“As an immigrant I see myself as a cultural hybrid, finding equal inspiration in the prosaic and the theatrical. My paintings are as much a way for me to stay grounded in the everyday as they are to dream and wander. When I first traveled to Rome I was struck how much I was reminded of Calcutta. It is also probably why I have always felt comfortable in the streets of New York. Thus my studio practice revolves around discovering parallels in a wide array of visual spaces, including medieval Italian paintings, Indian miniatures, early video game floor plans, and my own natural environment. And in the paintings, I embrace this fractured and sometimes opposing logic that are outcomes of crossbreeding these traditional genres of still life, landscape and the figure.” ― Sangram Majumdar


Asia Society Texas Center is pleased to present the first-ever exhibition in Texas of the work of contemporary artist Sangram Majumdar. He emphasizes shared points of connection between seemingly disparate cultures, and his paintings act as palimpsests, layered with a range of historical references that are lost and recovered as the images unfold. His work refers to the cyclical nature of history and the catalytic connections between major cultural centers in Asia and the west.

Born in Kolkata, India, Majumdar has an MFA from Indiana University and a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. He is a full-time Professor of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Admission Information

Admission to this exhibition is free.

 

Hours

Tuesday – Friday, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday– Sunday, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Closed Mondays.

 

Photography

Photography of the exhibition without flash is permitted.

Press Release

Houston, Texas, April 18, 2017—Asia Society Texas Center is excited to announce its upcoming exhibition Sangram Majumdar. The exhibition at Asia Society will feature a significant number of recent works by the artist which have not been seen in Houston before, and will give our visitors a comprehensive introduction to the stunning work of this young contemporary painter. Sangram Majumdar will be on view in the Center’s Fayez Sarofim Grand Hall from April 22 through September 10, 2017.

With a studio practice which references collage, stencils, and dioramas, Majumdar freely borrows from a vast range of sources, both temporally and geographically. “My studio practice revolves around discovering parallels in a wide array of visual spaces, including medieval Italian paintings, Indian miniatures, early video game floor plans, and my own natural environment,” explains Majumdar. “In the paintings, I embrace this fractured and sometimes opposing logic that is an outcome of crossbreeding these traditional genres of still life, landscape, and the figure.”

While Majumdar’s early works are openly figurative, his later works are a distinct hybrid of the figurative and abstract, reality and fiction, the familiar and the unexpected. Majumdar paints through observation, working from photos, memory, and maquettes, but more often starts with something physical and actual in order to, as he says, “begin the conversation.” A recurring motif of a stage runs through many of his paintings, where everyday objects are cast in a theatrical manner in his studio. While initially appearing abstract, they often leave various hints to the observable world in the form of half recognizable forms, directional lighting and cast shadows. “I invite the viewer to consider a simultaneous existence of the nameable and the legible, the functional and the decorative, the structural and the ‘plastic.’ ” says Majumdar.

Majumdar’s mixed and complex style reflects his own personal story. Born in Calcutta, India, Majumdar moved to the United States with his family when he was a young teen, an experience that allowed him to consider reality from a number of different perspectives. “As an immigrant I see myself as a cultural hybrid, finding equal inspiration in the prosaic and the theatrical. They are as much a way for me to stay grounded in the everyday as they are to dream and wander.”

Majumdar’s large-scale canvases provide an immersive environment for his viewers to get lost in. He approaches his painting as palimpsests, layering them with a range of historical references that speaks to the cyclical nature of history. “I often think about Kierkegaard’s notion of the eternal return, or the Hindu idea of reincarnation,” says Majumdar. “My aesthetic and conceptual inclinations favor multiplicity and repetition, often returning to a theme after a period of time. Perhaps this circular way of working is an attempt to see my work in a new way, like looking obliquely in the mirror. The paintings themselves are hard fought, often going through multiple revisions.”

To celebrate the exhibition, guests are invited to a special FREE preview and reception with the artist on Friday, April 21 from 7:00-8:00 pm. The artist will also discuss his work and process during an artist talk on Sunday, April 23 at 2:00 pm. The artist talk will be FREE for members and $5 for nonmembers.

Admission to Sangram Majumdar is FREE and open to the public. Asia Society Texas Center, located at 1370 Southmore Boulevard is open Tuesday – Friday, 11 am – 6 pm, and Saturday – Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm.

This exhibition at Asia Society is made possible through major support from Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Nancy C. Allen, Leslie and Brad Bucher, and the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. Generous funding also provided by The Clayton Fund, Kathy and Glen Gondo, Ann Wales, and through contributions from the Friends of Exhibitions, a premier group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional visual art to Asia Society Texas Center.


About Sangram Majumdar

Born in Kolkata, India, Majumdar has an MFA from Indiana University and a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. He has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally and has lectured on his work at numerous institutions including CCA, SVA, Pratt, RISD, PAFA, SUNY-Purchase, Princeton University, and the New York Studio School. Recent solo exhibitions include a travelling exhibition at Drew University, NJ, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, TN and University of Vermont, BT. Other venues include Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, NY; Rothschild Fine Art, Tel Aviv, Israel, and the Kresge Art Museum, MI. Recent selected group exhibition venues include James Cohan Gallery, NY; Gallery Zürcher, NY; Morgan Lehman Gallery, NY; Tracey Williams Ltd, NY; Come Together: Surviving Sandy, curated by Phong Bui, Brooklyn, NY; the 2010 Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts, American Academy of Arts and Letters, NY; US Embassy, Sierra Leone, and the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Nagoya, Japan. Awards include a MacDowell Fellowship, a residency at Yaddo, the 2009-10 Marie Walsh Sharpe Studio Space Program Grant, a MICA Trustees Award for Excellence in Teaching, and two Maryland State Art Council Individual Grants in Painting. Majumdar lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He is a Professor of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)..


About Asia Society Texas Center

With 12 locations throughout the world, Asia Society is the leading educational organization promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among the peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the west. Asia Society Texas Center executes the global mission with a local focus, enriching and engaging the vast diversity of Houston through innovative, relevant programs in arts and culture, business and policy, education, and community outreach. Visit us at AsiaSociety.org/Texas.


Download a pdf of the press release here.

Related Programs and Tours

Reception Celebrating Sangram Majumdar Exhibition
Friday, April 21, 7:00-8:00 pm
Enjoy a special preview of the exhibition and a reception with light bites.

Artist Talk: Sangram Majumdar
Sunday, April 23, 2:00-3:30 pm
Asia Society Texas Center welcomes contemporary artist Sangram Majumdar to discuss his work as it relates to the Fayez Sarofim Grand Hall exhibition. 

 

Monthly Tours

Saturday, May 6, 3 pm

Saturday, June 10, 3 pm

Saturday, July 8, 3 pm

Saturday, August 12, 3 pm

Saturday, September 9, 3pm

To schedule a group tour outside of these designated days, please fill out the form below or contact Sarah Collins, Education & Outreach Coordinator, at SCollins@AsiaSociety.org.

Schedule a group tour »

 

School Tours

School tours, facilitated by the education department staff and volunteers, provide educationally rich interactive opportunities for students to learn about Asian art, culture, and traditions. These free tours are open to all public, private, charter, alternative, and home schools. Visits take place on weekdays, Tuesday through Friday, for one to two hours.

All school tours and subsequent interactive projects are tethered to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and district curriculum standards. They may include:

  • Docent-led tour of exhibitions in the Louisa Stude Sarofim Gallery

  • "Introduction to Asia” PowerPoint Presentation highlighting essential information about Asian art, culture, geography, and politics

  • Guided tour of the Texas Center and discussion of its unique architecture

  • Interactive projects based on the current exhibition (unavailable during summer months, June through August)

At least two weeks’ notice is required for school tours and additional advance notice is required for groups larger than 25.

Schedule a school tour »

For more information, please contact SCollins@AsiaSociety.org.

Credits

This exhibition at Asia Society is made possible through major support from Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Nancy C. Allen, Leslie and Brad Bucher, and the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. Generous funding also provided by The Clayton Fund, Kathy and Glen Gondo, Ann Wales, and through contributions from the Friends of Exhibitions, a premier group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional visual art to Asia Society Texas Center.

  

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