The Newport Art Museum is pleased to announce a new exhibition, “ReVision,” with work by Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, which will be on view to the public Saturday, September 25 through January 9, 2022. 

An Opening Reception celebrating “ReVision” will be Thursday, September 30 from 5 – 7 pm. The Opening Reception is free for Museum members, and $10 suggested donation for the general public. 

The Newport Art Museum is requiring that masks be worn by guests while indoors, regardless of vaccination status. 

Newport Art Museum writes in a press release that this exhibition, along with the Opening Reception, align with the Museum’s mission to present a diversity of voices in its galleries and to cultivate conversations inspired by art.

For over twenty years, Annu Palakunnathu Matthew has been making photo-based works of art that deal with lesser known histories and immigration. Born in England, raised in India, and now living in the United States, Matthew draws on her personal experience and identity, and also collaborates to tell the stories of others from South Asia. These experiences and collaborations culminate in powerful and evocative works of art. Although she began her career as an accomplished still photographer, Matthew’s artistic practice has expanded to include installations and sculptures, which incorporate a unique blend of still and moving images and sound. These new works draw on archival photographs for their inspiration and re-examine historical narratives and the legacies of colonization.

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, crystal experimentation for The UNREMEMBERED, 2021. Annu Palakunnathu Matthew Courtesy of the Artist & sepiaEYE, NYC.

This exhibition features early work by the artist, such as her dreamlike black and white film photographs from the series Memories of India and her thought-provoking self-portraits based on Edward S. Curtis’s photographs of Native Americans for An Indian from India. This show also includes the artist’s compelling recent work about the traumatic aftermath of the Partition of India in 1947: Open Wound 1947–Stories of Partition-India & Pakistan. The Newport Art Museum is premiering The Unremembered–Indian Soldiers from World War II and is showing The Unremembered–Indian Soldiers from the Italian Campaign of WWII for the first time in the United States. Both of these recent works explore the forgotten history of Indian soldiers who volunteered for the British during World War II. Blending photography, video, sound, sculpture, text, and narrative for her works, Matthew creates a dynamic and immersive experience for viewers while she recovers many all-too-neglected histories.

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, An Indian from India—Warpaint, 2001. Archival digital print; left: 19th-century photo Black Bear Jr. Arapahoe” by F. A. Rinehart from the Denver Public Library, Denver, Colorado. Annu Palakunnathu Matthew Courtesy of the Artist & sepiaEYE, NYC.

A passionate mentor to students and emerging artists, Annu Palakunnathu Matthew is a Professor of Art at the University of Rhode Island where she also served as the Director of the Center for the Humanities and the Silvia-Chandley Professor of Nonviolence and Peace Studies. She has exhibited in solo shows at the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada; Nuit Blanche (Toronto); and sepiaEYE, NYC. Selected group exhibitions include: the RISD Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; San Jose Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Victoria & Albert Museum; 2018 Kochi-Muziris Biennale; 2009 Guangzhou Photo Biennial; and Smithsonian Institution. Matthew has received many grants and fellowships including two Fulbright Fellowships, a MacColl Johnson Fellowship, and grants from the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts. She was also an artist in residence at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony. Matthew is represented by sepiaEYE, New York City.

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, The UNREMEMBERED – The Italian Campaign, 2018. Still from video installation. Annu Palakunnathu Matthew Courtesy of the Artist & sepiaEYE, NYC.

The Newport Art Museum is located at 76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI. Visit newportartmuseum.org or call 401-848-8200 for details.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).