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SHEILA MAKHIJANI

Take A Listen

The vibrancies of pigment––its operatic bursts, its subtle gradations, its harmonizing hums––are given full play here, boldly and directly engaged anew in each successive work.

Image / Text

Finally! 2020  Dry pastel on paper  8 1/4" x 11 3/4"

Take A Listen opens like a portal onto a dense, otherworldly environment. Shafts of indigos, olives, and blood reds flicker across a densely layered oil canvas, like light into the depths of an ocean; subtle, grey-blue lines emerge slowly from beneath a shifting haze of pinking-orange dust. Although the works vary vastly in scale and material––over-life-size canvases alongside intimate, even diminutive pastel drawings on paper––all highlight Makhijani’s abiding interest in color and line.

Gathering into itself all the specificities of a one particular point in time, one particular stage in her process––smudges as well as soaring color resonances, precisely-laid lines alongside those that are slightly off-kilter––each work allows the subtle, infinitesimal workings of a consciousness to gain visible form. Keying their hues and angles to the irreplicable tones, moods, and shadows of each fleeting moment, together these works map what had been uncharted territory, unseeable material: the complex contours of the human interior.

“Born of Makhijani’s constant, even diaristic creative process­­––the artist is constantly drawing, beginning again, re-learning how to draw––each of the works in the exhibition bears witness to the singularity of a moment.”

“Makhijani stands distinctly apart in the art landscape in India to her commitment to an oeuvre in its singular pursuit of abstraction.”

bio with image

Did you look at that?  2020  Oil on canvas  48" x 84"

Over the course of her over thirty year-long career, Makhijani’s wide-ranging practice has been sustained by a ceaseless exploration of the potentialities and boundaries of painting on canvas and paper. Her deep, close, unbroken dialogue with her works imbues them with an intensity that is not mitigated by their frequent lively, even mischievous tone. Possessed of their own inimitable energy, they hurtle and tumble along paths of their own making, spinning worlds whose currents and axes intersect briefly, madly, consequentially, with our own.

Sheila Makhijani born in 1962 in New Delhi, where she lives and works. 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. Makhijani has steadfastly remained engaged in exploring the limitless possibilities of painting.

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How's that? 2020

Dry pastel on paper

In 2 parts, each 8 1/4" x 11 3/4"

Inquire

Pleasantly pleasant, 2020

Dry pastel on paper

8 1/4" x 11 3/4"

Inquire

I don't know about that, 2020

Dry pastel on paper

In 2 parts, each 8 1/4" x 11 3/4"

Inquire

Just this, 2020

Dry pastel on paper

In 2 parts, each 8 1/4" x 11 3/4"

Inquire

Did you know that? 2020

Oil on canvas

60" x 84"

Inquire

Did you see that? 2020

Oil on canvas

60" x 84"

Inquire

Take a break, 2020

Dry pastel on paper

Overall dimensions: 8 1/4" x 94"

In 8 parts, each 8 1/4" x 11 3/4"

Inquire

Where are you off to? 2020

Dry pastel on paper

In 2 parts, each 8 1/4" x 11 3/4"

Inquire

How did that happen? 2020

Dry pastel on paper

In 3 parts, each 8 1/4" x 11 3/4"

Inquire

Thought so, 2020

Dry pastel on paper

In 2 parts, each 8 1/4" x 11 3/4"

Inquire

Take a listen, 2020

Dry pastel on paper

Overall dimensions: 24 3/4" x 117 1/2"

In 30 parts, each 8 1/4" x 11 3/4"

Inquire

Did you look at that? 2020

Oil on canvas

48" x 84"

Inquire

Finally!, 2020

Dry pastel on paper

8 1/4" x 11 3/4"

Inquire

Same thing, 2020

Dry pastel on paper

8 1/4" x 11 3/4"

Inquire

How's that? 2020

Dry pastel on paper

In 2 parts, each 8 1/4" x 11 3/4"

Pleasantly pleasant, 2020

Dry pastel on paper

8 1/4" x 11 3/4"

I don't know about that, 2020

Dry pastel on paper

In 2 parts, each 8 1/4" x 11 3/4"

Just this, 2020

Dry pastel on paper

In 2 parts, each 8 1/4" x 11 3/4"

Did you know that? 2020

Oil on canvas

60" x 84"

Did you see that? 2020

Oil on canvas

60" x 84"

Take a break, 2020

Dry pastel on paper

Overall dimensions: 8 1/4" x 94"

In 8 parts, each 8 1/4" x 11 3/4"

Where are you off to? 2020

Dry pastel on paper

In 2 parts, each 8 1/4" x 11 3/4"

How did that happen? 2020

Dry pastel on paper

In 3 parts, each 8 1/4" x 11 3/4"

Thought so, 2020

Dry pastel on paper

In 2 parts, each 8 1/4" x 11 3/4"

Take a listen, 2020

Dry pastel on paper

Overall dimensions: 24 3/4" x 117 1/2"

In 30 parts, each 8 1/4" x 11 3/4"

Did you look at that? 2020

Oil on canvas

48" x 84"

Finally!, 2020

Dry pastel on paper

8 1/4" x 11 3/4"

Same thing, 2020

Dry pastel on paper

8 1/4" x 11 3/4"

The Indian Express
The Indian Express
Sheila Makhijani April 10, 2019

Abstract artist Sheila Makhijani asks viewers to make sense of her lines, brimming with a life of their own.

Artforum
Artforum
Critic's Pick: Sheila Makhijani April 2019

In Sheila Makhijani’s exhibition “This That and The Other,” a disarray of strange, vibrant objects lies before the viewer, as if they were artifacts from some underwater civilization revealed by the ebb. The glazed and unglazed ceramics...

Scroll
Scroll
SHEILA MAKHIJANI March 3, 2019

Sheila Makhijani’s new show in Delhi, ‘This, That and the Other’, reaffirms her ideas of the language of art and what it must express...

Mint
Mint
SHEILA MAKHIJANI March 8, 2013

Makhijani mostly works in a painterly tradition—hectic brushstrokes and jagged lines fill her art with a nervous energy. She manages to convey an intrinsic edginess without relying too heavily on impasto—the layering of colours—or outré iconography.

Art India
Art India
The Secret Life of Sheila Makhijani October - December 1999

Roobina Karode seeks out Sheila Makhijani at her studio in Delhi and unearths a hoard of energetic works.