Take A Listen opens like a portal onto a dense, otherworldly environment. Shafts of indigos, olives, and blood reds flicker across a densely layered paints on over-life sized canvases, like light into the depths of an ocean; subtle, grey-blue lines emerge slowly from beneath a shifting haze of pinking-orange dust.
On paper, in a noticeable departure for Makhijani, the white of the page is nowhere to be found, disappearing beneath layered washes of dry pastel, or taut, radiating lines that stretch from edge to edge of the paper. 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.
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.
Sheila Makhijani is a rare artist of her generation in India that has over the course of her thirty year-long career been steadfast in her commitment to painting and to abstraction with a sustained exploration of the potentialities and boundaries of color 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.
"I want to create a language only with color and line, which will speak in their own voice."