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Sandeep Mukherjee

Assistant Professor of Art, Painting

I am currently making drawings, installations and abstract paintings in which the tension between pictorial and sculptural space not only underscores the viewer’s physical presence but also activates the entire space in which both the artwork and viewer exist. From the earlier self portraits to the more recent abstractions, my interest remains in making the hybrid object — part painting, part drawing, part sculpture and part environment. Much like grafting things together to create hybrid varieties. Entities in which certain kinds of expectations break down and new ones emerge; places where one kind of logic disappears and another one is established or suggested.


Teaching Philosophy

My teaching is predicated on the belief that combining complex personal experiences with a strong foundation in formal issues, intellectual rigor and creative freedom is essential to make compelling objects. Having lived an intensely cross-cultural and porous existence, I am continuously making aesthetic and intellectual translations between cultures and seemingly disparate systems. My interest in a range of disciplines of art and science – from 11th century Islamic art, Baroque painting and Hindu temple sculpture to minimalism, cosmology and physics – informs my teaching. In turn, I encourage my students to explore their various interests and pursue unexpected paths of inquiry as a means to developing their individual voices


Improvisational and process based in nature my current work investigates materiality and haptic texture as a strategy to engage perceptual experience and subjectivity. Using tools ranging from concrete brooms to brushes I paint on duralene – a translucent plastic that simulates the slick luminous surface of the film screen while at the same time allowing for drawing, painting and bas relief transformations.

The material transformations push the conceptual limits of the work while insisting on the physicality of the human body and its index in the work. The textures and forms are literally paint traces and bas-relief indentations of the body’s rhythmic movements on a celluloid like surface. Paradoxically the slick surface evokes a simultaneous removal or absence of human presence. Although the images seem referential to organic forms and patterns, microscopic histology and macroscopic cosmology they equally refer to their specific process and history of becoming. The tension between process, image and material suspends the work in various states of becoming. Often this resulting tension is considered within the specific architectural context of the work so as to heighten the viewer’s experiential relationship to the environment. In other words the works attempt to hold space but also invade it.

Recent Courses

  • ART 199 PO Directed Problems in Studio Art
  • ART 108 PO Figure Painting
  • ART 010 PO Painting I
  • ART 110 PO Painting II