museum of American Art (NY), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Centre George Pompidou, Paris, France; Queens Museum (NY); and the Brooklyn Museum (NY). PAFA recently acquired two of Banerjee’s artworks for its permanent collection and they are included in the exhibition.
Rina Banerjee: Make Me a Summary of the World is co-organized by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, and the San José Museum of Art, California.