Sharmistha Ray (they/them) is a Brooklyn-based artist, art critic, curator and educator. They use interdisciplinary methods and make paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations to explore themes of intimacy and connection through the lens of queerness and abstraction. In 2020, they co-founded the feminist artist collective Hilma’s Ghost as a participatory and collaborative model for research, exhibitions and pedagogy. They have participated in 50+ solo and group exhibitions internationally, including the solo exhibitions (both independently and with the collective) RADICAL SPIRITS: Tarot, Automatism and Feminist Histories at Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington, CT (2022); ABSTRACT FUTURES TAROT at The Armory Show, New York, NY (2021); and we are all islands I and II in Mumbai and Kochi (2016–17). Ray is the recipient of notable awards including a Montblanc Young Artist Worldwide Patronage Award (2012) and a Joan Mitchell MFA Grant (2004) and has been an artist-in-residence at Wassaic Project, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts and Art Cake. Reviews of their work have appeared in The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail, Artnet, Hyperallergic, Art India, and TimeOut Mumbai.
Ray’s writings span art criticism, artist interviews, experimental writing and catalogue essays. They have been published for 10+ years in more than 30 publications, such as Hyperallergic, Artcritical, Vogue India, Elle India, Art India and Ocula. They wrote the catalogue essay for the group exhibition Cosmic Geometries (2022) that they curated with Hilma’s Ghost at EFA Project Space in 2022. Their experimental essay, Evidence, was published in Where Is Art? Space, Time and Location in Contemporary Art (Routledge, 2022). Ray has been a visiting critic and artist at institutions and residencies including the Parrish Museum, Brooklyn Public Library, NYC Crit Club, the Elizabeth Foundation, Williams College, Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute, Flux Factory, Wassaic Project, City University of New York and SUNY Purchase.
In addition to their art and writing, Ray has held a number of positions in the art world internationally, including executive positions at Bodhi Art, Hauser & Wirth, Art Basel, Kochi-Muziris Biennale and CUE Art Foundation. As a gallery director from 2006–10, they oversaw 100+ exhibitions and art fairs internationally in India, Singapore, China, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Spain and the US. They were on the first committee for the Hong Kong International Art Fair, which is now Art Basel HK, and have organized numerous panels, salons and educational events. Public speaking engagements include Art Basel Miami Beach, TED (Whistler, Canada) and SXSW (Austin, TX). They received a dual degree MFA in Painting and MS in Theory, Criticism and History of Art, Design and Architecture from Pratt Institute. Currently, Ray teaches at Parsons School of Design, RISD and Carnegie Mellon University.
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