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“How do I make space for myself on my own terms, independent of the viewer’s gaze and expectations? How does it push against the constant pressure of performing for others?
For this exhibition, I have been thinking a lot about how the everyday and the mythic can find common ground. I am inspired by people and places in my life, stories from the past that often have deeper subtexts, and of course the world of images, what’s come before. Figurative moments appear and reappear as bodily gestures, silhouettes, shadows. Words like “nearness”, “intimacy”, “vulnerability”, but also “resistance” and “inaccessibility” are always part of the conversation. The familiar becomes unfamiliar and vice versa. Bodies appear, dissolve, and reappear."
“Sangram Majumdar’s work is a rare combination of boldness and vulnerability, sophistication, and wonderment … Restlessness is one of the hallmarks of Majumdar’s work. It also suggests the depth of his pictorial ambition. The formal basis of his exploration is the relationship between figure and ground, the subject, and its surrounding space. Majumdar (recognizes) that the space surrounding the figure – particular an individual of color – (is) not secure.”
excerpted from the catalog essay Humans and Demons, 2024 published in the exhibition catalog for somewhere elsewhere
Join us along with poet JOHN YAU and artist SANGRAM MAJUMDAR as they speak in depth about the works, their inspirations, and the ideas they provoke in honor of this exhibition.
Sangram Majumdar attained a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, and a MFA from Indiana University, Bloomington. He has exhibited national and internationally for two decades, most recently showing at Nathalie Karg Gallery, New York; Aicon Contemporary, New York; and Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, New York. In 2023 he was awarded the prestigious Individual Support Grant from the Adolf and Esther Gottlieb Foundation. Majumdar is an Assistant Professor of Painting at the School of Art + Art History + Design, University of Washington, Seattle. He lives and works in Seattle.
John Yau is a poet who has been publishing reviews and essays on art and literature since 1978. His monographs include John Pai, March Avery, Liu Xiaodong, Thomas Nozkowski, Catherine Murphy, Richard Artschwager: Into the Desert, A Thing Among Things: The Art of Jasper Johns, and Joan Mitchell: Works on Paper 1956–1992. The 2017 recipient of the Jackson Prize in Poetry, his recent books of poetry include Tell It slant (2023) and Genghis Chan on Drums (2021). Since 2012, his weekly reviews have appeared in the online magazine, Hyperallergic Weekend. He received a 2019 Rabkin Poetry Prize for criticism. He is Professor of Critical Studies at Mason Gross School of the Arts (Rutgers University).
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