Nasreen Mohamedi (1937-1990) was born in Karachi, (formerly India, now Pakistan) before moving to Mumbai. She travelled abroad to study, spending time in London at Saint Martin's School of Art (1954-57) and in Paris. After extensive travels to Iran and Turkey in the 60s, she returned to India and settled in Baroda in 1972; here, she became a teacher at the prestigious M.S.University, Faculty of Fine Arts.
In Baroda, Mohamedi produced her classic works: small-scale, abstract geometric drawings, painstakingly composed using pencil and pen - working with the grid and creating deviations with diagonal lines. Virtually alone amongst her peers in India, who generally favoured a figurative narrative style, her lineage can be traced back to an earlier generation of Indian artists engaged with abstraction, such as V.S. Gaitonde. Other parallels for her practice can be drawn with works on paper by the American artist Agnes Martin, or with the utopian abstraction of Kazimir Malevich and the Russian Suprematists, whom she admired greatly.
Despite Mohamedi's cosmopolitanism, her work also reflects her identity as a female Indian artist working during the second half of the twentieth century, as the subcontinent, its landscapes, urban centres and Islamic heritage are often intimated in her work, particularly her photographs.