Mequitta Ahuja’s medium is automythography. In her multilayered paintings and drawings, she creates images of herself at work, challenging the representational space that self-portraiture typically occupies in the art market. “My central intent,” she writes, “is to turn the artist’s self-portrait, especially the woman-of-colour’s self-portrait, long circumscribed by identity, into a discourse on picture-making, past and present. This includes depicting my intimate relationship to painting—the verb and the noun, the act and the object.” A solo exhibition of her work was presented at Tiwani Contemporary this spring. The show closed this past weekend, but for those who weren’t able to make it in person, a selection of images is presented below.
Mequitta Ahuja holds an M.F.A. from the University of Illinois, where she studied with Kerry James Marshall. Mequitta has focused her career efforts on museum exhibitions, most notably “Shifting,” at The David C. Driskell Center (2017); “Champagne Life,” at the Saatchi Gallery (2016); “Marks of Genius,” at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (2014); “State of the Art,” at Crystal Bridges (2014); “Portraiture Now,” at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery (2013); “The Bearden Project,” at the Studio Museum in Harlem (2012); and “Global Feminisms,” at the Brooklyn Museum (2007). Mequitta is the recipient of several awards, including a 2009 Joan Mitchell Award, a 2011 Tiffany Award, and a 2018/19 Guggenheim Fellowship.
Images courtesy of the artist and Tiwani Contemporary.