“Dream Region” by Mequitta Ahuja (2009)
Mequitta Ahuja (b. 1976)
Dream Region, 2009
Oil, enamel, acrylic, and waxy chalk on paper
78 x 104 in.
Collection of Alyssa and Gregory Shannon
Mequitta Ahuja, whose parents hail from Cincinnati and New Delhi, deploys her own image as ‘surface’ for ideas about painting, while extending her personal identity into wider cultural landscapes.—John Ewing
I identify as ethnically mixed, as Indian, as South Asian, as Black, as African American. I use all of these terms to identify myself.—Mequitta Ahuja
Through my work, I feel I can have relationships with each group on my own terms.—Mequitta Ahuja
Mequitta Ahuja received her MFA from UIC in 2003, mentored by Kerry James Marshall. Mequitta has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s 12X12, Lawndale Art Center in Houston, TX, BravinLee Programs in New York and Galerie Nathalie Obadia in Paris, France. Group exhibitions include: Global Feminisms at the Brooklyn Museum, Houston Collects African American Art at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Poets and Painters at the Ulrich Museum in Wichita, KS, Portraiture Now at the National Portrait Gallery and Usable Pasts at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Mequitta’s work has appeared in Modern Painters, March 2007 and Art News, February 2007. In February, 2010, Mequitta was profiled as an “Artist to Watch” in ArtNews. Holland Cotter, art critic of the New York Times, in his “last chance” article in the June 1, 2007 edition of the Times, sighting Mequitta’s NY debut exhibition Encounters, stated “Referring to the artist’s African-American and East Indian background, the pictures turn marginality into a regal condition.” Mequitta received a 2011 Tiffany Foundation Award, a 2009 Joan Mitchell Award and a 2008 Houston Artadia Prize. Mequitta was a 2009-2010 artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the 2011-2012 Stewart McMillan artist-in-residence at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Mequitta is represented in Europe by Galerie Nathalie Obadia.