Ruhee Maknojia is a New York and Houston based artist. Her conceptual research and art practice has developed around what she calls ‘tradition as a form’- those forces and capacities at work underneath contemporary value systems. By realigning social and traditional relations, her projects often bring forgotten practices into plain view, to raise questions about power, ethics, and values. Her work is often Influenced by the aesthetics and philosophies of Indo-Iranian Mughal gardens. Mughal gardens are four-walled intramural spaces that symbolize paradise on earth. The garden is a place of peace and relaxation. It is a form of escapism from the reality of the world. In contrast, everything outside of the garden walls is symbolism for chaos and violence.
Maknojia's work and research echoes the philosophy and traditional aesthetics of the Mughal Gardens. Her art seeks to carve out illumination and peace in the milieu of violence and chaos by questioning what it means to open the gates between an internal space of serenity and an external world of disorder. The art is continuously shaped and reshaped by the infiltration of exoteric problems into an area of esoteric "perfection". She uses patterns and repetition to seek beauty in abstract spaces of violence. Maknojia's engagements translate into installations, paintings, videos, drawings, printmaking, and writing.
Select exhibitions include The Happiness Curriculum, Eastern Connecticut State University Gallery, Connecticut U.S.A. (2019); Harlem Perspectives II, Faction Art Projects Gallery, New York City (2019); Feel That Other Day Running Underneath This One, Time Square Space, New York City (2018), 42/18, LeRoy Neiman Gallery, New York City (2018)
Maknojia received her M.F.A. in Visual Arts from Columbia University in New York City, a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin. She is currently a resident artist at Box 13 ArtSpace.