Rina Bannerjee, The world as burnt fruit - When empires feuded for populations and plantations, buried in colonial and ancient currency a Gharial appeared from an inky melon - hot with blossom sprang forth to swallow the world not yet whole as burnt fruit, 2009 Fans, feather, cowry shells, resin alligator, skull, globe, glass vials, light bulbs, gourds, steel wire and Japanese mosquito nets, 90 x 253 x 90 in. Collection Kiran Nadar Museum of Art. Rina Banerjee: Make Me a Summary of the World on view at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. On view at SJMA May 18–Oct 6, 2019.
Rina Banerjee: Make Me a Summary of the World is the first mid-career retrospective of the artist’s work. Co-organized by the San José Museum of Art and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, the exhibition presents almost twenty years of Banerjee’s large-scale installations, sculptures, and paintings—including a re-creation of her work from the 2000 Whitney Biennial; sculptures featured in the 2017 Venice Biennale; and recent work for the Prospect 4 New Orleans biennial.
Banerjee creates vivid sculptures and installations made from materials sourced throughout the world. She is a voracious gatherer of objects—in a single sculpture one can find African tribal jewelry, colorful feathers, light bulbs, Murano glass, and South Asian antiques in conflict and conversation with one another. These sensuous assemblages reverberate with bright colors and surprising textures present simultaneously as familiar and unfamiliar.
Rina Banerjee: Make Me a Summary of the World focuses on four interdependent themes in Banerjee’s work that coincide with important issues of our time: immigration and identity; the lasting effects of colonialism and its relationship to globalization; feminism; and climate change.