The Untitled series of photograms continues Malani’s earliest monochromatic and geometric studies of light and form, created when she was working with the Vision Exchange Workshop (VIEW), a space in Bombay (now Mumbai) for experimentation with emergent media technologies.

The photograms were made without a camera in 1970 and reprinted in 2018. The artist exposed photosensitive paper to light, using in a more complex way her paper cut-outs from her earlier photogram series, and adding a dodging technique, which she learned from her friend, the photographer Nasreen Mohamedi. The photograms were first exhibited in 1970 at the Pundole Art Gallery, Bombay, and were printed to a similar scale as the recent edition.

The camera-less photographs and three films, including Dream Houses I, all created at VIEW, register the ideological mood of that time, when artists and thinkers were consumed by hopes for a more positive future for India, informed by Jawalharlal Nehru’s secular nation-building and the ideas of utopian architects such as Charles Correa.

Nalini Malani, India, born 1946, Untitled III, 1970/2018, Bombay (now Mumbai), India; printed Shanghai, China, digital print from photogram, 112.0 x 95.0 cm; Gift of an anonymous donor through the Art Gallery of South Australia Contemporary Collectors 2020, Art Gallery of South Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, © Nalini Malani.

Nalini Malani, India, born 1946, Untitled II, 1970/2018, Bombay (now Mumbai), India; printed Shanghai, China, digital print from photogram, 112.0 x 89.0 cm; Gift of an anonymous donor through the Art Gallery of South Australia Contemporary Collectors 2020, Art Gallery of South Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, © Nalini Malani.