A public garden & cultural center

Jaishri Abichandani

Outcasts: Women in the Wilderness
Glyndor Gallery | April 8–July 9, 2017

Pictured above:
Before Kali 49, 2013
High Clay, wire, alabaster, paint, varnish, glue
Courtesy of the artist

Sculptures in Jaishri Abichandani’s Before Kali series represent a pantheon of female deities, simultaneously evoking an ancient matriarchal society and a future feminist utopia and unabashedly displaying their physicality, desires and trauma. Inspired by contemporary political events, Abichandani has endowed the figures with attributes that confront social injustices. Before Kali has a wide range of references, from Indus Valley figurines, to ancient Indian Rasa theory that deals with art and aesthetics, to premodern sculptures, current political events, references to Western art history and contemporary feminist artists such as Louise Bourgeois and Maria Lassnig.” Abichandani says, “My sculptures physically reflect ideas of female agency and emotional states of being. They often contain plant and animal forms to emphasize our connection to the natural world. They refer to and subvert mythological patriarchal narratives.”

For Abichandani, the theme of wilderness “resonates within my practice because of its allusion to an un-manicured, untamed and uncontrollable state of fecund existence. Her work entails not only a studio-based practice, but also a dedicated feminist activity, such as founding and directing the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective, for which she has had the opportunity to work “in collaboration with hundreds of amazing women practitioners across disciplines.” Regarding Nancy Spero, she finds “great resonance and so many lessons from her work—not just her production of an entire feminist canon but also her making a community with other women, writing and doing everything within her means to address historic, systemic, gendered absences in art.”

Jaishri Abichandani immigrated to New York City in 1984. She received her MFA from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and has intertwined art and activism throughout her career, founding the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective in New York and London. She has exhibited her work widely, at MoMA PS1; the Queens Museum; the 798 Beijing Biennial and the Guangzhou Triennial in China; Nature Morte and Gallery Chemould in India; the IVAM in Valencia, Spain; and the House of World Cultures in Berlin,Germany. As the founding director of public events and projects at the Queens Museum (2003–06), she co-curated the exhibitions Fatal Love: South Asian American Art Now, Queens International 2006: Everything All at Once and Her Stories: Fifteen Years of SAWCC.

Pictured above:
Before Kali number 96, 2015
Clay, epoxy, cement, wood, wire paint varnish
Courtesy of the artist 

Learn more about the artist here

Support for the Visual Arts Program is provided by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.