Oct 24th 2020

Renluka Maharaj: Pelting Mangoes

@ FLXST Contemporary

2251 S Michigan Ave. Suite 220, Chicago, IL 60616

Opening Saturday, October 24th, from 5:30PM - 8PM

On view through Sunday, November 29th

We are extremely thrilled to welcome the Colorado-based artist and SAIC MFA graduate Renluka Maharaj to FLXST Contemporary for her first solo show with the gallery and in Chicago. “Pelting Mangoes exhibits a new body of work composed of nine multimedia paintings on canvas that rescripts and re-signifies colonial portraits of Indian women during a period of 19th-century indentureship in Trinidad and Tobago. You are invited to the opening reception on Saturday, October 24, 2020, from 5:30-8 pm.

Maharaj recuperates archival images by French photographer Felix Morin, who staged these women for the portraits in order to sell and create an image of the islands for Western tourists. Maharaj devotes countless hours to each portrait, and she identifies intimately with the women pictured. The portraits are meticulously embellished with colors, patterns, and found objects like rhinestones as a means to decolonize Morin’s photographic archive and to present these Indian women as women, and not just as colonial objects. The resurfaced environments around the women, for Maharaj, as an Indian woman from Trinidad herself, bestows upon them a semblance of agency, however distant in time they are from the artist. It is the kindred spirit that the artist feels for the women that inspires the titles for the portraits. Maharaj names these women after her family members. Maharaj states, “The women in the portraits represent all of the women who have come after them.”

The opening reception for Renluka Maharaj’s show is on Saturday, October 24, from 5:30-8 pm. The artist will be there to talk about her work and to answer questions.

** Those who wish to attend the reception must book their spot using the Tock app or by visiting: https://www.exploretock.com/flxstcontemporary/experience/200794/art-opening-reception-for-renluka-maharajs-solo-show-pelting-mangoes

WHAT: Opening Reception for “Pelting Mangoes,” a solo show by Renluka Maharaj

WHEN: Saturday, October 24, 2020, from 5:30-8 pm

WHERE: FLXST Contemporary, 2251 S. Michigan Ave. Suite 220, Chicago, IL 60616

REQUIRED: Reservation on Tock for the opening and Face Masks worn at all times in the gallery.

For inquiries about the exhibition, please email info@flxst.co us or contact us through our website.

RENLUKA MAHARAJ was born in Trinidad and Tobago. She is a multidisciplinary artist and my work incorporates photography with elements of performance, collage, and painting. Her work seeks to illuminate a people, place, or subject to create narratives that speak to gender, sexuality, religion, and colonial history. She lives and works between Colorado, New York City, and Trinidad. Working with photography, installations, research, and travel, her work which is often autobiographical, investigates themes of history, memory, religion, gender, and how they inform identity. She completed her B.F.A. at the University of Colorado Boulder and her M.F.A. at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Image credit: “Gulab,” archival photo printed on canvas, acrylic paint, acrylic markers, rhinestones, colored pencils, 30×40 inches, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

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