Photograph: Himanshuu Chandrakant Sheth. Image courtesy: Nine Fish Art Gallery
  • Born in Kolkata, visual artist Sharmistha Ray is a migrant of many worlds. Her family migrated numerous times throughout her childhood from India to England, and the Middle East to America. A decade ago, Ray reverse-migrated to India, arriving in Mumbai for the first time to explore the contemporary art world. Since then, she has become well-known as a visual artist, writer and curator. Her work addresses the intersection of migration and identity.

Ray studied studio art at Williams College, and holds a dual degree M.S. in Theory, Criticism and History of Art, Design and Architecture and M.F.A. in Painting from Pratt Institute. She has won the Joan Mitchell M.F.A. Grant (2004) and Montblanc Young Artist World Patronage Award (2012), and was nominated for the Civitella Ranieri Fellowship in the Visual Arts category in 2014. She has held previous solo exhibitions at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke in Mumbai and Aicon Gallery in New York and participated in over 30 group shows. A TED Fellow since 2009, she delivered a TED Talk at the first official TED Fellows Retreat in Whistler, Canada.

Sharmistha has worked on art commissions with organisations and corporates in America and India including Berklee College of Music, Godrej, JSW and Mahindra & Mahindra. In 2015, On the Seashore of Endless Worlds, her debut 3D sculptural painting on steel was unveiled at Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, the largest urban arts festival in Mumbai, and acquired by JSW for their corporate collection. A recent solo project we are all islands was exhibited in Mumbai in 2016, and travels to Kochi in March 2017.

In 2014, Ray founded Bellevue Salons, an open-ended platform to encourage public dialogues that integrate creative disciplines and further collaborative modes of engagement. Since its inception, she has conducted salons in Mumbai and Goa, and collaborated with practitioners from fields as diverse as the performing arts and world music, experimental gastronomy, environmental causes and agriculture. In her words, “the process is the result.”

Born 1978, Kolkata, India

M.S. Art History / M.F.A. Painting, Pratt Institute, New York,
2001-2005

B.A. Art, Williams College, Williamstown MA,
1997-2001 (cum laude)

Lives and works in Mumbai

Solo exhibitions & projects

2016

we are all islands, Nine Fish Art Gallery, Mumbai, India (Catalogue with Essay by Nancy Adajania)

2015

On the Seashore of Endless Worlds, Public Artwork sponsored by JSW, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai, India

2014

Sweet Surrender: Studies in Abstraction, Galerie Steph, Singapore (Catalogue)

2013

Reflections + Transformations, Aicon Gallery, New York (Catalogue with Interview with Kit White)

2012

hidden geographies, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai, India (e-Catalogue with Essay by Nancy Adajania)

2004

Crossroads, M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition, Pratt Institute, New York

1998

Queer Series, Williams College, Williamstown, USA

Group exhibitions

2016

Studio Picks, The Loft at Lower Parel and Mojarto presented by NDTV, Mumbai, India

2016

Art for Concern Annual Charity Exhibition & Auction, Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Mumbai, India

2015

Sparsh/Tactile, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2015, Mumbai, India

2015

The 377191 Wall: A New Window to Understanding, in support of 6th Ed. KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival, Gallery Beyond, Mumbai, India

2015

Reviving the Retinal, Curated by Dr. Kathleen Wyma, Gallery OED, Kochi, India

2015

India Art Fair (art fair), New Delhi, India

2014

Asia Contemporary Art Show (art fair), Hong Kong

2014

Noir/Blanc, The Loft at Lower Parel, Mumbai, India

2013

Vikhroli Skins, an initiative by Godrej India Culture Lab, Mumbai, India

2013

Touched by Bhupen, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai, India (catalogue)

2013

OUT/OFF: Out of the gallery and off the walls, curated by Chameleon Art Projects, Mumbai

2013

RESIST, Engendered Gallery, travelling exhibition Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai

2013

India Art Fair, 5th Edition, New Delhi, India

2012

Open Studios, Space 118, Wadibunder, Mumbai, India

2012

Museum of Memories, site-specific installation, Godrej India Culture Lab, Mumbai, India

2012

Mumbai Gallery Weekend, sponsored by Citibank, Taj Land’s End, Mumbai, India

2012

Can You See Me?, Engendered Gallery, New Delhi, India (e-catalogue essay by Deepanjana Pal)

2010

Hope for Haiti-India Cares, Grand Hyatt, Mumbai, India

2007

In-si-der, Bodhi Art, Mumbai, India. Curated by Sonal Singh and Brinda Kumar

2006

Joan Mitchell M.F.A. Grant Recipients, CUE Art Foundation, New York, USA (catalogue)

2004

Territories, Aicon Gallery, Organized by the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective, New York, USA (catalogue)

2004

CAC Juried Exhibition, Contemporary Artists Center, North Adams, USA

2004

Explorations/Innovations, Kingsborough Community College, New York, USA

2004

Annual Pratt MFA Exhibition, Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York, USA

2004

Grand Group Show, Danny Simmons Corridor Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, USA

2004

Drawing Show, Parsons Institute, New York, USA

2004

MFAs Colliding, New York University, New York, USA

2002

Extreme Existence, Schafler Gallery, New York, USA

2002

9/11: Artists Respond, Schafler Gallery, New York, USA

2000

B.A. Thesis Exhibition, Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, USA

2000

Berkshire Artisans Association Juried Show, Lichtenstein Art Center, Pittsfield, USA

Awards and recognition

2014

Civitella Ranieri Fellowship, Visual Arts, Nominee, Umbria, Italy

2013

L’Oreal Paris Femina Women Awards, Nominee, Artist of the Year

2012

Montblanc Young Artist World Patronage Project

2009

TED Fellowship, TEDIndia, Mysore

2004

Joan Mitchell M.F.A. Grant, USA

2005

Pratt Circle Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement, Pratt Institute

2005

Certificate of Excellence Award for Outstanding Merit in Graduate Fine Arts, Pratt Institute

2005

Certificate of Excellence Award for Outstanding Merit in Graduate Art History, Pratt Institute

2000

Berkshire Artisans Association Fellowship, Pittsfield, USA

2000

Class 1960 Scholars in Art, Williams College, USA

1998

BiGLaTA Fellowship, Williams College, USA