Just like that builds upon Makhijani’s exploration with pastels on paper from recent years while the new paintings exude a fresh light filled luminosity. Divergent in scale from jewel like pastels, the planes of color on the immersive large canvases are journeyed over by crossing lines, leaving at times just the shadow of their paths. The streaks of pinks, blues and greens across the canvases seem to break the dark clouds presaging the passing of the storm or a break in a turbulent sea. A suite of smaller paintings, tactile and almost monochromatic, record each stroke, each mark, as the artist seems to be sculpting with paint on the surface of the canvas.
Makhijani’s inventive tendencies with a persistent interest in line produce a vibrant palette of lightning bolts of color across paper, which at times with their irregular shape seems to have yielded its simple geometric form to their momentum. Delightful with unbounded energy the cluster of angular, jagged lines, unruly yet logical and marked by precision form a complex system. The lines mostly originating and converging off the paper, allow us a glimpse of their journey, momentary yet resolute.
A grouping of works on paper, distilling and meditative, appears to straddle abstraction and landscape where the blurred yet taut lines of the horizon or the diagonal inclines of the hills seem stretched across the paper while bathed in various textured hues of sunshine to moonlight. All decisively placed, seem in sync like the musicians in a symphony, in harmony but each playing their own tune.
Makhijani was born in 1962 in New Delhi. 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. Over the last three decades Sheila Makhijani with her quotidian practice stands distinctly apart in the art landscape in India for her commitment to an oeuvre in its singular pursuit of abstraction.
Makhijani’s works have been exhibited worldwide, including at the The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; Seventh Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT) at the Queensland Art Gallery, Australia; Museum Arnhem, Netherlands; 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. Sheila Makhijani lives and works in New Delhi, India.