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SHEILA MAKHIJANI

“I want to create a language only with color and line, which will speak in their own voice.”

Sheila Makhijani

Text/Image

Tuk Tuk, 2020  Dry pastel on paper  8 1/4" x 11 3/4"

Sheila Makhijani over the course of her career has steadfastly pursued her continuing interest in the vitality and spontaneity of the abstract form. On seeing Makhijani’s canvases, the first impact is of movement, forceful and definite. Rising vertically, diagonally, spreading, or converging they seem to expand beyond their frames. Planes of color jostle amongst themselves, merging and overlapping as if being directed by hidden energy fields under the canvas. Constructed with layers of paint, Makhijani creates depths with light filled planes alongside dense dark surfaces. Their presence is bold and full on, and unlike in her sparsely executed drawings until now.

On paper, Makhijani proceeds with playful precision abled brush strokes gently borrowing space for her lines to exist. Markings appear on floating planes as if the result of an overflowing river system revealing the possible depths within the structure. Imaginary and exacting these self-contained, self-governing worlds appear to unfold according to some unknown logic. The compositions appear as unified forms, singular if confoundingly complex: the course of a thought as if it was presented all at once. Her recent works with pastel on paper have departed from being created with floating and fine lines to those of dynamic overlapping planes of color, edge to edge.

“Formal elements, instead of being building blocks of representation, become magical toys to play with and through play they become all powerful in themselves. They are out to be seen in their physicality without metaphysical layering.”

Roobina Karode in “The Secret Life of Sheila Makhijani”

Text/Image

Sheila Makhijani, born in 1962 in New Delhi, where she lives and works, stands distinctly apart in the art landscape in India to her commitment to an oeuvre in its singular pursuit of abstraction. She was awarded her Bachelor and Master of Fine Art degrees from College of Art, New Delhi and later in 1994 she studied in Kanazawa, Japan. For over three decades Makhijani has steadfastly remained engaged in exploring the limitless possibilities of painting.

Makhijani’s works have been exhibited worldwide, including at the Seventh Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT) at the Queensland Art Gallery, Australia; The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Australia; Kunsthal Rotterdam, Netherlands; Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, Netherlands; San Jose Museum of Art, CA; National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), India and The Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA), New Delhi, India.

Selected Works

Selected Works Thumbnails

Flying High, 2018

Acrylic on wall  

What do you think, 2017

Oil on canvas

60" x 68"  

Inquire

So much for now, 2018
Oil on canvas
68" x 84″

Come with me, 2017

Gouache on paper

26 1/2" x 33 3/4"  (in two parts )

Inquire

Ah-h Wait Not There, 2017

Gouache on paper

22 3/5" x 30"

Ah-h How About That, 2017

Gouache on paper

22 3/5" x 30"

Shipping out, 2016

Gouache on paper

10 3/5" x 13 3/4"

Shifted, 2016

Gouache on paper

10 3/5" x 13 3/4"

Snip Snap SNAP, 2012

Oil on canvas

48" x 84"

Inquire

UP UP UP, 2011

Gouache on paper

8 3/10" x 8 1/2"

Inquire

Should Not Have Been Here, 2010

Gouache on paper

10 1/2" x 13 3/4"

Inquire

Exactly like that, 2009

Gouache on paper

9 1/2" x 12 1/2"

Nothing Really, 2009

Gouache on paper

9 1/2" x 12"

RUN RUN RUN If you can, 2009

Gouache on paper

20" x 28"

Oh Oh, 2009

Gouache on paper

9 1/2" x 12 1/2"

So Now Move It!  2009

Gouache, cotton thread on paper, plastic sheets

17 1/4" x 25 1/4"

Take a Leap, 2009

Gouache, cotton thread on paper, plastic sheets

12 1/2" x 25"

Don't Move Me!  2009

Gouache, cotton thread on paper, plastic sheets

12 1/4" x 16 1/4"

Have you seen Strawberry? 2005

Oil on canvas

48" x 60"

Look Who's Talking? 2005

Oil on canvas

60" x 70"

QHQ! COME HERE! 2005

Oil on canvas

48" x 60"

Whirly whirly whirly, 2003

Oil on canvas

72″ x 84″

NOT AT ALL !  2002

Gouache on apepr

5" x 7"

As far as I can stretch, 2000

Acrylic on tarpaulin & wooden thread

300″ x 72″

Not that way, 1996

Sumi ink & dry pastel on paper

82” x 8” (in 8 parts)

Now that is the smallest piece, believe me, 1996

Ink on paper

5" x 8"

All over the place, 1994

Glazed and unglazed ceramic

273" x 180" (Variable, installation in 63 parts)   

All over the place, 1994

Untitled, 1993

Ink, paper and pastel on paper

6 1/2" x 9 1/2"

WHAP, 1992

Oil on paper

38 1/4" x 74 1/2"

Phew, 1992

Oil on paper

37 1/2" x 73 1/4"

Flying High, 2018

Acrylic on wall  

What do you think, 2017

Oil on canvas

60" x 68"  

So much for now, 2018
Oil on canvas
68" x 84″

Come with me, 2017

Gouache on paper

26 1/2" x 33 3/4"  (in two parts )

Ah-h Wait Not There, 2017

Gouache on paper

22 3/5" x 30"

Ah-h How About That, 2017

Gouache on paper

22 3/5" x 30"

Shipping out, 2016

Gouache on paper

10 3/5" x 13 3/4"

Shifted, 2016

Gouache on paper

10 3/5" x 13 3/4"

Snip Snap SNAP, 2012

Oil on canvas

48" x 84"

UP UP UP, 2011

Gouache on paper

8 3/10" x 8 1/2"

Should Not Have Been Here, 2010

Gouache on paper

10 1/2" x 13 3/4"

Exactly like that, 2009

Gouache on paper

9 1/2" x 12 1/2"

Nothing Really, 2009

Gouache on paper

9 1/2" x 12"

RUN RUN RUN If you can, 2009

Gouache on paper

20" x 28"

Oh Oh, 2009

Gouache on paper

9 1/2" x 12 1/2"

So Now Move It!  2009

Gouache, cotton thread on paper, plastic sheets

17 1/4" x 25 1/4"

Take a Leap, 2009

Gouache, cotton thread on paper, plastic sheets

12 1/2" x 25"

Don't Move Me!  2009

Gouache, cotton thread on paper, plastic sheets

12 1/4" x 16 1/4"

Have you seen Strawberry? 2005

Oil on canvas

48" x 60"

Look Who's Talking? 2005

Oil on canvas

60" x 70"

QHQ! COME HERE! 2005

Oil on canvas

48" x 60"

Whirly whirly whirly, 2003

Oil on canvas

72″ x 84″

NOT AT ALL !  2002

Gouache on apepr

5" x 7"

As far as I can stretch, 2000

Acrylic on tarpaulin & wooden thread

300″ x 72″

Not that way, 1996

Sumi ink & dry pastel on paper

82” x 8” (in 8 parts)

Now that is the smallest piece, believe me, 1996

Ink on paper

5" x 8"

All over the place, 1994

Glazed and unglazed ceramic

273" x 180" (Variable, installation in 63 parts)   

All over the place, 1994

Untitled, 1993

Ink, paper and pastel on paper

6 1/2" x 9 1/2"

WHAP, 1992

Oil on paper

38 1/4" x 74 1/2"

Phew, 1992

Oil on paper

37 1/2" x 73 1/4"

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