Manjari Sharma is a Los Angeles-based artist who was born and raised in Mumbai, India, and who makes art that addresses issues of memory, identity, multiculturalism, and personal mythology. After moving to New York City, she gained notoriety for her long-term project, The Shower Series. With this series, Sharma began creating work that was just as much about the materiality of water as it was about the inner landscape of the human mind. Expanding her art practice, Sharma has continued incorporating sound, motion, projection, and collage into her work. Sharma's project Darshan, published by Nazraeli press, is a photographic re-imagining of Hindu deities that garnered her wide critical acclaim. In 2017, The Metropolitan Museum of Art commissioned Sharma to create a collaborative piece that received international praise and recognition. Widely-celebrated and exhibited around the world, she has won numerous awards and is in the collections of major institutions, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Carlos Museum at Emory University, and the Birmingham Museum of Art, among many others. Works from her projects have been published, exhibited, and traveled to galleries, museums, and festivals worldwide.
Surface Tension #10
Surface Tension #10
Assembly is pleased to present a selection of work from Manjari Sharma’s latest series, Surface Tension. This new body of work extends her metaphorical gaze to one of the most fundamental elements of human life and transforms her viewers alongside her subjects. Water is life. It cleanses, it feeds, it transforms, and it destroys. Surface Tension explores our metaphysical relationship with water through diverse human forms submerged in swimming pools. These immersive and gestural forms highlight the fragility, circularity, and oneness of our existence, turning the pool into a vessel for transcendence. The artist writes: “A new world appears; Figures turn into landscapes, limbs into fins, and bodies morph and merge into peculiar yet familiar organic shapes and structures. A ceremonial splash is followed by a momentary lapse of consciousness, and new galaxies are born with every drawn breath. What are we but a series of star-crossed enigmas; a deck of cards in the wind, twisted by fate and held together, loosely, by a glue that has no name.” Born and raised in Mumbai, India, Sharma roots her decades-long practice in her cultural heritage, but extends her personal narrative to a more universal one. Her work is shaped by her curiosity about the inner landscape of the human mind and its inextricable, elemental, and sacred relationship to ritual and mythology. Sharma’s practice revolves around her deep-seated interest in studying, questioning, and celebrating these transitory states of human imagination, history, and transformation.