Sunday, May 26, 2013

Essence of Nasreen Mohamedi’s works

Nasreen Mohamedi's austere drawings as well as photographs evoke an atmospheric and delicate sensibility.

While the influence of first- and second-generation European modernism s a vital foundation of her practice, no less significant is the intersection of her formal training with her own cultural heritage, bringing to bear an appeal to meta-physicality, the influence of Islamic design and architecture, and the sensations of her environmental landscape.

Careful and deliberate compositions of lines carefully drawn with an intuitive sense of translation are laid on the structural foundations of repetitive systematic forms and intertwining grids. Tight, formal pencil grids, and fluctuating mark-marking on an intimate scale are characteristic elements of her drawings – elements that have frequently led to comparisons with the work of Agnes Martin (whose work was unknown to the late artist until very late in life).

Nasreen Mohamedi was born in Karachi in 1937 and passed away in 1990. During her lifetime she created a rich body of work. In the post-independence phase, she was regarded as one of the leading artistic voices of her generation. In spite of her singular and cohesive body of work being wholly unsigned and undated, phases of developmental chronology and traces of evolutionary thinking are apparent.

A major exhibition of her works was hosted at Stuart Shave/Modern Art gallery in London a few years ago. It brought together a special selection of her drawings and photos of the late artist. Bringing out the essence of her practice, a gallery note stated, “Her creative output was not prolific. Her body of work is modest, spare, and restrained – yet characterized by a total and coherent commitment to the languages of abstraction.

"Until recently little-known outside her home country, her unique and singular body of work is now belatedly establishing its place within the context of the Modern canon and art history’s international avant-garde.”
The works presented an essence of her amazing art practice in which a sense of the artist’s sublime personal vision was expressed with humility, grace and assured belief.

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