When a line bends: Who is Nasreen Mohamedi, the Indian artist making waves in New York?

New York: For many artists, fame comes after life.

Nasreen Mohamedi, now being hailed as a global modern art master, is not alone — Vincent Van Gogh died in obscurity, having sold only one painting.

When a line bends: Who is Nasreen Mohamedi, the Indian artist making waves in New York?

Screenshot from an earlier Nasreen Mohamedi exhibit at Tate

Mohamedi is now being given her due. Her work has travelled from the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art in New Delhi, where she received a rapturous ovation, to Tate Liverpool and Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid and now to New York’s audacious temple to contemporary art - #MetBreuer. Mohamedi is now recognized as a key figure of South Asian modernism.

Supported by Nita and Mukesh Ambani and the Reliance Foundation, the Nasreen Mohamedi retrospective is organized by Sheena Wagstaff, Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum; Roobina Karode, Director of the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi; and Manuel J. Borja-Villel, Director of the Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid. Reliance Foundation is pushing for more Indian art on a global stage and Nasreen Mohamedi at the Met is the largest canvas for any Indian artist in America yet. The genesis of Mohamedi's global career began after an exhibition of her works at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art two years ago.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a major publication, published by the Museo Reina Sofía, with new research on her work, featuring essays by Deepak Ananth, Andrea Giunta, Geeta Kapur, and Roobina Karode.

Rarely is one afforded such an intimate view into the life of an artist whose art and the physical space she occupied were inseparable.

The Met Breuer exhibition of Nasreen Mohamedi’s work is the first museum retrospective of the artist's work in the United States spanning Mohamedi's entire career and bringing together more than 130 paintings, drawings, photographs, and rarely seen diaries.

Tate, on Nasreen Mohamedi versus American artists

Despite comparisons to American artists such as Agnes Martin and Carl Andre, Mohamedi’s work defies easy categorisation and was the product of her distinctive personality, process, and aesthetic values. Nasreen Mohamedi reveals the artist’s significant contribution to modernism that expands the boundaries of Western art history and offers an opportunity to reconsider the meaning of abstract art.

Metropolitan Museum NY, on Mohamedi’s craft and inspiration

Mohamedi mainly worked with gestures of pencil and ink on paper, experimenting with organic forms, delicate grids, and dynamic, hard-edged lines. Her cosmopolitan outlook enabled her to draw upon a range of aesthetic sensibilities, from the poetry of Rilke and Camus, as well as Indian classical music, to the modernist architecture of Le Corbusier's Chandigarh.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art on Nasreen Mohamedi

The New York Times on Nasreen Mohamedi’s growing fame in the city

What Nasreen Mohamedi’s studio tells you about the artist, Forbes India

The Indian Express on the reclusive global ‘modern master’

Kishore Singh on the art world's billion dollar question

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Updated Date: Feb 29, 2016 07:04:34 IST

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