The first solo exhibition in Europe by Nalini Malani, one of India’s most prominent artists, comprises paintings, wall drawings, video installations and a shadow play. The exhibition provides an overview of Malani’s career and includes new work completed in 2007. Known for her politically charged work, Malani has gained an international reputation for her multi-layered mixed-media installations. Sourced from history and culture, and mixed with Malani’s personal influences and experiences, they build up a narrative of epic proportions. Images from Palestine and Bosnia, and from the American destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, are projected over Indian references, mixing universal concepts with specific historical and personal ones.
Works in the exhibition refer to female figures from both Indian and European traditions, which have been the focus of Malani’s work since the 1970s and give additional meaning to her complex layered surfaces. Included in her paintings are Alice, from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Medea, the sorceress of Greek myth. The Indian figures include Sita, daughter of the Earth Mother Avni, who betrayed by her husband returns to the Earth from whence she came, and Mahadeviyakka a young girl from the 12th-century, betrothed to a rich older man, who defied her family and community, rejecting her arranged marriage by claiming to be already married to the God Shiva. In Malani’s work these figures appear in isolation or intertwined – not necessarily in their expected contexts but in multi-layered narratives and open to interpretation. All the works juxtapose different visions from the realms of memory, myth, desire and fantasy, mixing these with specific references to local and global politics, and to gender and identity issues.
The exhibition is accompanied by a substantial catalogue published by IMMA in association with Charta, Milan. It includes texts by Dr Chaitanya Sambrani, art historian, curator and Head of Art Theory at the Australian National University, Canberra; Thomas McEvilley, Professor of Art History at the School of Visual Arts, New York; Enrique Juncosa, Director, IMMA; and an interview with the artist by curator and art historian Johan Pijnappel. To buy the catalogue for this exhibition on IMMA’s AbeBooks page click here
To buy the catalogue for this exhibition on IMMA’s AbeBooks page click here
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