Mequitta Ahuja - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale London Thursday, October 14, 2021 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Collector’s Digest


    •    Mequitta Ahuja was awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in 2018.


    •    Ahuja was Artist-in-Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 2009-2010. Her residency culminated in an exhibition of her large-scale oil paintings at the museum featuring mythological warriors and demigods.


    •    Ahuja was mentored by the American artist Kerry James Marshall while undertaking her Masters in Fine Art (MFA) at the University of Illinois.


    •    Earlier this year, Ahuja’s work was included in a group exhibition at The Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., Riffs and Relations: African American Artists and the European Modernist Tradition (29 February 2020-3 January 2021).

    • Provenance

      Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris
      Acquired from the above by the present owner in February 2011

    • Artist Biography

      Mequitta Ahuja

      American • 1976

      Mequitta Ahuja embraces the genre of self-portraiture to explore issues of race, gender and identity. Described as “whip-smart and languorous” by The New Yorker in July 2017, Ahuja’s evocative self-portraits arise from a three-step process that involves performance, photography and drawing/painting. Developing a series of performances with different props, poses and costumes, Ahuja photographs herself with the aid of a remote shutter. This source material serves as a point of departure for her paintings that see her fuse “personal narrative with cultural and personal mythology”. Ahuja has described her practice as feminist, referring to her process as “Automythography”. As she explained, “I define Automythography as a constructive process of identity formation in which nature, culture and self-invention merge. Proposing art as a primary method of this process, my works demonstrate female self-invention and self-representation through the deployment of her own tools.” 

      Since 2017, Ahuja has started to integrate paintings within her paintings a way to address painting both as an act and as an object. She strategically employs stylistic traditions and tropes from the past to update and alter pre-existing meanings of representation within her contemporary context. In addition to drawing on the Western art canon, Ahuja embraces narratives and imagery connected to her ethnic heritage of being African American and Indian American –weaving her complex cultural experience into the history of art and representation.

      View More Works



signed and dated 'Mequitta Ahuja 2010' on the reverse
oil on canvas
203.4 x 132.3 cm (80 1/8 x 52 1/8 in.)
Painted in 2010.

Full Cataloguing

£15,000 - 20,000 

Sold for £23,940

Contact Specialist

Tamila Kerimova
Specialist, Director, Head of Day Sale

20th Century & Contemporary Art

+44 20 7318 4065
[email protected]

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 14 October 2021