When I posted on the Met Breuer Thoughts Left Visible: Unfinished exhibit I noted that I’d post something on the Nasreen exhibit located upstairs from Unfinished. Weelllll, it took some time. Sue me, I’m looking for a work gig and that takes precedence over me pontificating on something that I may or may not be qualified to speak on.
Unfinished left most reviewers ambivalent and some downright disappointed. I came down on the side of “Yeah, it’s got plenty of flaws but the home runs are, well, real home runs!” I liked it despite its problems just as I like my Houston Astros who are showing some big holes too. Nasreen, on the other hand, got much deserved rave reviews. You’ve got six weeks to see it.
Nasreen Mohamedi (1937-1990), according to the Met’s description, is “One of the most significant artists to emerge in post-Independence India” and “created a body of work that demonstrates a singular and sustained engagement with abstraction.” I’d never heard of her. Definitely my bad. Really bad as this show demonstrates that her work is decidedly terrific and moving.
The show reflects the many avenues that she took: evocative photographs, fascinating abstract line geometry, rich collage, and washes like you see to the right.
The geometric pieces get the biggest play. While I appreciate them, I really was more moved by the washes which I found really beautiful and compelling.
On the other hand, the photographs show a wonderful and close affinity to the geometric work. It, at least to me, seems quite playful and the curators’ work helped to suggest the relationship. See the two line drawings and the photographs below.
For some more learned commentary see: