Study Event

Fugitive Lines: Nasreen Mohamedi 1960-77

Tue 25 February 2014 : 5:30pm – 6:30pm

A talk by Emilia Terracciano about Abstract Drawing artist Nasreen Mohamedi.

Native of Karachi – then British India – Nasreen Mohamedi (1937-90) was raised in the cosmopolitan milieu of Bombay following Partition and later, Paris and London. 

Little known outside her home country until after her death, Mohamedi’s work comprises modest-sized drawings in pen and pencil on paper. The compositions move gradually from grid structures in delicate pencil traces (which have invited comparisons with American Agnes Martin’s lyrical use of line) to the industrial forms common to Russian constructivist art. Much like the masters of calligraphy, who touched perfection only to go through the entire exercise all over again, Mohamedi's photographs echo this quest for perfection. We explore some of Mohamedi's drawings and photographs to see how her discrete form of abstraction deviates from figurative Indian art categories, creating a space wherein the relationship between trauma and memory remains elusive.

Emilia Terracciano is a writer and scholar based in London. She has a PhD from The Courtauld Institute of Art (2013). She was the recipient of the Nehru Trust Award (2008) and the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award at the Victoria and Albert Museum (2008-2012). She teaches at The Sotheby's Institute of Art and University College London. Her book ‘In the Eye of Emergency: Modernism and Art in Colonial and Postcolonial India’ is forthcoming with IB Tauris. She is a regular contributor for Modern Painters, The Caravan, Art India and Photomonitor.


View large image Untitled, ca.1970s

Nasreen Mohamedi, Untitled, ca.1970s Black and white photograph, 90 x 38 cm Courtesy of Talwar Gallery, New York and New Delhi.