Nasreen Mohamedi (1937–1990) is regarded as one of the most important Indian artists of her generation, and her paintings, drawings and photographs, produced from the early 1960s to the late 1980s, constitute a key body of work within the modernist canon. Mohamedi studied in London and Paris during the late 1950s and early 60s, and returned to India to teach at the Faculty of Fine Arts, MS University in Baroda. In India, her austere, small-scale drawings and use of minor gestures contrasted with the figurative narrative works produced by many of her contemporaries. While her drawings from the late 1970s onwards tend toward the resolutely abstract, they intimate cultural references, which become explicit in her photographs – in which historical architecture suggests an aesthetic link to both modernisation and an Islamic heritage. In
Mohamedi’s diaries, made over a period of thirty years, textual and graphic interventions also attest to the close links between her inner life and her practice as an artist.