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Wash U’s Kemper Art Museum Exhibits Comic Book-Inspired Dreamscapes From New York-Based Artist | maker

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“Yellow Cloud Dreaming” image courtesy of the artist; Hales, London and New York; and Gallery Wendi Norris, San Francisco. © Chitra Ganesh

Opening on Friday, Feb. 18, at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, “Chitra Ganesh: Dreaming in Multiverse” showcases nonlinear tableaux inspired, in part, by Anant Pai’s long-running Indian comic book series Amar Chitra Katha, which means “Immortal picture stories.”

The free exhibition on Washington University in St. Louis’ Danforth Campus comprises 13 digital prints and select video animation, and runs till July 25.

“I met Chitra last year and was immediately taken with the way she mixes myth and science fiction, interweaving the deep past and the far future to grapple with our present moment of sociopolitical turbulence,” says Meredith Malone, the Kemper’s curator, who proposed the exhibition. “Her work has been described as drawing-based, but she also works in collage, painting, photography, wall drawings and, as you’ll see in this exhibition, prints and animations.

“Chitra’s practice is informed by regular travels to India, with particular interest in Indian film, music and popular culture. Combined with her bringing up in New York City, these influences yield a distinct perspective, which is borne out in the artwork through her mixing of South Asian iconography, surrealism, science fiction, queer theory, comics, Bollywood posters and video games.”



Chitra Ganesh, Double Pool Dream, 2021, LightJet print on archival paper, 78.4 x 58.7 cm, C_GAN0058, Artwork.png

“Double Pool Dream” image courtesy of the artist; Hales, London and New York; and Gallery Wendi Norris, San Francisco. © Chitra Ganesh

“Dreaming” inclines toward the oneiric, even the nightmarish, recalling perhaps nothing so much as psychedelic underground comics of the late 1960s and early ’70s.

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