pencil and ink on Japanese card paper
11 x 14 in. (27.8 x 35.7 cm.)
Executed circa late 1980s; one double sided work on paper
The Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai
Christie's New York, 12 September 2012, lot 316
Acquired from the above by the present owner

Lot Essay

A drawing - each straight line ending with a different end.
Pick out drawings from the paper itself.
All the forces of nature are interlinked.
Pull with a direction.
Examine and reexamine each contour, each dot,
where rhythm meets in space and continuous changes occur.
Develop form through intuition from point to point.
Each line, texture (form), are born of effort, history + pain.
Lines strengthening from Form to Form.
- Nasreen Mohamedi, 1968-71

Graduating from St. Martin's School of Art in London, Nasreen Mohamedi was, by the early 1960s, well versed in Western modernist practices. Upon her return to India, Mohamedi, with her unique, nonrepresentational style, carved out a space of her own at the pinnacle of Indian modernism. "In India in the 1960s and 70s, Nasreen Mohamedi used a nonrepresentational line to create what [Agnes] Martin called 'a plane of attention and awareness.' In the West, her methodically linear work has often been aligned with Martin's, but the underpinning artistic content is different in its relation to the real: where Martin's hand-drawn, atemporal grids and horizontal lines, and her sensuous use of dilute primary colors, are avenues toward an ideal space, a space beyond the world, Mohamedi looks within the world, embracing the real and the social, both the peaceful environment of nature and its synthetic counterpart, the megalopolis. Rather than seeking refuge, or solitude, in a quiet place at a distance from the social world, Mohamedi often gravitated toward the harsh and tumultuous center. Yet her 'lines among lines,' in her phrase, share with Martin's sense of fluency and of the fleeting - the nondual nature of all." (C. Butler and C. Zegher, onLine: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century, exhibition catalogue, New York, p. 81)

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