Annu Palakunnathu Matthew’s photo-based artwork is a striking blend of still and moving imagery. Her work draws on archival photographs as a source of inspiration to re-examine historical narratives and colonization’s legacies.
Matthew’s recent solo exhibitions include the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada, Nuit Blanche Toronto, and sepiaEYE, NYC. Matthew has also exhibited her work at the RISD Museum, Newark Art Museum, MFA Boston, San Jose Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts (TX), Victoria & Albert Museum (London), 2018 Kochi-Muziris Biennale, 2018 Fotofest Biennial, 2009 Guangzhou Photo Biennial as well as at the Smithsonian. She has an upcoming mid-career retrospective at the Newport Art Museum in the Fall of 2021.
Grants and fellowships that have supported her work include a MacColl Johnson, John Guttman, two Fulbright Fellowships, and grants from the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts. In addition, she has been an artist in residence at Civitella Ranieri, Lightwork, Yaddo, and MacDowell.
As Holland Cotter of the New York Times wrote about her 2016 solo exhibition at sepiaEYE in New York, “…the mostly album-size photographs in this compact but far-ranging gallery survey are about the intensities and confusions of a cultural mixing that makes the artist, psychologically, both a global citizen and an outsider, at home and in transit, wherever she is. And it’s about photography as document and fiction: souvenir, re-enactment, and imaginative projection. A beautiful show that could too easily slip away.”
Annu Palakunnathu Matthew is a Professor of Art at the University of Rhode Island and was the Director of the Center for the Humanities from 2013-2019, and the 2015-17 Silvia-Chandley Professor of Nonviolence and Peace Studies and is represented by sepiaEYE, New York City.
Smithsonian’s Join the Curator: A Conversation with Annu Palakunnathu Matthew with Dr. Asma Naeem
The Forgotten Indian Soldiers of World War 2
MacColl Johnson Fellowship – Seven years later
Matthew’s work is included in the book BLINK from Phaidon, Auto Focus: The Self Portrait in Contemporary Photography and Home Truths: Motherhood, Photography, and Loss by Susan Bright and The Digital Eye by Sylvia Wolf. Her work was recently featured on the New York Times Lensblog, CNN photo Blog, and Buzzfeed. Her book Memories of India, published by Blue Sky Books, includes an essay by former New York Times art critic Vicki Goldberg.