Kanishka Raja


Visitors to Kanishka Raja’s “I Have Seen the Enemy and It Is Eye” were welcomed into the exhibition by Opening Ceremony, 2009, a giant, flattened chandelier applied in gold leaf against a stark black wall. The work was an appropriately dramatic entrance for the professional debut in India of the Calcutta-raised, New York–based painter, who has already held solo exhibitions at institutions such as the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University and the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston. Raja left Calcutta to study in the US and settled in New York following a stint in Boston. In spite of a migratory pattern common in the Indian- and South Asian–American art worlds, Raja rejects the rubric and expected identity markers of “diaspora art.” Focusing on airports, aircraft, and other thresholds, Raja’s paintings evoke experiences that are transient and transnational.

Most of the paintings in “I Have

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