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Asian art

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Degas suite



Nalini Malani


1946 -


Nalini Malani lives in Mumbai (Bombay). She works with watercolour books, drawings, installations and performance. The Gallery has in its collection two of her books, the 'Hieroglyph series' and 'The Degas Suite'. A sense of fragmentation and displacement is at the heart of Nalini Malani's work. Her parents were from Karachi and the family had to leave in 1947 because of Partition. Much of Malani's work is also based on the varied and fractured lifestyles in the district Lohar Chawl (electric market) where the artist's studio is located. In this area of Mumbai various strata of society live with one another. In 'The Degas Suite', Nalini Malani has reinterpreted the drawings by the French Impressionist, Edgar Degas, superimposing other drawings based on the streets of Mumbai. Malani considers the relationship between Indian contemporary life and the modernist traditions of Europe.

Art Gallery Handbook, 1999. pg. 297.


Place where the work was made

Mumbai Maharashtra India

Cultural origin

Baroda school



Media categories

Book , Print

Materials used

bound book: 35 leaves, 32 prints, photocopied monotypes worked over in ink, pastel and charcoal, 8 drawings, ink on paper, 1 drawing, pencil on paper


22.3 x 27.2 cm leaf; 22.4 x 29.2 cm closed book; 22.4 x 58.5 cm open book

Signature & date

Signed and dated, leaf c-f, i-k, m, t-gg, l.r.corner, brown ink, "N Malani 91/7"
Signed and dated, leaf x,z,hh, l.r.corner, brown ink, "N Malani 91/8"
Signed and dated, leaf g,l,n,o,p, l.l.corner, brown ink, "N Malani 91/7"
Signed and dated, leaf h, q-s, u.r.corner, brown ink, "N Malani 91/7"
Signed and dated, verso, leaf x-aa,dd, brown ink, "N Malani 91/7"
Signed and dated, verso, leaf ff-hh, brown ink, "N Malani 91/8"

Signed and dated, leaf ii, l.r.corner, black ink, "...N Malani Aug '91"


Purchased 1994


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Nalini Malani

Works in the collection


Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 4 publications


Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Asian Collection: South Asia', pg. 288-297, Sydney, 1999, 297 (colour illus.).

Victoria Lynn, India Songs: multiple streams in contemporary Indian art, Sydney, 1993, 18 (colour illus.).

Haema Sivanesan, Indian painting, 'Indian Painting', verso of poster., Sydney, 2001. 6.17

Hamea Sivanesan, Look, 'Indian painting', pg. 20-21, Melbourne, Mar 2001, 20, 21 (colour illus.). A page (letter/leaf not mentioned) from the 'Degas suite' is illustrated in this publication.