Selected works by Chitra Ganesh

Chitra Ganesh
Tales of Amnesia


21 C-prints

Dimensions variable
New York based artist Chitra Ganesh studied literature at Brown and painting at Columbia. For the artist, the comic book appears to epitomise and perpetuate a perverse sense of good over evil. Such scenarios are at the centre of classic Indian literature such as the Ramayana in which men and women indulge in episodes of absolute and unsolicited power. The stylised simplification of the comic book style is central to Ganesh’s work Tales of Amnesia, in which the audacious female character confronts subscribed notions of compliance in order to explore alternative models of femininity and power. By rewriting popular history, Ganesh appears to empower her character Amnesia with an opportunity to directly challenge the original fairy tale. For Ganesh, such preconceived social codes have always been heavily influenced by religion and literature and her work reconfigures these codes.
Chitra Ganesh



122 x 114 cm

Chitra Ganesh’s accomplished illustration is a wondrous scene in which reality appears to have been forsaken for something much more troublesome. Ganesh’s landscape of tranquil water is littered with female forms that appear to come directly from the artist’s imagination. Composed of vengeful double heads rooted on hands with decapitated fingers, adolescent school-girls sprouting from a tight-fitting skirt and blouse with multiple limbs and a naked figure hanging from a forlorn tree with lotus leaves and a hand; Ganesh’s vivid illustration is born of a deliberate stream of consciousness and a dream like state that very graphically challenges preconceptions of the representation of women.

Chitra Ganesh


Photographic triptych

61 x 63 .5 cm each

Chitra Ganesh’s photographic triptych Hidden depicts the artist performing bizarre acts of mutilation and mysticism. The timeless backdrop and the indecipherable objects speak of Ganesh’s interest in the symbolism of classical literature that she actively critiques in her Amnesia works. Rather than indulging in beauty and heroic drama, Ganesh exposes herself to the vulnerability of performing for the camera.

Chitra Ganesh


Digital C-print

76 x 52 cm

In Twisted the artist appears to be twisted on a bed of leaves deep in the forest, illuminated by artificial light and struggling to find her feet in a strange juxtaposition of beautifully tailored costume and contoured body parts. It becomes almost impossible to rationalise what might have happened to Ganesh’s central character and why this figure stretched out appears utterly of another world. The work references notions of the plight of women in modern India and a willingness on Ganesh’s part to refer to very classical views of women and their subservient role to men.

Other Resources
Additional information and images – Chitra Ganesh
Modern and contemporary artists and art – Chitra Ganesh
Various and images – Chitra Ganesh
Representing gallery, selected works, current and past exhibition information
In Broken Spell, Chitra Ganesh explores a moment in Indian mythology that details a failure of enchantment in the ancient epic, the “Ramayana.” Surpannahka, a demoness, is attracted to Rama but feels she is too ugly and disguises herself.
Representing gallery - current exhibition information and selected works
In her first solo exhibition, Chitra Ganesh presents a collection of photographs, works on paper, digital collages, and paintings. Throughout all these media, Ganesh reveals disjunctive narratives, cracking visual motifs and aesthetically pleasing, fantastically overwhelming constructions.
Indo-American Arts Council - profile of the artist, information on past exhibitions and bibliography
Indian Art News - news & views on the Indian modern and contemporary art market – Chitra Ganesh
Chitra Ganesh’s work incorporates collage, photography, drawing and paint to tell personal and post-colonial narratives that are enacted by characters from Hindu and other religious mythologies
I've always been fascinated by how dreams and their repressions shape personal and social crises. My installation, photography and sculptural work is inspired by mythological narratives, present day imperialism, queer politics, lyric poetry and erased moments in South Asian history.