Nalini Malani


Broken Alice II | New York, Rockefeller Plaza | painted on reverse of transparent acrylic sheet | 152.4 x 121.9 cm.



“Malani is a political artist of impressive visual range, now at the height of her power.”

Holland Cotter, The New York Times


Nalini Malani emerged at a time when the Indian art scene was male dominated. Amongst a new generation of women artists who wove personal narratives and histories into their practice, her early works were cathartic autobiographies. Always attuned to global discourses which shape female identity Nalini populates her work with appropriated and reappropriated imagery while still managing to retain a singularly personal idiom, weaving together local history and social issues to communicate her ideas.

Her work has been seen internationally in solo and group exhibitions since 1966, and by the 1980s, her acclaim was international. In 1990s she became part of India's first-generation of video artists. Her practice also encompasses multi-media installation and experimental theatre, although painting and drawing remain central. In the last decade she has had six solo museum exhibitions amongst which a major retrospective in 2010 at the Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts in Lausanne, Switzerland; the Museum of Modern Art, in Dublin; and the New Museum, in New York. Her work was recently included in group shows at Centre Pompidou, in Paris; the National Museum of Modern Art, in Tokyo; and Biennials in Venice and Sydney. Her work has appeared in solo and group gallery shows worldwide.

Nalani Malani was born in Karachi, just a year before creation of the modern state of Pakistan. She and her parents fled as refugees into India when she was a child, where she studied at the Sir J.J. School of Art in Mumbai, graduating in 1969. She went onto study fine arts in Paris from 1970 to 1972 on a scholarship from the French Government.  She also received two scholarships from the Government of India and in 1989 won a grant for travel and work in the United States. She lives and works in Mumbai.


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Works by Nalini Malani

Specialists in South Asian Modern+Contemporary Art at Christie's

  • Deepanjana D. Klein PhD
    • South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art
    • New York
    • International Head of Department
    • dklein@christies.com
    • +1 212 636 2189
  • Sonal Singh

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