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Nasreen Mohamedi

“The poignant story of Mohamedi, a relatively little-known but significant artist, reveals a highly individual artistic quest, drawing on historic sources from across the world, alongside her evocative photography as an unexpected form of visual note-taking.”

SHEENA WAGSTAFF

Text/Image

Untitled, ca. 1975  Ink and graphite on paper   7 1/2” x 7 1/2”

On returning to India in the early 1960s after studying in London and Paris, Nasreen broke away from the milieu of representational art pervasive in post independence India and carved out a unique space for herself at the crest of Indian modernism. Distilling her perceptions to their essence, her means to the essential, un-tethered she floated, above and away from any categorization. Extracting the structure within nature and unleashing the poetry residing within structure, Mohamedi strove to create a unity through form between the outside and the inside. The waves in the sea, the sand under the waves, the sun over the sea, in Mohamedi’s drawings they are all on a single plane, interconnected, and susceptible to the gentle variance of the viewer’s perception.

Mohamedi, employing pen and pencil, transformed sheets of paper into a tour de force. Remarkably executed over three decades ago in an environment where narrative and figurative art was the rule, Mohamedi’s clarity of pursuit and resolve is matched only by the taut tensile energy resonating through the lines. Dismantling the rigidity of the grid, she infuses them with a dynamic rhythm that at times soars, dives, expands, and collapses. Like the footsteps of sunlight through a courtyard or wind sweeping over water, they are abstract in form but not in experience. Her drawings suggest the magnanimous yet simple phenomenon so truly that they infuse an awe-inspiring chill as to the immensity of our experience and the poverty of means used to elicit it.

“There will never be anyone like Nasreen again in the Indian art world. There will be geniuses and transgressive rebels, but none so noble.”

Geeta Kapur

Text/Image

Nasreen Mohamedi had a parallel practice in Photography, though rarely exhibited in her lifetime her commitment to the medium has been revealing with surprises and wonder since the first exhibition devoted to her photographs at Talwar, NY in 2003. Employing the medium, Mohamedi distilled the structure and order around her to an essence, of form. The Photographs are sited in simple encounters of the tangible, pared down to light and dark, seeming to reveal universal truths beyond the logical. Intensely personal, and as controlled as the gaze of the artist, they reach outside the self, to perceive and connect.

Mohamedi has been the subject of solo exhibitions at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET Breuer), New York (2016); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain (2015); Tate, Liverpool, UK (2014); Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, India (2013) and The Drawing Center, New York (2005).

Mohamedi’s works have also been on view at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, NY; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia; Documenta XII, Kassel, Germany; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Harvard University Art Museum, Cambridge, MA; Institute of Arab and Islamic Art, NY; Fotomuseum, Winterthur, Switzerland; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, MO; and Whitechapel Gallery, London.  

Currently her works are on view in “Elles font l’abstraction” at Centre Pompidou, Paris and travel to Guggenheim Bilbao Museum.

Quotes

Untitled, ca. 1975  Black and white photograph  10.6″ x 14.8″

 

 

 

″… Mohamedi was a great artist. She was increasingly audacious in her experimentations with space.... Her work took on a new intensity, suggestive of movement and spirit, and an almost transcendent idea of pure vision.”

THE BOSTON GLOBE

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Untitled, ca. 1975  Ink on paper  19 1/4” x 19 1/4”

 

 

 

 

“[Mohamedi’s] works of astonishing subtlety, faintly traced pencil drawings that have both architectural and musical overtones. Small deviations from perfect regularity set up cascading patterns, as if an Agnes Martin painting began pulsing like the ripples on the surface of a pond."

THE WASHINGTON POST

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Untitled, ca. 1980s  Ink and graphite on paper  22.28" x 28.38"

 

 

 

 

“...Exquisite yet robust photographs and drawings by Nasreen Mohamedi. Some float on the page like a gossamer veil. They are infused with the rhythm of a Bridget Riley, the playfulness of Piet Mondrian and the lyricism of an Ellsworth Kelly line leaf drawing...”

APOLLO

 

quote

Nasreen Mohamedi | Diary Entry - 18th July, 1969 London

 

 

 

 

“Nasreen Mohamedi, whose extraordinary works bespeak a combination of precision and strength, delicacy and power.”

VANITY FAIR

Selected Works

Selected Works Thumbnails

Untitled, ca. 1965
Oil on canvas  
36” x 48”

Untitled, ca. 1968
Vintage silver gelatin photograph 

8 3/4” x 12”

Untitled, 1962
Watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper 

19” x 27 3/4”

Untitled, ca. 1965
Watercolor, pastel and ink on paper 

11 1/10” x 9 1/2”

Untitled, ca. 1980s

Ink and graphite on paper

 22.28" x 28.38"

Untitled, ca. 1980

Ink and graphite on paper

19" x 27"

Untitled, ca. 1980

Ink and graphite on paper

19 1/2" x 27"

Untitled, ca. 1975

Ink and graphite on paper 

7 1/2” x 7 1/2”

Untitled, ca. 1970s

Ink and graphite on paper

7 1/2" x 7 1/2"

Untitled, ca. 1970s

Ink and graphite on paper

7 1/2" x 7 1/2"

Untitled, ca. 1970s

Ink on paper

7 1/2" x 7 1/2"

Untitled, ca. 1970s

Ink and graphite on paper

7 1/2" x 7 1/2"

Untitled, ca. 1960
Ink, graphite and watercolor on paper

13 3/5” x 19 3/10”

Untitled, ca. 1975

Black and white photograph

9.6" x 15"

Inquire

Untitled, ca. 1980
Black and white photograph

9.4″ x 11.9″

Untitled, ca. 1980

Black and white photograph

9.4″ x 11.8″

Untitled, ca. 1975

Black and white photograph

9″ x 15″

Inquire

Untitled, ca. 1975

Black and white photograph

8.8" x 14.2"

Inquire

Untitled, ca. 1975
Black and white photograph

9″ x 15″

Inquire

Untitled, ca. 1975

Black and white photograph

10" x 15"

Inquire

Untitled, ca. 1975

Black and white photograph

10.6″ x 14.8″

Untitled, ca. 1965
Oil on canvas  
36” x 48”

Untitled, ca. 1968
Vintage silver gelatin photograph 

8 3/4” x 12”

Untitled, 1962
Watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper 

19” x 27 3/4”

Untitled, ca. 1965
Watercolor, pastel and ink on paper 

11 1/10” x 9 1/2”

Untitled, ca. 1980s

Ink and graphite on paper

 22.28" x 28.38"

Untitled, ca. 1980

Ink and graphite on paper

19" x 27"

Untitled, ca. 1980

Ink and graphite on paper

19 1/2" x 27"

Untitled, ca. 1975

Ink and graphite on paper 

7 1/2” x 7 1/2”

Untitled, ca. 1970s

Ink and graphite on paper

7 1/2" x 7 1/2"

Untitled, ca. 1970s

Ink and graphite on paper

7 1/2" x 7 1/2"

Untitled, ca. 1970s

Ink on paper

7 1/2" x 7 1/2"

Untitled, ca. 1970s

Ink and graphite on paper

7 1/2" x 7 1/2"

Untitled, ca. 1960
Ink, graphite and watercolor on paper

13 3/5” x 19 3/10”

Untitled, ca. 1975

Black and white photograph

9.6" x 15"

Untitled, ca. 1980
Black and white photograph

9.4″ x 11.9″

Untitled, ca. 1980

Black and white photograph

9.4″ x 11.8″

Untitled, ca. 1975

Black and white photograph

9″ x 15″

Untitled, ca. 1975

Black and white photograph

8.8" x 14.2"

Untitled, ca. 1975
Black and white photograph

9″ x 15″

Untitled, ca. 1975

Black and white photograph

10" x 15"

Untitled, ca. 1975

Black and white photograph

10.6″ x 14.8″

Elles font l'abstraction
Elles font l'abstraction
Nasreen Mohamedi and Arpita Singh Guggenheim Bilbao October 22, 2021 - February 27, 2022
as the wind blows
as the wind blows
20th Anniversary Exhibition Talwar Gallery, New York September 25 - December 17, 2021
Nasreen Mohamedi
Nasreen Mohamedi
Pull with a Direction Talwar Gallery, New York February 29, 2020 – February 6, 2021
NASREEN MOHAMEDI
NASREEN MOHAMEDI
Inaugural Exhibition at The MET Breuer The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York March 18 - June 5, 2016
NASREEN MOHAMEDI
NASREEN MOHAMEDI
Waiting is Part of Intense Living Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia September 23, 2015 - January 11, 2016
NASREEN MOHAMEDI
NASREEN MOHAMEDI
Becoming One Talwar Gallery, New York September 13, 2013 - January 25, 2014
On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century
On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) New York, NY November 11, 2010 - February 7, 2011
NASREEN MOHAMEDI
NASREEN MOHAMEDI
the grid, unplugged September 20, 2008 - February 28, 2009
NASREEN MOHAMEDI
NASREEN MOHAMEDI
Lines among Lines The Drawing Center, New York March 19 - May 21, 2005
NASREEN MOHAMEDI
NASREEN MOHAMEDI
Photoworks Talwar Gallery, New York September 18 – December 20, 2003
ASAP Journal
ASAP Journal
Nasreen Mohamedi's Pull with Direction December 3, 2020
The New York Times
The New York Times
Nasreen Mohamedi
Art Satva
Art Satva
Nasreen Mohamedi- A Life in So(u)litude July 28, 2020
Galerie Magazine
Galerie Magazine
A Love Letter to the Met: Curators Share the Works They Miss the Most April 17, 2020
The New York Times
The New York Times
In the Art World, Globalism’s New Spin October 27, 2016
Art Review
Art Review
Nasreen Mohamedi October 14, 2016
Marg
Marg
The Elegant Complexity of Nasreen Mohamedi October 2016
Art India
Art India
Lines Eternal October 2016
The MET
The MET
Of Calligraphic Lines and Radiant Light: Nasreen Mohamedi and Islamic Aesthetics June 3, 2016
Haber's Art Reviews
Haber's Art Reviews
The Met Breuer and Nasreen Mohamedi June 2016
The New York Times
The New York Times
Last Chance: Nasreen Mohamedi at Met Breuer May 2016
Nighthawk NYC
Nighthawk NYC
Nasreen Mohamedi's "Simple" Perfection April 24, 2016
The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe
Riveting modernism, mysticism from Nasreen Mohamedi April 21, 2016
Aesthetica
Aesthetica
Nasreen Mohamedi – A Philosophy in Life at Metropolitan Museum of Art April 21, 2016
The Seattle Times
The Seattle Times
Out-Of-The-Ordinary Project Blends Jazz, Art for a New Work April 18, 2016
Artforum
Artforum
Critic's Pick: Nasreen Mohamedi April 2016
Wall Art
Wall Art
Nasreen Mohamedi at the Met Breuer April 2016
The New York Times
The New York Times
Met Breuer: Nasreen Mohamedi April 2016
London Review of Books
London Review of Books
At the Met Breuer: Thoughts Made Visible March 31, 2016
Open Magazine
Open Magazine
The Mark of a Modernist March 28, 2016
The New York Times
The New York Times
The 'radical' drawings of Indian artist Nasreen Mohamedi March 15, 2016
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal
Review: Nasreen Mohamedi Retrospective at the Met Breuer in New York March 15, 2016
Frieze
Frieze
Unfished Business at the new Met Breuer March 10, 2016
The New York Times
The New York Times
A Question Still Hanging at the Met Breuer: Why? March 2, 2016
Financial Times
Financial Times
Curator Sheena Wagstaff on the new Met Breuer museum February 25, 2016
Financial Times
Financial Times
What to Watch out for in 2016: Nasreen Mohamedi December 28, 2015
Art in America
Art in America
Philippe Vergne on Nasreen Mohamedi July 28, 2015
The New York Times
The New York Times
Art in Review: Nasreen Mohamedi's Becoming One January 17, 2014
Hyperallergic
Hyperallergic
India’s Nasreen Mohamedi Belongs to Everyone November 17, 2013
NYT Magazine
NYT Magazine
Artists on Artists: William Kentridge on the Subtle Drama of the Indian Minimalist Nasreen Mohamedi October 11, 2013
Artforum
Artforum
Nasreen Mohamedi: Kiran Nadar Museum of Art May 2013
Financial Times
Financial Times
Nasreen Mohamedi: A View to Infinity, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi February 8, 2013
Mint
Mint
The Line of Control February 2013
Artforum
Artforum
Nasreen Mohamedi January 2010
Bidoun
Bidoun
Nasreen Mohamedi Winter 2009-2010
Frieze
Frieze
Nasreen Mohamedi November-December 2009
Art Monthly, MK Gallery
Art Monthly, MK Gallery
Nasreen Mohamedi: Notes. Reflections on Indian Modernism October 2009
The Guardian
The Guardian
Exhibition Preview: Nasreen Mohamedi, Milton Keynes September 18, 2009
Milton Keynes Gallery
Milton Keynes Gallery
Nasreen Mohamedi September 5 - November 15, 2009
Afterall
Afterall
Making the Maximum Out of the Minimum July 2009
Frieze
Frieze
The Actuality of an Idea May 2009
Art on Paper
Art on Paper
A Detached Joy May 2009
Artforum
Artforum
The Actuality of an Idea April 30, 2009
Brooklyn Rail
Brooklyn Rail
Nasreen Mohamedi: The Grid Unplugged December 8, 2008
The New York Times
The New York Times
Art in Review: Nasreen Mohamedi's the grid, unplugged October 30, 2008
The Hindu
The Hindu
Between the Lines October 2008
Artforum
Artforum
Best of 2007 December 2007
Metropolis
Metropolis
Moderate Modernism: On Tagore, Le Corbusier, and Nasreen Mohamedi December 2007
Flash Art
Flash Art
Documenta 12 July 2007
Art Asia Pacific
Art Asia Pacific
Lines among Lines October 2005
The New Yorker
The New Yorker
Nasreen Mohamedi May 23, 2005
The New York Times
The New York Times
Art in Review: Nasreen Mohamedi's Lines Among Lines May 13, 2005
Marg
Marg
Indian Photography Exhibit in New York June 2004
artUS
artUS
Nasreen Mohamedi January 2004
Asian Art News
Asian Art News
Nasreen Mohamedi at Talwar Gallery December 2003
Art Critical
Art Critical
Nasreen Mohamedi December 1, 2003
The New York Times
The New York Times
Art in Review: Nasreen Mohamedi October 10, 2003
NASREEN MOHAMEDI
NASREEN MOHAMEDI
the grid, unplugged 2009
NASREEN MOHAMEDI
NASREEN MOHAMEDI
Waiting is a part of intense living 2016
NASREEN MOHAMEDI
NASREEN MOHAMEDI
Lines Among Lines 2005