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‘Take Me to the Palace of Love’ on Display at Syracuse University Art Museum Jan.19-May 14
A new exhibition of critical artworks by acclaimed international artist Rina Banerjee will open at the Syracuse University Art Museum on Jan. 19. “Take Me to the Palace of Love” explores the meaning of home in diasporic communities and invites viewers to tell their own stories of identity, place and belonging.
Curated by Romita Ray, associate professor of art and music histories in the College of Arts and Sciences, the exhibition features three monumental sculptural works by Banerjee, as well as works from the museum’s permanent collection, and loaned artwork from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University and the artist’s personal collection.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Banerjee is the 2023 Jeanette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Humanities at Syracuse University. Banerjee’s two-week residency, “Diaspora, Displacement and the Science of Art,” will take place from Feb. 20-March 3.
The exhibition and Banerjee’s residency is generously supported by the Syracuse University Humanities Center, the Department of Art and Music Histories, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Art Museum, along with 33 departments and units at the University and The Republic of Tea.
“We are delighted to bring Rina Banerjee’s creative spirit to Syracuse University,” says Ray. “’Take Me to the Palace of Love’ is not just an exhibition; it is fundamentally a love letter to nature, community and identity.”
About the Exhibition
“Can we rescue love?” is the fundamental question at the heart of “Take Me to the Palace of Love,” which includes Banerjee’s drawings and three critical art installations. It is through the nourishing power of love that we define our sense of place in our communities and on our planet.
Yet love, as Banerjee’s work discloses, has been distorted to create inequity and destroy our relationship with the natural world. The exhibition urges us to restore our social and planetary connections with love. Rooted in cultural memory and storytelling, it invites us to ask: Does love play a role in how we view ourselves and shape our sense of place? Has climate change been shaped by a loss of love? How does love shape or resist gendered and racialized identities? As we come to terms with a global pandemic, these questions grow sharper and more relevant than ever.
About the Artist
Now based in New York City, Rina Banerjee was born in Kolkata, India, and lived briefly in Manchester and London before arriving in Queens, New York. Drawing on her multinational background and personal history as an immigrant, Banerjee focuses on ethnicity, race and migration and American diasporic histories in her sculpture, drawings and video art. Her sculptures feature a wide range of globally sourced materials, textiles, and colonial/historical and domestic objects, while her drawings are inspired by Indian miniature and Chinese silk paintings and Aztec drawings.
In 2018 the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the San José Museum of Art co-organized Banerjee’s first solo retrospective, “Rina Banerjee: Make Me a Summary of the World,” featuring 60 works, including sculptures, paintings and video. The retrospective’s North American tour included exhibitions at the San José Museum of Art and the Fowler Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles before ending at the Frist Art Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2020.
Banerjee has exhibited internationally, spanning 14 biennials worldwide, including the Venice Biennial, Yokohama Triennale and Kochi Biennial. Banerjee’s works are included in many private and public collections, including the Foundation Louis Vuitton, Whitney Museum of American Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Centre Pompidou, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, San José Museum of Art, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum.
Banerjee returned to teaching in 2020, as a critic for the Yale School of Art Graduate Program. Between September 2021 and January 2022, she served a prestigious artist’s residency at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
- Being Rina Banerjee, Feb. 20 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. ET, virtual
- Artist talk and museum reception, Feb. 23 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Life Sciences 001, followed by a reception at the Shaffer Art Building
- Rina Banerjee in Conversation With Gayatri Spivak, March 3 from 3-5:30 p.m., Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium, Newhouse 3
Visit the museum’s website for more public programs surrounding the exhibition and Banerjee’s two-week residency.
Members of the media, please contact Emily Dittman, interim director of Syracuse University Art Museum, at firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information or to schedule a tour.