IAAC Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art of the Diaspora 2012

Pritika Chowdhry
Pritika Chowdhry
Pritika Chowdhry
I engage with cultural forms of memory and representations of historical trauma through my creative practice. Often the starting point of my creative projects is deep research in a particular historical event or events of contemporary significance. My recent works have comprised of a series of art installations that memorialize partitions and ethnic fissures occurring in the 20th century. The primary output of my studio practice is large-scale sculptures and site-sensitive installations that reference the scale of the body as it is reproduced in and through the national.

My works function as "memory sculptures," rooted in the visual and aesthetic practices of post-minimalist art. Installed in experiential environments, they function as mobile and temporary memorials. RanjanaKhanna of DukeUniversity remarked that the role of transnational feminism today may be to "bring bridges into being even when it seems untenable to do so." And Mira Nair has noted, "when you make something more specific and more local, it becomes that much more universal." These are significant post-universalist calls in the highly globalized and interconnected world that we live in.
Creating bridges is one of the primary motivations that sustains my creative practice as an artist, curator, and scholar. Often my starting point is deep research in a particular historical event or events of contemporary significance. In addition to my studio practice, I have founded the Transdiaspora Project, an ongoing series of curated exhibits that seek to bring together artists from multiple diasporic locations around overlapping themes. My creative practice now is a symbiosis of research, studio practice, and curatorial projects. I believe that as a cultural producer, while I definitely have a specific and situated location, I also have the ability to create empathetic bridges with people and communities from other locations.
Andreas Huyssen, Present Pasts: Urban Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory, StanfordUniversity Press, 2003.
Transnational Feminism conference, 2009, VisualCultureCenter, UW-Madison.
Mira Nair interview on The Namesake, Sheila Roberts,


b. 1973, Karnataka, India

Visiting Assistant Professor, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN.  Taught Fiber and Material Studies I and II.
Adjunct Instructor, Sculpture, College of Visual Arts, St. Paul, MN. Taught Mold-making and Casting, and a studio seminar on the Body.
2009       M.A. Visual Culture and Gender Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
2008       M.F.A. Studio Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
2005       B.S. in Fine Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Selected Solo/Two-person Exhibitions

“Remembering the Crooked Line”, Rohtas 2 gallery, Lahore, Pakistan.
“Memory Leaks”, Sanskriti gallery, New Delhi, India.
New Works, Poppy Seed gallery, Karachi, Pakistan.

“Retellings”, with BaraanIjlal, Seven Art gallery, New Delhi, India.2009
“What The Body Remembers”, The DoVA Temporary, Chicago, IL.
“Remembering the Crooked Line”, Womandmade gallery, Chicago, IL.

“Silent Waters”, Class of 1925 gallery, Madison, WI.
“What The Body Remembers”, Commonwealth gallery, Madison, WI.

“Queering Mother India”, George Mosse gallery, Madison, WI.
"Bollywood Suburbia", ARTSpace, Madison, WI.
“Reverberations”, with Jenny DeCarlo, Gallery 734, Madison, WI.

“Pratibimb”, DeRicci gallery, Edgewood College, Madison, WI.

“America – Home Away From Home”, ArtBeat gallery, Madison, WI.

“Un/Self”, Jackie Macaulay gallery, Madison, WI.

Selected Group Exhibitions

“What Rules?” Nature Morte gallery, Berlin, Germany; The Guild gallery, Mumbai, India.
"Geographies", Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts, Fridley, MN.
“A Decade On”, Playwrights Center, Minneapolis, MN.

“Fire Power”, Hunterdon Art Museum, New Jersey, NJ.
"Story Time", Islip Art Museum, Long Island, NY.
“Velocity: Rate of Change of Position”, Function 13 gallery, Toronto, ON, Canada.
“Foot in the Door”, Minneapolis Institute of the Arts museum, MN.
“The Remodernist Show”, Las Manos gallery, Chicago, IL.
“Erasing Borders”, The Guild, NY; Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, NJ; Twelve Gates gallery, PA.Organized by Indo-American Arts Council as a traveling exhibit.
“Prints: Now in 3D!”, Minneapolis Center for Book Arts, MN.
“Roots... Regions and Reasons”, Zanbeel Art gallery, Santa Monica, CA.
International mail art exhibit, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA.

“Strung, Hung, Drawn, and Quartered”, curated by Amina Begum Ahmed as part of “Engendered” festival, Halvai gallery, SoHo, NY.
“Erasing Borders”, Queens Museum, NY; Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, Manhattan, NY; Dowd Fine Arts Center, Cortland, NY; Penn College, Pittsburg, PA. Organized by Indo-American Arts Council as a traveling exhibit of South Asian diaspora art in America.
“Asian Contemporary Art Week”, Crossing Art gallery, Queens, NY. Organized by Asia Art Society and Museum, New York, NY.
Annual Faculty Art Exhibit, Jane Wallace Fine Arts Center, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN.
“Gema: Dando A Luz Al Arte de Mujer”, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, San Antonio, TX.
“Women Imaging Women: A Study of Female Portraiture”, State Street gallery, Robert Morris College, Chicago, IL.
“Healing Power of Art”, The Art Center of Highland Park, Chicago, IL.

National Paper Triennial, Brodsky Center, Rutgers University, NJ.
Chicago Women’s Caucus for the Arts Regional Biennial, juried by BeateMinkovski, ARC gallery, Chicago, IL.
“Allure of the Multiple”, George Mosse gallery, Madison, WI.

National Prize show juried by Thomas W. Lentz, Director of the Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge Art gallery, Cambridge, MA.
“Women’s Works 2007”, juried by Judy Chicago, Crystal Lake, IL.
10th International Open, Womanmade Gallery, Chicago, IL.
“The Nature of Duality”, Brennan gallery, Jersey City, NJ.
“Au Naturel”, juried show in Clatstop College, Astoria, OR.
“Daughters of Sappho”, juried international show, Gay Arts Center, Milwaukee, WI.
“Intersectionalities: The Feminist in Art”, Pyle Center, Madison, WI.

Barrow and Juarez gallery, Milwaukee, WI.
Porter Butts gallery, Madison, WI.

“Her Mark”, Womanmade gallery, Chicago, IL.
“Layered Intentions”, Overture Community Galleries, Madison, WI.
“Grief/Trauma”, Steenbock gallery, Wisconsin Academy, Madison, WI.
“Love: Lost & Found”, Hue Art gallery, Madison, WI.

“Collaborations”, Wisconsin Academy, Madison, WI.

“Time Capsule”, Paine Art Center, Oshkosh, WI.
“War & Peace – Artists’ Voices”, gallery 218, Milwaukee, WI.

Selected Fellowships, Grants and Awards

American Institute of Indian Studies, Creative Arts Fellowship.
Minnesota State Arts Board, Artist Initiative Project grant.

Lighton International Artists Exchange Program grant.

Wisconsin Arts Board grant, Madison, Wisconsin.
Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission grant.
BLINK public art grant, City of Madison Arts Commission.

Vilas International Travel Fellowship, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

City of Madison Arts Commission Project grant.
David and Edith Sinaiko Frank Fellowship for a Woman in the Arts, University of Wisconsin.

Curatorial Projects

2011 Curator, “Multiple Coordinates: Transdiasporic Art Practices,” exhibit forthcoming, venue TBD.

2009 Curator, “Cultural Memory: Transdiasporic Art Practices” exhibit at Womanmade gallery, Chicago, IL.

2007 Curator, “Visceral Mappings: Transdiasporic Art Practices”, exhibit at the Dellora Norris Cultural Arts Center, St. Charles, IL and at the Pyle Center in Madison, WI.

2006 Curator, “Diasporic Art Practices” exhibit in Gallery 734, Madison, WI, as part of the Trans: Visual Culture conference.

Visiting Artist Residencies

2011       Visiting Artist-in-Residence, Sanskriti Foundation, New Delhi, India.
2010       Iron Pour Residency, Franconia Sculpture Park, MN.
2009       Kiln God Residency, Watershed Ceramics Art Center, ME.
Visiting Artist-in-Residence, Minneapolis Center for Book Arts, MN.


Catalog essay by Jacque Micieli forthcoming in retrospective catalog for “Partition Memorial Project”.

Curatorial essay by Mary Birmingham in catalog of “Erasing Borders”, 2010 exhibit, published by Indo-American Arts Council.
Review of “Retellings” exhibit in the Indian Express, The Statesman, and Time Out Delhi magazine.
Review “Prints: Now in 3D!” exhibit by Kerry Anne Morgan of for the Mid American Print Council Journal.

Catalog essay of “Engendered” exhibit, by Amina Begum Ahmed.
Catalog essay by NishaKommatam in exhibit catalog for “What the Body Remembers” solo exhibit in DoVA Temporary.
Curatorial essay by Vijay Kumar in catalog of “Erasing Borders”, 2009 exhibit, published by Indo-American Arts Council.

Published catalog of “Visceral Mappings: Transdiasporic Art Practices” exhibit, available from
Articles about “Silent Waters” solo exhibit in Badger Herald and Isthmus.

Article published in the August issue of “Susceptible to Images” magazine.

2006 Article published in the December issue of Asian Wisconzine.
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