Photograph: Himanshuu Chandrakant Sheth. Image courtesy: Nine Fish Art Gallery

Sharmistha Ray is a contemporary visual artist whose work encompasses painting, installations, electronic media, photography, sculpture and drawing. She is a TED Fellow who has exhibited in Delhi, Hong Kong, New York and Singapore and recently staged the travelling exhibit we are all islands in Mumbai and Kochi.

A citizen of the world, Ray’s works address personal identity as viewed through the chaos of migration. Born in Kolkata, Ray spent her childhood growing up in Kuwait until the Gulf War brought her back briefly to Kolkata. Ray pursued her further studies at Williams College and Pratt Institute in America.

Fate struck when Ray happened upon a show at the Reina Sofia in Madrid that would change her outlook forever. A retrospective exhibition of the radical gay painter, Bhupen Khakar, the show had a visceral impact on Ray and fuelled her determination to return to India—if only to bear witness to the incredible subjects Khakar painted.

Ray returned to her birthplace of Kolkata in 2006. Then, after a few months of capturing the sensations of urban life in miniature vignettes, fate struck again. In a chance encounter with a long-lost acquaintance, she was led to discover the city by the Arabian Sea—Mumbai.

Ray has called Mumbai home for the past decade where, in addition to exhibiting, she is the founder of Bellevue Salons a popular cross-pollinating platform for dialogues in art and culture.

Education

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

1997-2001  B.A. Art, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts

Solo exhibitions and projects

2017

we are all islands 2, Mill Hall, Kochi, India

2016

we are all islands, Nine Fish Art Gallery, Mumbai, India

2015

On the Seashore of Endless Worlds, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai, India

2014

Sweet Surrender: Studies in Abstraction, Galerie Steph, Singapore

2013

Reflections + Transformations, Aicon Gallery, New York, USA

2012

hidden geographies, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai, India

2004

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

1998

Queer Series, Wilde Gallery, Williams College, Williamstown, USA

Group exhibitions

2016

Studio Picks, The Loft at Lower Parel. Mumbai, India

2016

Art for Concern Annual Charity Exhibition & Auction, Mumbai, India

2015

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

2015

The 377191 Wall: A New Window to Understanding, Gallery Beyond, Mumbai, India

2015

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

2015

India Art Fair, 7th Edition, New Delhi, India

2014

Cursory Glances, Curated by WAA, Palladium Mall, Mumbai, India

2014

Asia Contemporary Art Show, Hong Kong

2014

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

2014

Liberation, YouTube campaign by Gaysi Family, Mumbai, India

2013

Touched by Bhupen, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai, India

2013

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

2013

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

2013

RESIST, Engendered Gallery, New Delhi, India

2013

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

2012

Open Studios, Space 118, Mumbai, India

2012

Museum of Memories, Godrej India Culture Lab, Mumbai, India

2012

Mumbai Galleries Weekend, sponsored by Citibank, Mumbai, India

2012

Can You See Me?, Engendered Gallery, New Delhi, India

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

2004

Territories, Aicon Gallery, New York, USA

2004

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

2004

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

2004

2004 Annual Pratt MFA Exhibition, Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York, USA

2004

Grand Group Show, Danny Simmons Corridor Gallery, Brooklyn, New York, USA

2004

Drawing Show, Parsons Institute, New York, USA

2004

MFAs Colliding, New York University, New York, USA

2002

Extreme Existence, Schafler Gallery, Pratt Institute, New York, USA

2002

9/11: Artists Respond, Schafler Gallery, Pratt Institute, 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, Italy

2013

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

2012

Montblanc Young Artist World Patronage Project, Germany

2009

TED Fellowship, USA

2005

Pratt Circle Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement, Pratt Institute, USA

2005

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

2005

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

2004

Joan Mitchell M.F.A. Grant, USA

2000

cum laude, Williams College, USA

2000

Berkshire Artisans Association Fellowship, USA

2000

Class 1960 Scholars in Art, Williams College, USA

1998

BiGLaTA Fellowship, Williams College, USA