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October 5, 2023

Ranu Mukherjee: Home and the World, 2015 (still)

Through January, 2024

Lower Lobby of Meany Hall, Meany Center for the Performing Arts

On your next visit to Meany Center, spend some time in the Lower Lobby to see an art exhibition bringing together an international group of artists to address notions of place and position. Evoking questions of visibility and abstraction, a looming sense of unease permeates. Along with a deliberate use of color, coded and notational text, and pattern that is both visible and hinted, the artists both speak from and point to a range of cultural, autobiographical, and historical perspectives. The artworks themselves act as events, meeting the audience at the surface, provoking a location of the self. This is the first of two exhibitions for the 2023–24 academic year.

Curated by Assistant Professors Whitney Lynn and Sangram Majumdar, School of Art+Art History+Design, University of Washington


Tom Burckhardt
(self-titled works), 2020–23
Ink and collage on book pages
Sizes variable

Tom Burckhardt
(self-titled works), 2020–23
Ink and collage on book pages
Sizes variable

Amara Eke
Save or Start Over?, 2023
acrylic and glitter on canvas
67 x 67 inches

Amara Eke
1 Becomes 2 Becomes 1, 2023
acrylic on canvas
67 x 67 inches

Amara Eke
What Came First?, 2023
Acrylic, glitter, rhinestones, Googly eyes on canvas
67 x 67 inches

Izidora I LETHE
FORM XXI (The witches you did and did not burn), 2018
Single channel video with sound
TRT: 9:04

Ranu Mukherjee
Home and the World, 2015
Hybrid Film (Corridor from Ray's 'Ghare Baire', tile floor, earth floor, women moving
forwards, fallen tree, Gulmohar and Banyan, owlgoat, dust, peacock, Bombay ephemera,
broom, bamboo scaffolding, foil arch, tinsel, plywood)
TRT: 5:12

Leslie Roberts
Subway / Airplane / Miami Beach Hotel, 2002
colored pencil on graph paper, two pages
each 4.75 x 3.25 inches

Leslie Roberts
Words seen from the bus going upstate, 2003
colored pencil on graph paper, two pages
each 6.75 x 3.75 inches

Leslie Roberts
Worktable alphabet, 2023
colored pencil on graph paper
4.75 x 3.25 inches


Tom Burckhardt
“They are painted on pages from discarded books, mostly title pages or chapter titles. He leaves these brief phrases, and paints all around them. The artist, almost 60 years old, is taking pages from books mostly published in the 1940’s and 1950’s, not too long before he was born. A few were published as late as the 1980’s. Titles such as Control of Sexual Dreams or Americans Can Fight provide a slightly ridiculous and/or provocative context. He constructs spaces and responds to the text, creating colorful images that may feel comedic or surreal.” Excerpted from the essay, “How We Got Into It,” Elena Sisto, 2023

Amara Eke
what came first the chicken or the egg?
realization of the potential of an egg cell
life will take on many forms starting from the same foundation
soulmate connections echoing moments of separation and collision
we are together from the cellular level to the intergalactic level
arms race
interdimensional intervention
is it worth more to save or start from scratch?
is there a force more powerful than the secular, than heaven, than hell?
should we be saved for all we’ve done?

Izidora I LETHE
Between BABA and the BARBAR
Between FORWARD and BACKWARD (6 AD, 2006, 1871, 2027, 1680, 1966, 2010, 3011)
Between the soundless, the MURMUR and the shout
Between hegemonies and histories
Between malleable, brittle, muddy, formed and thrown
While attending and attesting to history


(With interwoven Quotes by Felix Gonzalez Torres, Donna Haroway, Derek Jarman and lesser known yet not less relevant names.)

Ranu Mukherjee
In Satyajit Ray’s 1984 Cinematic adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore’s 1916 novel Ghare Baire ("The Home and the World”), the female protagonist passes through a corridor from domestic chambers, marking her entry into the outside world and involvement in the affairs of a nascent post-colonial India. ‘Home and the World draws parallels between the history represented in Ray’s film and the present moment. Composed around the breakdown of the colonial corridor architecture and an unexpected shift into another kind of urban, it pictures a world in motion. Despite the sense of collapse, a series of repeating female figures continue to progress forwards, marching, walking, and sweeping, sometimes affecting a change in the scene. The air is filled first with floating shards of falling glass and then to the ephemera that evidences the daily practices sustaining small merchant and domestic cultures, swirling with the dust.

Leslie Roberts
“Two decades ago, to divert myself during subway commutes, I started playing with colored pencils on the pages of a small Filofax-type datebook. To escape my habits of composition, I mapped writing into numbered and lettered grids, applying self-devised constraints. The process yielded pattern-like, satisfyingly irregular compositions that I couldn’t have invented. I continue to find new written and visual forms through diagrams, rules, and words, now working also in paint on panel. The datebooks shown here hold drawings ranging over more than 20 years. A drawing from 2001 records thoughts during a trip to Florida: “Is life always one long emergency? Got slides, wrote checks etc. … now it’s after midnight, en route to Miami after two hours’ sleep at most … Miami Beach, an airy suite with a view of the ocean, why leave? No messy house, no phone messages…” A 2003 drawing also documents a journey, this time through signs read from the window of a bus heading upstate: “Truck entrance, Next right, Avis advantage, Midland Ave, One way, Howard Johnson …” A drawing made this summer holds an alphabetical list of words printed on objects in my studio: “Acrylic, bill, cyan, DVD, encre, Faber-Castell, gesso, high-quality, India ink, Joan Mitchell …”


Tom Burckhardt was born in New York City in 1964 has spent his entire life living there. He graduated with a BFA in painting from SUNY Purchase in 1986 and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture that same year. He has been exhibiting since 1992 at various NYC galleries such as George Adams Gallery, Tibor De Nagy Gallery, Pierogi and Caren Golden Fine Art, and the Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco CA. His most recent solo show of paintings was at George Adams Gallery NYC in January 2022. He participated in the 2016 Kochi Muziris Bienalle in Kerala, India and that installation piece, “Studio Flood” was shown at the Pierogi Gallery, NYC in September 2017 and CMCA in Maine during Summer 2018. He was an artist in residence at Yaddo Foundation in New York State in January 2019 and at Pepper House, Kochi, India, in January 2020. He was a resident faculty at Skowhegan in 2007 and currently teaches part time at SUNY Purchase.

Amara Eke was born in 1998 in State College, PA. In 2021 she received her BFA with a concentration in Drawing and Painting from Penn State University and additionally, the Creative Achievement Award for the School of Arts and Architecture in the same year. Eke is currently on track to earn her MFA in Drawing and Painting from the University of Washington. She currently lives and works in Seattle, WA.

Izidora l LETHE is a transdisciplinary and conceptual artist. Their practice spans choreography, sculpture, and video, accompanied by correspondent drawing and writing processes. Their research-based work aims at expanding or eroding canonical histories and situating the body as epistemological orientation. LETHE received their MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI, 2017) and their BFA from Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, ZHdK. Their most recent exhibitions include Edition VFO (Löwenbräu, ZH), Werkschau (Haus Konstruktiv, ZH), the Leslie Lohman Museum (New York City) (2021); Cabaret Voltaire at Monte Verità (TI) (2021), The Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM, San Francisco, CA) (2019-2020) among other. LETHE is a BANFF Centre for the Arts resident (Banff, Canada, 2018), as well as an IMA fellowship program of the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA, 2019) fellow. Currently, they are a BINZ39 studio resident (Zurich, 2022-24).

Ranu Mukherjee's collage-based paintings and film installations cultivate ecological, somatic, feminist, and multidimensional perspectives on time, energy and power emerging from ruptured colonial legacies. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the de Young Museum, San Francisco; the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design; the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco; the San Jose Museum of Art, CA among others. Her most recent hybrid film installations have been presented by Natasha, Singapore Biennale 2022-2023, the 2019 Karachi Biennale and Los Angeles County Museum of Art and in numerous international group exhibitions. Awards and honors include a Bay Area Artadia Award (2023) Pollock Krasner Grant (2020); Lucas Visual Arts Fellowship at Montalvo Arts Center (2019-2024); de Young Museum Artist Studio Program (2017), among others. In 2021 Gallery Wendi Norris released Shadowtime, a major monograph on Mukherjee's work over the past decade.

Leslie Roberts works with ephemeral language, diagrams, color, and geometric structure, in drawings and paintings that are artifacts of 21st-century life. She has shown her work in venues that include Minus Space, Marlborough Gallery, McKenzie Fine Art, Pierogi, PPOW, Tiger Strikes Asteroid NY, the Brooklyn Museum, the Weatherspoon Art Museum (Greensboro, NC), and the Wellin Museum (Clinton, NY.) Her work has been discussed in Artforum, the Brooklyn Rail, Sculpture Magazine, and other publications. Residencies include Yaddo, Ucross, Ragdale, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Monson Arts, and the Marble House Project. Roberts holds a BA from Yale and an MFA from Queens College. She is Professor Emerita at Pratt Institute, where she taught Foundation Light Color Design. She lives and works in Brooklyn.