Assistant Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies
Department of Visual and Environmental Studies
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
American artist Karthik Pandian makes works in moving image, sculpture and performance. Questions of history, consciousness and the built environment motivate his research into subjects ranging from pre-Columbian mound-building cultures, race and the aesthetics of the avant-garde and camel choreography as an analogy for political movement. Pandian’s process is defined by a particular approach to vision: how to recognize the play of time, labor, and meaning in artifacts, landscapes and people. He works with a broad range of materials – from video, 35mm slide and 16mm film to earth, wood and bronze – to render that play more visible.
Pandian had held solo exhibitions at The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Bétonsalon, Paris, Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis, and White Flag Projects, St. Louis, amongst others. His work was featured in the inaugural Made in L.A. at the Hammer Museum and La Triennale: Intense Proximity at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris as well as in group exhibitions such as Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915-2015, at Whitechapel Gallery, London; Film as Sculpture at Wiels Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels; and the 4th Marrakech Biennial, Higher Atlas.
In 2016, Pandian premiered his first stage performance, Atlas Revisited, a collaboration with choreographer Andros Zins-Browne at EMPAC in Troy, NY. The duo continue to collaborate. They are currently working on a novella which will be published by Triple Canopy in conjunction with their upcoming solo exhibition at the Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago in 2019.
Pandian’s work has been the subject of numerous published writings, including a feature in Artforum and a catalogue essay by renowned anthropologist Michael Taussig. His projects have been supported by grants from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Institut Français and the Durfee Foundation. In 2011, he received a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award.
Pandian holds an MFA from Art Center College of Design and a BA from Brown University. He has previously held teaching positions at Bennington College and the University of Chicago. He joined the faculty of the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University in the Fall of 2017.
Faculty webpage: https://ves.fas.harvard.edu/people/karthik-pandian