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Have you seen Strawberry? 2005

The colorful paintings of Delhi‐based artist Sheila Makhijani swim with movement. Energetic and sensual, they convey an impression of controlled chaos.

Using a palette of rich reds, candy pinks, purplish blues, and turquoises,

Makhijani carves space with interlacing lines and assured brushwork. Though the works in this show could only be called abstract, they included familiar forms ‐ for example, the guitarlike shape in OHQ! Come Here! (2005) – that they prompted both a curiosity about her original sources and a flight of imaginative associations. What initially appears to be a maze in Isn’t It Obvious (2005), for instance, might also be a microcosmic world under siege by fire and water.

While Makhijani’s paintings are exuberant, her gouaches are distinctly elegant. Here she punched tiny holes in pieces of paper and connected them with thread. Over and across these broken lines of stitching, Makhijani wove delicate webs of paint that wrap the viewer in their mystery.

-Valerie Gladstone