Shelly Bahl is an interdisciplinary artist born in Benares, India, raised in Toronto and currently based in New York City. Her art projects have been presented in a number of solo and group exhibitions in North America and internationally.
Her art practice explores the strange and surreal aspects of cultural hybridity and old and new forms of colonization. She is interested in the global transmission of iconographies and other forms of visual culture. She also investigates the surrealistic experiences of women who lead enigmatic trans-cultural lives. These narratives are based in facts and fictions rooted in specific cultural histories, which she then re-contextualizes and re-imagines.
Select group exhibitions include: Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai; AIFACS Gallery, Delhi; ABC No Rio (In Exile)/ Bullet Space Gallery, NY; Villa Terrace Museum, Milwaukee; Shirin Gallery, NY; Queens Museum of Art, NY; India International Centre Gallery, Delhi; Twelve Gates Gallery, Philadelphia; ART ASIA Miami, FL; Gallery 400, University of Illinois Chicago, IL; White Box, NY; Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, BC; and the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh.
Select solo exhibitions include: Bronx River Art Center, NY; LEE Ka-sing Gallery, Toronto; Design Exchange Museum, Toronto; Gallery 198, London, UK; Richmond Art Gallery, Vancouver; Gallery 44, Toronto; Khyber Centre For the Arts, Halifax; M.Y. Art Prospects, NY; Art Folio Gallery, Chandigarh; and Women’s Art Resource Centre Gallery, Toronto.
Bahl has participated in short and long-term artist residencies at: Religare Arts Initiative, Delhi; Artists Alliance, NY; Banff Centre For the Arts; Matucana 100, Santiago; Vermont Studio Center; and Sanskriti Kendra Foundation, Delhi. She is currently an Artist-In-Residence at the Center For Book Arts in NYC.
Her artwork has received significant critical attention, and has been reviewed in the New York Times, Time Out Delhi, NOW Magazine, National Post, Hamilton Spectator, Asian Art News, World Sculpture News, Art India, Vancouver Sun, Art Asia Pacific, New Art Examiner, FUSE Magazine, and other publications.
Bahl is a founding artist member of SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) and ZEN-MIX 2000: Pan-Asian Visual Arts Network in Toronto. She has also served on the Board of Directors for the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective in NYC and Mercer Union Gallery, A Space Gallery and SAVAC in Toronto. She has received a number of visual arts production grants and fellowships for independent projects and artistic collaborations.
She has also worked with numerous arts organizations as an educator, curator and arts programmer. She is currently teaching at Saint Francis College in Brooklyn and has previously taught at the University of Toronto, Ontario College of Art and Design University, Alfred University, Pratt Institute, Vermont College of Fine Art and others.