b. 1980, India

Manish Nai Biography

Manish Nai (b. 1980, India) began his adoration of twentieth century abstraction in college, coinciding with a moment when abstraction had fallen out of favour in India. At this time, while Nai resolutely pursued minimalism, figurative collage and ornamentation surged in popularity, his work definitively going against the fashion.

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Using material that was 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.

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, and 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 com-presses 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. In 2014, Nai was selected for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale.

Text courtesy Kavi Gupta.

Manish Nai Featured Artworks

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Untitled by Manish Nai contemporary artwork sculpture
Manish Nai Untitled, 2019 Old books and wood
231.1 x 25.4 x 17.8 cm
Kavi Gupta Contact Gallery
Untitled by Manish Nai contemporary artwork painting
Manish Nai Untitled, 2017 Natural 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 painting
Manish Nai Untitled, 2019 Fly screen and acrylic
101.6 x 101.6 x 2.5 cm
Kavi Gupta Contact Gallery
untitled by Manish Nai contemporary artwork textile
Manish Nai untitled, 2018 Used clothes and wood
304.8 x 7.6 x 7.6 cm
Sundaram Tagore Gallery Contact Gallery
untitled by Manish Nai contemporary artwork mixed media
Manish Nai untitled, 2018 Used clothes and wood
304.8 x 7.6 x 7.6 cm
Sundaram Tagore Gallery Contact Gallery
Untitled by Manish Nai contemporary artwork sculpture
Manish Nai Untitled, 2018 Teak and corrugated cardboard
80 x 2.9 x 2.9 inches
Sold
Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke
Untitled by Manish Nai contemporary artwork works on paper
Manish Nai Untitled, 2018 Pigment print on Hahnemühle paper
50.5 x 47 inches
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Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke
Untitled II by Manish Nai contemporary artwork sculpture
Manish Nai Untitled II, 2018 Copper
48 x 48 x 1 inches
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Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke

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