Nasreen Mohemedi (1937 – 1990)
Born in Karachi, Nasreen Mohamedi moved with her family to Mumbai at the
age of seven. In 1954, she travelled abroad to study – in London at Saint Martin’s
School of Art, Paris on a scholarship from the French government. After she
returned to India she lived in Bombay, Delhi and finally settled in Baroda, where
she became a teacher in the prestigious Faculty of Fine Arts, MS University in 1972.
In Baroda, Mohamedi produced what has come to be seen as her classic work:
small-scale, abstract geometric drawings, painstakingly composed using pencil and
pen – working with the grid and deviating from it with the use of diagonal lines.
Virtually alone amongst her peers in India who generally favoured a figurative
narrative style, her lineage can be traced back to an earlier generation of Indian
artists engaged with abstraction such as V.S. Gaitonde. Despite Mohamedi’s
cosmopolitanism, her work also reflects her identity as a female Indian artist
working during the second half of the twentieth century as the subcontinent, its
landscapes, urban centres and Islamic heritage are often intimated in her work,
particularly her photographs.


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