Monday, November 16, 2009

Nasreen Mohamedi retrospective

‘Nasreen Mohamedi: Notes – Reflections on Indian Modernism’ is the title of a show courtesy Lunds Konsthall, Sweden that presents three simultaneous exhibits offering distinct perspectives on the cinema and art of the Indian Subcontinent in context of recent history and today.

Nasreen Mohamedi (1937–90) is considered one of the most significant artists of her generation from India. Her photographs, paintings and drawings done in the early 1960s until the late 1980s, are recognized as a key body of work put within the modernist canon.

The artist was greatly influenced by an earlier generation of abstract artists like V.S. Gaitonde. She is sometimes compared to Agnes Martin or Kazimir Malevich. Putting her work in perspective, a curatorial note mentions: “Nasreen Mohamedi’s uncompromisingly abstract drawings produced from the 1970s onwards deserve to be considered on their own terms.

"Not only that they also invoke a range of cultural references. This becomes particularly clear in her photographs, in which meticulously cropped details of historical architecture and everyday life create aesthetic links to both contemporary culture and an Islamic visual heritage.”

The exhibition brings together some rarely seen drawings, paintings and photographic works. These are presented along with a set of unique archival material drawn from Nasreen Mohamedi’s studio. The show has been curated by the duo of Grant Watson and Suman Gopinath. It is initiated and organized by the Office for Contemporary Art Norway.

‘Nasreen Mohamedi: Notes – Reflections on Indian Modernism’ was first shown at Oslo office of Contemporary Art Norway and later at Milton Keynes Gallery based in England. This slightly extended version being shown at Lunds konsthall will travel to Kunsthalle Basel in Switzerland.

The works in the exhibit have been lent by the Mumbai based Sikander family, Shireen Gandhy and the world-famous Glenbarra Art Museum in Japan.

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