Asked about the influences on her art, Fatima Ahmed
names Gaughin, Cezanne, Van Gogh ("whom I admire,
but who did not really influence my work") and,
most importantly, Modigliani. "At my first Bombay
show in 1962, the critics referred to me as the female
Modigliani. I was very taken by his elongated figures."
After painting for forty years, however, no single influence
remains to be seen in her work; rather, Ahmed has forged
her own unique style. A consistent element has been
placement of the single feature in a painting with a
great deal of open space. "I dislike crowded compositions",
she says. Recently, she finished a painting with the
two figures, but she stresses "even there, there
was still a lot of space."
Speaking on her use of light, she explains, "Light
can make a lot of difference to a work. The light created
within a painting is part of the tonal effects. I always
leave certain portions of the canvas light, absolutely
white. I am very particular about this, and my finishing
touches will sometimes take more than ten days. Subtlety
in painting in crucial to me -I want my paintings to
be like whispers, not loud cries."
Asked about the changes in her work,
she says that the first figures were "sculptural",
with a dark background, and defined by lines of strong
light. Recently such harsh lines have fallen away, and
she describes a new lightness in her painting, coupled
with the absence of definite lines. "The figure
dissolves into the background, the background dissolves,
into the figure-there is more of an interplay now."
Ahmed tends to work on a single painting at a time,
explaining that "I must finish a painting before
I can move on." Ahmed continues to work with the
technique of floating colors, a process which is quite
time consuming. "I cannot correct a painting, because
it would create a thickness to the canvas and my aim
is transparency. So I cannot paint absent-mindedly."
Asked about her goals for the future works, she mentions
that she is considering return to watercolors. "In
1990, when I returned to painting after a gap, I showed
water colors for the first time. But after that, I returned
to oils, which was my first love." Recently, however,
she has been looking through her unfinished water colors,
as well as contemplating a mixed media project that
would combine water colors, gouache, and ink on handmade
paper, on a large scale. "This has been brewing
in my imagination for some time," she says.
- 1960 Diploma in Painting from College of Fine Arts,
- 2003 at Jehangir Art Gallery Mumbai.
- 1963-1996 Solo-Exhibition Mumbai.
- 1996 at Jehangir Art Gallery Mumbai.
- 1994 of Water Colours at Gallery April Mumbai.
- 1993 at Jehangir Art Gallery Mumbai.
- 1990 Exhibition of Water Colours Mumbai.
- 1980 at Gallery Chemould Mumbai.
- 1962–1965 Solo Exhibition Hyderbad, New Delhi,
- 2005 by Gallery Art & Soul Singapore
- 2005 Indonesian & India Art Show Singapore
- 2005 ‘Colours of Life’ by Cancer Patients
Aid Assoc. Mumbai
- 2004, 2005 ‘Monsoon Show’ by Concern
- 2004 ‘Women Artist’ New Delhi
- 2004 by Gallery Art & Soul Mumbai
- 2002, 2003 Show at Intex, by Colours on Canvas Gallery
- 2001 Show by Gallery Guild Hong Kong
- 2001 Show by Gallery Art Resource Trust Dubai
- 2000 Show by Gallery Art Resource Trust Mauritius
- 1999, 2000 ‘Art in Miniature Format’
at Sans Tache Gallery Mumbai
- 1998, 2000 ‘Art Access Week’ at Birla
Art Gallery Mumba
- 1998 'Mumbai Artist' by NGMA Mumbai
- 1997 ‘Harmony Show’ Mumbai
- 1997 ‘Fifty Years of Independence’,
show by RPG Mumbai
- 1997 ‘Mother Theresa’, show by RPG Mumbai
- 1995 ‘Bombay’, show by RPG Mumbai
- 1992 Show at Bharat Bhavan Bhopal
- 1992 ‘Ekta’, traveling exhibition by
- 1988 ‘Art for CRY’ orgainsed by CRY
- 1986 ‘Four Women Artist’ at Chetna Art
- 1985 Group show at Gallery Crimson Bangalore
- 1984 ‘Women Artist of India’ at NGMA
- 1975, 1976 Group show at Gallery Arts-38 London
- 1967 Paris Bienalle for young Artist Paris