Nalini Malani (b.1946, Pakistan)

Nalini Malani (Karachi 1946) is one of the most influential contemporary artists from India. Her work is
influenced by her experiences as a refugee of the Partition of India. She places inherited iconographies
and cherished cultural stereotypes under pressure. Her point of view is unwaveringly urban and
internationalist, and unsparing in its condemnation of a cynical nationalism that exploits the beliefs of
the masses. Hers is an art of excess, going beyond the boundaries of legitimized narrative, exceeding
the conventional and initiating dialogue.

While studying at the JJ School of Arts in Bombay Malani acquired a studio at Bhulabhai Memorial
Institute where she had the opportunity to interact with artists such as Tyeb Mehta, Nasreen
Mohammadi and M.F. Hussain. After a French Government Scholarship for Fine Arts in Paris (1971-72)
she returned to India. Since the nineteen-seventies she has been visualizing her emphatically feminine
stance. In 1981 she initiates and organizes, along with Vivan Sundaram, the landmark exhibition ‘Place
for People’. In 1986 Malani plans to organize an exhibition with only female artists in an attempt to give
voice to women artists in a male dominated milieu. This leads to the historical exhibition ‘Through the
Looking Glass’ with Madhavi Parekh, Nilima Sheikh, Arpita Singh and herself that travels throughout
India over three years.

In the early nineteen-nineties, Malani was one of the first artists in India to break away from painting.
Characteristics of her works formed the gradual movement towards new media, international
collaboration and the expanding dimensions of the pictorial surface into the surrounding space such as
ephemeral wall drawing, installation, shadow play, multi projection works and theatre.
Since 1995 Nalini Malani participates regularly in international exhibitions such as: 1st Johannesburg
Biennale , 2nd and 4th Asia Pacific Triennale, 3rd Gwangju Biennale, 8th Istanbul Biennale, 50th and 52nd
Venice Biennale and the 16th Sydney Biennale. She has had a series of international solo museum
exhibitions: The New Museum, New York in 2002, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem in 2005, The Irish
Museum of Modern Art, Dublin in 2007 and the Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, 2010,
Documenta XIII, 2012.

Gallery Chemould has exhibited the works of Nalini Malani for almost two decades in several group
shows and a number of solo exhibitions such as ‘ Bloodlines-Artist’s Laboratory in 1995, ‘City of
Desires’ in 1992 and’ Hieroglyphs and Other Works’ in 1991.

Malani’s works have been acquired by major international museums and private collections such as:
British Museum (London), Museum of Modern Art (New York), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Irish
Museum of Modern Art (Dublin), Musee Cantonal des Beaux Arts (Lausanne), National Gallery of
Modern Art (New Delhi), Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (Fukuoka), C Collection Principate (Liechtenstein)
and The Burger Collection (Zumikon).


Malani, Nalini b.1946

related artists / Pakistan / South Asia