Reflections on Indian Modernism – new exhibition of the artist’s work opens
Iniva’s Senior Curator and Research Associate, Grant Watson, has been busy. Fresh from our recent Rabih Mroué exhibition, he has curated (freelance) with Suman Gopinath, ‘Nasreen Mohamedi: Notes – Reflections on Indian Modernism’ at WEILS in Brussels which opens next week.
Nasreen Mohamedi (1937–1990) is regarded as one of the most important Indian artists of her generation, and her paintings, drawings and photographs, produced from the early 1960s to the late 1980s, constitute a key body of work within the modernist canon. Mohamedi studied in London and Paris during the late 1950s and early 60s, and then returned to India to teach.
Her drawings from the late 1970s onwards tend toward the resolutely abstract, they intimate cultural references, which become explicit in her photographs – in which historical architecture suggests an aesthetic link to both modernisation and an Islamic heritage. In Mohamedi’s diaries, made over a period of thirty years, textual and graphic interventions also attest to the close links between her inner life and her practice as an artist.
In 2000, her work was included in Iniva’s exhibiton, Drawing Space which brought together the work of three contemporary Indian artists, Nasreen Mohamedi, Sheela Gowda and N.S.Harsha (Both Harsha and Gowda have had recent exhibitions with Iniva at Rivington Place). Each artist’s practice encompasses visual forms from the West filtered through an Indian sensibility and uses the drawn line as a device for negotiating space in ways that are self-empowering, exploring the complexity of making and exhibiting work in an increasingly global context. A publication also called Drawing Space: Contemporary Indian Drawing was produced to support the exhibition.