Rina Banerjee, Manuel Mathieu and Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien
January 10- February 9, 2020
Sargent’s Daughters is pleased to present Geographia, an exhibition featuring three artists across multiple disciplines. The exhibition explores the extent to which place shapes us, the commonalities across cultures and the influence of history, geography and language. The three artists span the globe in their lineage, lives and work-- drawing on elements endemic to their native cultures as well as their current surroundings, their pasts and their heritage.
The Geographia was a compilation of the geographical knowledge of the 2nd-century Roman Empire. Originally written by Claudius Ptolemy in Greek at Alexandria circa AD 150, the work was a revision of a now-lost atlas by Marinus of Tyre.
Rina Banerjee’s works explore colonialism and globalism; immigration and identity; gender and sexuality; climate change and the natural world. Her intricate and poetic titles accompanying the works range in length from 50 to nearly 200 words and offer a meandering exploration of the influence of language. Born in India, Banerjee lived in London as a child before coming to the United States, and her panel paintings show the influences of both traditional Indian miniature painting and European Renaissance masters, enticing the viewer into a magical and mysterious mixture of cultures and creatures.
The paintings of Manuel Mathieu investigate themes of historical violence and erasure, as well as Haitian visual cultures of physicality, nature, and spirituality. Blending abstract and figurative understanding of painting from the western canon and the rich legacy of Haitian painting, his compositions balance between overt symbols and buried images and bring an intimacy to larger cultural questions. Navigating between personal and collective memories, he invites the viewer to join him in creating possible future realities.
Ranging from textile pieces to film “activations” of her works, Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien works across a variety of mediums including, textile, drawing, sculpture, photography, painting, video-performance, engraving, and installation. She is inspired by the traditional practices of the matriarchal Akan society in Côte d’Ivoire, who historically crafted weights in order to value gold. The works create ephemeral, poetic narrations which are in perpetual renewal, resulting in tangible pieces which both ‘witness’ and ‘trace’ past diverse cultural histories.
As we follow the works, worlds emerge and recede, leaving traces of new and imagined maps, of territories yet to be explored, and perhaps even invented.
Rina Banerjee (b. 1963, Calcutta, India) grew up in London, England, and eventually moved to New York, NY, where she currently resides and works. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Polymer Engineering at Case Western University in 1993 and took a job as a polymer research chemist upon graduation. After several years, she left the science profession to receive her Masters in Fine Arts from Yale University in 1995.
Banerjee’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including Galerie Nathalie Obadia Paris, France; The Zabludowicz Art Collection, London, UK; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), Philadelphia, PA; Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Fowler Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Kochi Biennial 2018, curated by Anita Dube, India; Prospect.4, US Biennial curated by Trevor Schoonmaker, New Orleans, LA; 57th International Art Exhibition -La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy; and notably a solo exhibition at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. The artist’s works are also included in many private and public collections such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Centre George Pompidou, Paris, France; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA; Queens Museum, Queens, NY; and the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY.
Manuel Mathieu (b. 1986, Haiti) is a painter currently in Germany where he is an Akademie Schloss Solitude Fellow. Mathieu obtained a Master’s in Fine Arts from Goldsmiths College, University of London in 2016. He is currently preparing a solo exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Canada, opening in the summer of 2020. Recent exhibitions include Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago, IL; Maruani Mercier, Brussels,BE ; Wu Ji, HDM Gallery, Beijing, China ; ICA, London (curated by Fatoş Üstek), London, UK; Grand Palais, Paris, France.
Marie-Claire Messouma Manlanbien (b. 1990, Paris, France) has lived in Paris since leaving Côte d’Ivoire in 2004 during the civil war. Since graduating, from the Ecole National Superieure des Beaux Arts, Paris in 2016, she has exhibited work at the 38th EVA International, Limerick, Ireland; Quai Branly Museum, Paris, France; Africa Now, Contemporary Art Museum, Brescia, Italy and the 1_54 Contemporary African Art Fair. She is a recipient of the Bourse / Grant: FoRTE 2019 for Emergent Talents, a finalist at the SAM Art Projects Art prize and was awarded a residence at the Cité des Arts in Paris, France in 2019.