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b. 1980, India

Manish Nai Biography

Manish Nai’s adoration of twentieth century abstraction began in college, coinciding with a moment when abstraction had fallen out of favor in India. At this time, while Nai resolutely pursued minimalism, figurative collage and ornamentation surged in popularity, his work definitively going against the fashion. Using materials that were both modest and quintessentially Indian, like jute and newspaper, Nai’s pieces were and are studies in tedious complexities that, once completed, are presented as a tightly organised unit.

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The media that Nai uses are usually cheap and ubiquitous, alluding to both hierarchies of artistic media and Indian social structures. Jute, for instance, is a strong vegetable fibre, often woven into a durable fabric similar to burlap that was once used as clothing material for the poor, and is now used more commonly in building construction. Nai hails from a family of jute traders; his intimate understanding of the material comes equally from a cultural and familial relationship to it. His use of newspapers examines the tremendous diversity and contention within Indian society: there are almost 100 newspapers in 19 different languages distributed daily in India. Nai soaks these, stripping them of their words, and compresses them in wooden moulds, elevating these items from disposable to the rarified.

Born 1980 in Gujarat, India, Manish Nai attained a Diploma in Drawing and Painting from the L.S. Raheja School of Art in Mumbai. He has held solo exhibitions at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai; Galerie Karsten Greve, Cologne; and Galerie Gebr. Lehmann, Berlin, among others. In August 2014 a solo exhibition of his work will be presented at Galerie Karsten Greve in St. Moritz. Nai’s work has been shown at Art Basel Hong Kong and in numerous group shows including Bright Noise curated by Girish Shahane at the Lalit Kala Akademi, Chennai (2014); The Indian Parallax or the Doubling of Happiness curated by Shaheen Merali at the Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Kolkata (2012); news – a two-person show with Eberhard Havekost at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai (2012); and the Mumbai City Pavilion at the ninth Shanghai Biennale, curated by Diana Campbell and Susan Hapgood (2012). Nai is a recipient of the Royal Over-Seas League Visual Arts Scholarship for a month-long Residency at Hospitalfield House, Scotland in September 2014. In 2004 he received the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award, New York. Manish Nai lives and works in Mumbai.

Text courtesy Kavi Gupta.

Manish Nai Featured Artworks

View All (28)
Untitled by Manish Nai contemporary artwork
Manish NaiUntitled, 2019Old books and wood
231.1 x 25.4 x 17.8 cm
Kavi Gupta Contact Gallery
Untitled by Manish Nai contemporary artwork
Manish NaiUntitled, 2017Natural and dyed jute cloth, gateway tracing paper and paint on canvas
252.7 x 316.2 cm
Kavi Gupta Contact Gallery
Untitled by Manish Nai contemporary artwork
Manish NaiUntitled, 2019Fly screen and acrylic
101.6 x 101.6 x 2.5 cm
Kavi Gupta Contact Gallery
untitled by Manish Nai contemporary artwork
Manish Naiuntitled, 2018Used clothes and wood
304.8 x 7.6 x 7.6 cm
Sundaram Tagore Gallery Contact Gallery
untitled by Manish Nai contemporary artwork
Manish Naiuntitled, 2018Used clothes and wood
304.8 x 7.6 x 7.6 cm
Sundaram Tagore Gallery Contact Gallery
Untitled by Manish Nai contemporary artwork
Manish NaiUntitled, 2018Teak and corrugated cardboard
80 x 2.9 x 2.9 inches
Sold
Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke
Untitled by Manish Nai contemporary artwork
Manish NaiUntitled, 2018Pigment print on Hahnemühle paper
50.5 x 47 inches
Sold
Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke
Untitled II by Manish Nai contemporary artwork
Manish NaiUntitled II, 2018Copper
48 x 48 x 1 inches
Sold
Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke

Manish Nai Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, The Written Word at Kavi Gupta, Online Only, Chicago
Closed
23 April–7 May 2020 Group Exhibition The Written Word Kavi GuptaOnline Only
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Alterations Activation Abstraction at Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Chelsea, New York
Closed
28 February–30 March 2019 Group Exhibition Alterations Activation Abstraction Sundaram Tagore GalleryChelsea, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Manish Nai, Paper City and Ghost Modernity at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai
Closed
5 December 2018–7 March 2019 Manish Nai Paper City and Ghost Modernity Galerie Mirchandani + SteinrueckeMumbai

Manish Nai Represented By

Manish Nai In Related Press

Asia in the spotlight: The Prudential Eye Awards 2016 Related Press Asia in the spotlight: The Prudential Eye Awards 2016 21 January 2016, Art Radar Journal

The Prudential Eye Awards 2016 was held at the Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore on 19 January 2016. Featuring 15 shortlisted artists, 39 works and an eminent panel of Judges, the event celebrates Asia’s most exciting up-and-coming talent. The awards ceremony was officiated by Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth...

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