Artist Nalini Malani receives the first National Gallery Contemporary Fellowship with Art Fund
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Artist Nalini Malani receives the first National Gallery Contemporary Fellowship with Art Fund
Nalini Malani © Photo: Johan Pijnappel © Nalini Malani.

LONDON.- Artist Nalini Malani is to receive the first Contemporary Fellowship awarded by the National Gallery, and supported by Art Fund, it was announced today.

The new National Gallery Contemporary Fellowship with Art Fund is a pioneering, peer-to-peer collaboration with a non-London collecting institution, which this year is the Holburne Museum, Bath. The Fellowship, which is awarded to an artist of international standing and renown with a major body of work that has significantly contributed to 20th and 21st century art, is part of the National Gallery’s Contemporary Programme, sponsored by Hiscox.

The two-year research, production, and exhibition programme will allow 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 research and production process and final artworks will be documented in a publication and the Holburne Museum will have the opportunity to acquire a work which has been created as part of the Fellowship.

Nalini Malani, born in 1946, lives and works in Mumbai, India. Graduating from Sir JJ School of Art, Mumbai, in 1969, her practice began with experimental film and photography. From the late 1980s onward, Malani’s work increasingly questioned conventional painting traditions; reaching a wider audience and consistently speaking up against the rise of political oppression.

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 the stories of those marginalised by history – particularly women.

As a 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.

Since 2000, Malani has had solo exhibitions at over twenty international institutions, including the Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona (2020); Castello di Rivoli, Rivoli (2018); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2017); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2017); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, (2016); Kiran Nader Museum of Art, New Delhi (2014); the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2012), and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2002). In 2013 she won the Fukuoka Arts and Culture Prize; in 2014 the St. Moritz Art Masters Lifetime Achievement Award; in 2016 the Asian Art Game Changers Award Hong Kong and in 2019, the Joan Miró Prize, Barcelona. This September, Nalini Malani will create an immersive installation at the Whitechapel Gallery, drawing on a wide range of subject matter from the political to personal.

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.

The National Gallery Contemporary Fellowship is supported by Art Fund, which enabled an open call to public collecting institutions outside London to become the partner institution. The National Gallery’s Modern and Contemporary Advisory Panel selected the Holburne Museum in Bath as the partner institution for the inaugural Fellowship.

The Fellowship will culminate in an exhibition at the Holburne Museum, Bath, in autumn 2022, and at the National Gallery in spring 2023. Following its UK run, the exhibition will be available to tour internationally.

Since its foundation, the National Gallery and its collection have been a source of inspiration for artists from all over the world. Established in 1824, the Gallery now holds a collection of over 2,500 paintings predominantly in the West European tradition dating from the mid-13th century to the early 20th century. With a strong commitment to showing modern and contemporary art in conversation with its historic collection, the Contemporary Fellowship programme is at the heart of the Gallery’s Modern and Contemporary Programme.

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