Spanning two decades of the artist’s practice, this comprehensive exhibition reveals an expansive body of work–exploring varied intricacies of line, form and texture through works on paper, sculpture, and painting from 1992 to 2013. From the sprawling twenty-five foot As far as I can stretch (2000) in which fabric is cut, sown and painted on, to small forms barely an inch across, floating on paper in cha cha cha (1999), the works on view impart a rare broad view of Makhijani’s imaginative and playful, yet deliberate experimentation with space, color and motion. In Makhijani’s works, line is not used to represent an image; line is the image. In her paintings, variations in brush strokes–moving in opposing directions, in different forms and contours–and the finely scratched out areas alongside more thickly layered paint, emphasize that the notion of ‘line’ retains its independence, regardless of its specific location or form.
In the early works from 1992, which Makhjani created while in Japan, the raw dynamism is palpable as the bold strokes of the brush seem to have just swept across the paper, leaving behind a commanding reminder of its performance. Also highlighted in the exhibition is the artist’s unconventional use of traditional media. For a few years now Makhijani has been morphing her paintings on paper into sculptures. Sheila Makhijani was born in 1962 in New Delhi, India and received her Bachelor and Masters of Fine Art from the College of Art, New Delhi. In 1993, she studied in Japan at Kanazawa Bijutsu Kogei Daigaku, Kanazawa, Japan. Makhijani’s works have been on view in exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), NY; Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Australia; Kuntsthal Rotterdam, Netherlands; Gemeente Museum, Netherlands, and at National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, India. Currently her works are on view at the Seventh Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art at the Queensland Art Gallery/ Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia.