Talwar Gallery is delighted to present NowNotNow, an exhibition of paintings on canvas and works on paper by Sheila Makhijani. The exhibition opens on September 15 and will continue through December 19, 2015.
In Makhijani’s canvases the first impact is of movement, forceful and definite. Rising vertically, diagonally, spreading or converging they seem to expand beyond their frames. Planes of color jostle amongst themselves, merging and overlapping as if being directed by hidden energy fields under the canvas. Constructed with layers of paint, Makhijani creates depths with light filled planes alongside dense dark surfaces. Their presence is bold and full on, and unlike in her sparsely executed drawings not a single spot remains untouched on Makhijani’s canvas. Everything here belongs to her and her brush.
In contrast to the canvas works, on paper Makhijani proceeds with precision abled brush strokes gently borrowing space for her lines to exist. In the recent works, amidst the meandering markings, there appear floating planes as if the result of an overflowing river system revealing the possible depths within the structure. Playful, imaginary and exacting these self contained, self governing worlds appear to unfold according to some unknown logic. The compositions appear as unified forms, singular if confoundingly complex: the course of a thought, as if it was presented all at once.
Sheila Makhijani was born in Delhi in 1962 where she has since lived and worked. She graduated from Delhi College of Art with a Bachelors in Arts in 1984 and later with a Masters of Arts in Painting in 1988. After leaving the academic setting, Makhijani’s practice departed from the rigidity of representational and figurative forms to a more intuitive, inventive and personal one. This exploration was enhanced further by her travels abroad and artist residencies especially in the Netherlands and in Kanazawa, Japan. The importance of the surface and the line learned during this early nineties period augmented her understanding of color.
Sheila Makhijani stands distinctly apart in her consistent commitment to an oeuvre that stands resolute in its singular pursuit of abstraction. A quotidian practice that has been rigorously maintained over the last quarter century, as artists abandon painting for other mediums, Makhijani has steadfastly remained engaged in discovering its limitless possibilities. Makhijani’s works have been exhibited worldwide, including at the Seventh Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT) at the Queensland Art Gallery, Australia; The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), NY; Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA), New Delhi, India; Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Australia; Kuntsthal Rotterdam, Netherlands; and Gemeentemuseum, Netherlands. This is the artist’s fifth solo exhibition at Talwar.