Sunday, July 21, 2013

Nilima Sheikh’s artistic trajectory

A mélange of influences including art history, her immediate realm, complex socio-political realities and the variables of fragile feminine experiences have shaped artist Nilima Sheikh’s enriching art journey.

Born in Delhi in 1945, she first studied at the Delhi University (1962-65) and then did her Master of Fine Arts (Painting) from Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (1969-71). The paintings that she personally likes seeing, in some way, may well have influenced her, she reveals. And it has been an intense struggle and a long journey at personal to find the right idiom and form to transform her influences into a unique artistic vision. For example, when she started experimenting with the small paintings, it wasn’t easy for her to get the form right.

Also, foremost to her was the reading of the image while working on the ‘When Champa grew up’ series. The protagonist’s fragile life tale or the deeper issues therein, was what she wanted to put in context, retaining its autonomy in some ways. She then thought of the book form that could incorporate a personal interaction with the core theme and bring to the fore what would even be perceived as sentimental views.

Apart from 'Each Night Put Kashmir in Your Dreams', Chemould Prescott, Mumbai; LKA, Delhi (2010); her major solos include 'Drawing Trails', Gallery Espace, Delhi (2009); 'The Country Without A Post Office', Gallery Chemould (2003); 'Painted Drawings', Gallery Espace (1999); 'Images from Umrao', Nature Morte, Delhi (1999) and Galerie FIA, Amsterdam (1998), among others.

Among her recent noteworthy group participations are 'Pause: A Collection', Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai (2011); 'Tradition, Trauma, Transformation', David Winton Bell Gallery, Providence RI (2011); 'Narrations, Quotations & Commentaries', Grosvenor Gallery, London (2011); 'A Collection', Sakshi Gallery (2010-11).

Her work has also been featured in 'STPI Review Show', Singapore (2010); 'Modern Folk', Aicon Gallery, New York (2010); 'Tracing Time', Bodhi Art, Mumbai (2009); 'Horn Please', Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland (2008). The artist has recently participated in 'Roots in the Air, Branches Below', San Jose Museum of Art (2011); 'Time Unfolded', KNMA, Delhi (2011); 'Place.Time.Play’ at Shanghai Art Museum (2010); 'Panoroma: India' at 'ARCOmadrid', Spain (2009); ''Modern India' courtesy Institut Valencià d'Art Modern (IVAM) and Casa Asia (2008-09).

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