Annu Palakunnathu Matthew


Matthew’s recent solo exhibitions include the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada, Nuit Blanche Toronto, the Newport Art Museum and sepiaEYE, NYC. Matthew has also exhibited her work at the RISD Museum, Newark Art Museum, MFA Boston, MFA Houston (TX), Victoria & Albert Museum, 2018 Kochi-Muziris Biennale, 2018 Fotofest Biennial, 2009 Guangzhou Photo Biennial as well as at the Smithsonian. Grants and fellowships that have supported her work include a John Gutmann, MacColl Johnson, two Fulbright Fellowships and grants from the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts.  In addition, she has been an artist in residence at Civitella Ranieri, Lightwork, MacDowell, Woodstock Center for Photography, and Yaddo.

As Holland Cotter of the New York Times wrote about her 2016 solo exhibition at sepiaEYE in New York  “…The mostly album-size photographs in this compact but far-ranging gallery survey are about the intensities and confusions of a cultural mixing that makes the artist, psychologically, both a global citizen and an outsider, at home and in transit, wherever she is. And it’s about photography as document and fiction: souvenir, re-enactment and imaginative projection. A beautiful show that could too easily slip away.”


Annu Palakunnathu Matthew’s photo-based work draws on old photographs to re-examine historical narratives in both the US and South Asia. Though trained as a photographer, her work increasingly makes use of the ever-expanding digital toolbox and has moved into installations. The result is a blend of still and moving imagery that shifts the viewer’s perspective to question established and marginalized histories.


  • M.F.A. in Photography, University of Delaware, 1997
  • B.Sc. in Mathematics, University of Madras, India, 1986

Selected Publications

Solo exhibitions

ReVision – Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, Newport Art Museum, Newport, RI

Generations – Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, sepiaEYE, New York City, NY. Scotiabank Nuit Blanche Toronto, Chen Crystal Court at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada

Generations – Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada


The Answers Take Time, Minor Matters Publishing, Seattle, WA (monograph)

THE UNREMEMBERED: Indian Soldiers of World War II, Ars Orientalis 51, Smithsonian, Museum of Asian Art, January

The Virtual Immigrant, College Arts Association, ART Journal, May