Nadira Husain describes her own artistic practice and her multicultural background as ‘bâtarde’ – the female version of bastard. Husain, who grew up with a French mother and an Indian father and was influenced by the aesthetics of both cultures, especially by ornamental Islamic art and western Comic. Instead of working out differences, she focuses on similarities of aesthetic concepts, such as repetition, non-hierarchic placement of shapes and forms or the use of contoures, ‘degrading’ forms to flat pattern. Ornamental works unravel socio political content and cultural characteristics. Upon the second glance, the viewer will notice evil or fun comic characters, animals, figures from Indian miniature painting, beans, boobs or Femme Fondation – a female character of multiple ages and with or without animal features such as spotted skin, horns or fangs, pregnant or not; invented by Husain – all hidden in the overall design of a vivid pattern expressing the eco-feminist thinking of a cultural hybrid, a ‘bâtarde’.
Nadira Husain (b. 1980, Paris, France) lives and works in Berlin after graduating at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris in 2006. While regularly exhibiting with PSM, Berlin, Galerie Tobias Naehring, Leipzig und Galerie ISA, Mumbai ever since she had institutional solo exhibitions at Heidelberger Kunstverein (2020), Villa du Parc Centre d’Art Contemporain, Annemasse, F (2018); Städtische Galerie Waldkraiburg, D (2015) and Künstlerhaus Bremen, DE (2014). Husain’s works have been exhibited at group exhibitions in institutions such as Museion Bozen, Bolzano, IT (2019), Kai 10, Arthena Foundation, Düsseldorf, DE (2019); Skulpturen-Triennale, Bingen, DE (2017); Jewish Museum, New York, US (2015) and KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, DE (2013). In 2018 she received the Werk.Stoff – Price for Painting by the Andreas Felger Foundation for Culture and the Heidelberger Kunstverein and since 2017 Husain is lecturer in *foundationClass at the Art Academy Berlin-Weißensee.
PSM is a contemporary art gallery in Berlin, Germany. It was opened in September 2008 by Sabine Schmidt to provide a platform for novel and experimental international artists. The name and logo of the gallery relate to Schmidt’s grandfather, Paul Schmidt, who founded a machine production factory, PSM (Paul Schmidt Maschinenfabrik), after World War II. True to the industrial inspiration behind PSM’s logo, the gallery produces large-scale, atmospheric exhibitions that often encourage viewer participation or allow them to feel like they are a part of the show. The gallery program thus focuses on conceptual mixed-media art with an emphasis on three-dimensional and performance-based works. At the moment, the gallery’s program consists of fourteen international artists born between 1964 and 1989. Many of the artists shown by PSM, like Catherine Biocca, Christian Falsnaes, and Nadira Husain, push the boundaries of what it means to address and engage the art viewing public. This spirit is continued in Schmidt’s commitment to regional and international art fairs. In September 2017 PSM moved to a new 159-square-meter space, located across the canal from Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie and Kulturforum, in an architecturally modified space in a residential building. The location, at Schoeneberger Ufer 61, is also near several other contemporary art galleries, on Potsdamer Straße, and integrates the gallery into the cultural life of Berlin.