A Real Allegory of Her Studio

Mequitta Ahuja

Through her paintings, Ahuja aims to position women-of-color as primary picture-makers, in whose hands the figurative tradition of painting is refashioned. Reimagining themes of identity and representation, A Real Allegory of Her Studio allows the viewer into the artist's intimate space. Sketch for A Real Allegory of Her Studio maps the preliminary stages of this momentous painting. A brown woman sits cross-legged with a book full of images. The figure in the book – like the subject herself – rests a book on her right knee. In her left hand, she holds a worn prayer card, a common item in Indian homes. The viewer faces her back as the subject is unaware we are observing this intimate moment. The corner of the image curls, resembling a book page; this subject, with her multifaceted identity, is worthy of being in books like those she reads. In this sketch, subject, like artist, contemplates a rich identity and the intersection of the two. In A Real Allegory of Her Studio, Ahuja embraces her multifaceted identity, a principal subject in the artist's oeuvre.
Date of Birth
(b. 1976)
Oil on canvas
80 x 96 in. (203.2 x 243.84 cm.)
Accession #
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Museum Purchase