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