Accepted paper:

Bordering on blank: the calligraphic modernism of Nasreen Mohamedi (1937-1990)


Emilia Terracciano (Courtauld Institute of Art)

Paper short abstract:

to follow

Paper long abstract:

Contemporary globalisation has largely undermined the promises of the post-colonial nation-state, proposing little in its place. As a result the developmental project of the nation-state, along with its cultural and artistic symbols, has become obsolete. Transnational capitalism of the neo-liberal era has created a consumerist vision of managed difference with art no longer capable of relating to local dimensions. It is nonetheless because of the failure of viable national sovereignty and the shrinking aspirations for de-colonisation that it is possible to retrieve the idea of ‘calligraphic modernism’ and formulate a more nuanced reading of its achievements in a global context. Here I intend considering the work of Nasreen Mohamedi (1937-1990), produced in the 1970s and 1980s, which transcends national borders as well as its relationship to the metropolitan centres of modernist art.

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