Nasreen Mohamedi and Arpita Singh are at Guggenheim Bilbao in Spain with an important question


These works reflect tiny jerky lines; short, intuitively repetitive pencil and brush strokes; converging and condensing, accumulating in shape or merging into a pattern. Singh’s works in this exhibition become testimonies to a period of remarkable freedom in his practice, spurred by the desire, excitement and uncertainty of experimentation on a single sheet of paper.

Nasreen Mohamedi’s minimalist moorings

Returning to India in the early 1960s after studying in London and Paris, Nasreen broke with the figurative art scene ubiquitous in post-independence India to carve out a unique space for himself at the height of Indian modernism.

One of the works of Nasreen Mohamedi which is part of Elles Font L’Abstraction, Untitled, ca. 1975, gelatin silver print

Using a pen and pencil, she transformed sheets of paper into a feat. Mohamedi’s clarity of pursuit and determination is matched only by the energy of tense tension echoing through the lines. Dismantling the rigidity of the grid, it infuses them with a dynamic rhythm that sometimes flies, plunges, widens and collapses.

Rewrite the history of art

By focusing on the paths of artists, some unfairly eclipsed, the exhibition proposes to question the established canons of abstraction.

The exhibition “Women in abstraction” also raises several questions. The first concerns the very term of the subject: what exactly is abstraction? Another deals with the causes of the specific processes that made women invisible in the history of abstraction that still prevails today. The exhibition establishes the specific contributions of artists, pioneers or not, but in any case actors of this particular, original and singular history. The exhibition is organized by Christine Macel, chief curator at the Center Pompidou with Karolina Ziębińska-Lewandowska in charge of photography.

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