Skip to main content

Nalini Malani

Our 2023 Contemporary Fellowship Artist

Nalini Malani 

Born 1946, Lives and works in Mumbai.

Nalini Malani was born in 1946 in Karachi in undivided India. Graduating from Sir J J School of Art, Mumbai, in 1969, Malani’s practice began with experimental film and photography. Malani has been a major figure in a period of artistic globalisation. For over five decades, her work has focused on human and universal aspects of conflict, giving a voice to those marginalised by history – particularly female figures from literature, mythology and the history of art have been a recurrent source of inspiration and reference. As the pioneer of video art in India, she creates immersive installations, theatre, ephemeral wall drawings, erasure performances and her signature ‘shadow plays’. Her artworks focus on themes of transnational politics, the ramifications of globalisation, and the critical examination of gender roles. 

Malani is the first Contemporary Fellowship artist at the National Gallery. Supported by the ArtFund, this iteration of the programme collaborates with The Holburne Museum in Bath. The two-year research, production, and exhibition programme allows Malani to work in close collaboration with specialists from both the National Gallery and the Holburne Museum to study the institutions and their collections and to create new art for an exhibition in Bath and London during 2022–23. 

The National Gallery Contemporary Fellowship with Art Fund was awarded by an international jury, comprised of: Daniel F. Herrmann, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Projects, National Gallery; Sunjung Kim, President, Gwangju Biennale Foundation; Charlotte Klonk, Professor of Art History and New Media, Humboldt University of Berlin; Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, President, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo; Chris Stephens, Director, the Holburne Museum, Bath; and Richard Wentworth, Artist. 

Malani has had recent solo exhibitions at AGSA, Adelaide (2022), M+, Hong Kong (2021), the Joan Miró Foundation, Barcelona (2020), Whitechapel Gallery, London (2020), Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, Mumbai (2019), Castello di Revoli, Turin (2018); the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2017) and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2017). She has participated in prestigious group exhibitions including Documenta 13 (2012) and Venice Biennial (2007 and 2005). In 2019, Malani became the first Asian to win the prestigious Joan Miró Prize. She received the Fukuoka Arts and Culture Prize (2013), among other honours. Malani’s works are placed in distinguished collections including Tate, London, Centre Pompidou, Paris, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi and Stedelijk Museum, Netherlands. 

Nalini Malani: My Reality is Different
National Gallery Contemporary Fellowship with Art Fund
2 March – 11 June 2023
Find out more