Nilima Sheikh

(1945 ) - Artworks
NILIMA SHEIKH Lake

Christie's /Mar 21, 2012
2,982.40 - 4,473.61
Not Sold

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Artworks in Arcadja
14

Some works of Nilima Sheikh

Extracted between 14 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Nilima Sheikh - Untitled

Nilima Sheikh - Untitled

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Lot number: 10
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Lot 10 Quick Zoom Nilima Sheikh Untitled Nilima Sheikh describes herself as part of the third generation of artists who have engaged with Indian traditions. To be specific, there was the generation of Abanindranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose and Benode Behari Mukherjee followed by the one of their student K G Subramanyan from whom she has sought inspiration. The artist, trained initially in Western-style oil painting, has spent almost all of her student and professional life in... Nilima Sheikh describes herself as part of the third generation of artists who have engaged with Indian traditions. To be specific, there was the generation of Abanindranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose and Benode Behari Mukherjee followed by the one of their student K G Subramanyan from whom she has sought inspiration. The artist, trained initially in Western-style oil painting, has spent almost all of her student and professional life in Baroda. Nilima Sheikh was born in 1945 in New Delhi. She studied history at the Delhi University (1962-65) and painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda. (MA Fine, 1971). She has taught painting at the Faculty between 1977 and 1981. According to her, Baroda, in the '60s, was certainly identified with modernism. There was an attempt to clear the deadwood that had accrued around the older Santiniketan experiment. At the same time, many of the influential teachers recognized the value of history and of reinventing tradition. She elaborates to say, "Baroda saw itself as quite distinct from the Progressive painters of Bombay. After all, K.G. Subramanyan was very active in Baroda during my student days, as a teacher, ideologue, and as an artist. He was definitely as interested in exploring Indian craft traditions as in painting in oils. And his concerns were all about bridging these dichotomies. He was a great inspiration to me." Nilima Sheikh claims a lineage born of pre-independence Indian nationalism fostered in the climate of progressive internationalism of the 1940s and 1950s. Sheikh turned her attention to miniature painting mid-career. Her relationship to pre-modern painting has been thus more geared toward its visual forms than its technical aspects. Apart from exhibiting her work in India and internationally, the artist has lectured on Indian art at many venues in India and internationally. "Conversations with Traditions: Nilima Sheikh and Shahzia Sikander" that presented paintings by the two artists from the disparate religious and aesthetic cultures of India and Pakistan, as part of the inaugural celebration of the new Asia Society Museum in New York in 2001-2002, is one of her memorable shows. It presented about 30 individual works by each artist, including work from their early encounters with miniature painting as well as recent work suggesting the changing nature of such relationships. Additionally, the artists created a specially commissioned collaborative work. Art critic Randi Hoffman who had mentioned of her work: "Sheikh is more painterly and graceful. Her symbols are simpler and more profound, and her subject matter is more emotional. The twenty years more she has been painting show in the apparent ease and level of accomplishment in her work." She was then quoted as saying: "I found working in an intimate scale on paper a very liberating experience. I could talk about things that would seem incongruous in a framed canvas on a wall. I still feel new avenues remain unexplored (in this medium), and that there is still a lot to be done." Her new set of works on Kashmir, with a focus on the poetry of Kashmiri poet Agha Shahid Ali, formed core of her recent series titled "The Country Without A Post Office - Reading Agha Shahid Ali." As the painter recounts: "I had planned a bigger more ambitious take, wanting to read and refer to various accounts of Kashmir historical and contemporary to try and put together configurations to rework my fairly confused or at least mixed feelings on Kashmir. He (Agha Shahid Ali) seemed to have said almost everything I had thought of saying and more! I found his poetry incredibly moving and also extremely visual, which gave me an entry to try and 'illustrate' text, something I had been trying to do for a while. Though I have often tried to illustrate passages of the poems per se, I have often gone back and forth between connecting images coming out passages of other poems. So there is often a repetition of motif and a certain amount of blurring." The vertical paintings also go to sources other than Agha Shahid Ali, an account from Jahangir's memoirs here and there, or some lines from a Chinese account, or from Midnight's children become inspirational as leit motif. In the year 1984, she painted a series of 12 small, tempera paintings-titled "When Champa Grew Up" that narrated the true story of a married young girl who is tortured, and burnt by her in-laws. The first few panels show a happy young girl, playing on a swing and riding a bicycle. Then her marriage ceremony is shown, along with a flock of birds that symbolize her leaving her parents' house. Next she is depicted naked and crying while working in the kitchen, maybe after being beaten. And in the final panels portray her funeral pyre, and women wailing in mourning. Through traditional idioms she portrayed the grim reality and violence of contemporary life. The painter recounted: "It seemed inevitable that I would paint her story. I had wanted to paint dowry-deaths prior to Champa's (not the girl's real name) death because they confronted us daily in the newspapers. But I struggled to find a mode that could contain anguish without reducing it to cliché. "I chose a serial form-pages, folio pictures to be turned over and read laterally. To delineate the event in time and space, I tried out a one-third/two-third subdivision of some of the paintings as a means of extending the pictorial space. I painted a whiting gesso onto handmade vasli paper from Sanganer with paint tempered by gum-Arabic or the whiting dissolved in glue size mediums traditionally used in Rajasthani and Pahari paintings on paper." Once the painting was over, Gulam Mohammed Sheikh helped her find songs from the Gujarati oral tradition that could actually work as texts with the serially painted images. It was both ironic and gratifying for the artist to find traditional verses closely related to her paintings. The last of the 12 works was the image that pushed her into painting the set. Women expressing their sorrow; beating their breasts, belting out their grief in song together. Read More Other works of this artist in: this auction | entire site Nilima Sheikh Untitled Tempera on Sanganeri paper pasted on board 7 x 16.5 in | 17.8 x 41.9 cm This work is a diptych measuring 7 x 8 in (17.7 x 20.3 cm) each
Nilima Sheikh - River: Carrying Across, Leaving Behind

Nilima Sheikh - River: Carrying Across, Leaving Behind

Original 2001
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Lot number: 75
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Lot 75 Quick Zoom Nilima Sheikh River: Carrying Across, Leaving Behind Nilima Sheikh's practice draws heavily from eastern traditions of miniature painting interwoven with oral traditions of storytelling and folk singing, as well as her own experiences. Her passion for drawing and colour are evident in her casein and tempera paintings, in which she creates sensuous and poetic representations of the mundane. An enchanting storyteller, her body of works shows a clear lyrical disposition and mystical aura.... Nilima Sheikh's practice draws heavily from eastern traditions of miniature painting interwoven with oral traditions of storytelling and folk singing, as well as her own experiences. Her passion for drawing and colour are evident in her casein and tempera paintings, in which she creates sensuous and poetic representations of the mundane. An enchanting storyteller, her body of works shows a clear lyrical disposition and mystical aura. Nonetheless, the soul of her narrative lies in her commitment to addressing human condition in all its aspects. Her enquiries explore human emotions, far beyond her immediate environs. She references varied geographies and discourses, like Central Asia and pre- Renaissance Italian painting, to create introspective works that question the meaning of the socio- political landscape around her. The present lot, a monumental scroll painting titled River: Carrying Across, Leaving Behind, looks closely at the legendary love stories of Punjab and, in an introspective manner, tries to gauge the cause of separation between two communities that led to the formation of the two nations, India and Pakistan. The colourful landscape rendered in myriad hues, with tree lined expanses, roads and rivers represents the journeys that connect as well as separate the two nations. The work comments on the partition of 1947 and the pain, suffering and loss that were felt on both sides. Families were separated and violence was inflicted, leaving impressions and memories that have survived to this day. As the artist explains, "This painting is about the journey along a mountain river, now visible, now around the bend, sometimes close enough to touch. It is about the transition from one time to another, one land to another." Randi Hoffman interviewed Sheikh during her seminal exhibition with Pakistani artist Shahzia Sikander at the Asia Society in New York in 2001. Sheikh told Hoffman that she enjoyed working in the form of a scroll, as it is an Asian historical tradition, and is architecturally significant without being permanent like a mural, or outside and moving in the wind like a banner. She said "I found working on an intimate scale on paper a very liberating experience, I could talk about things that would seem incongruous in a framed canvas on a wall. I still feel new avenues remain unexplored (in this medium), and that there is still a lot to be done" (Randi Hoffman, "Modern Miniatures at the Asia Society", 2002, A Gathering of the Tribes website, accessed August, 2013). Read More Artist Profile Other works of this artist in: this auction | entire site Nilima Sheikh River: Carrying Across, Leaving Behind 2001 Casein on canvas 480 x 72 in | 1219.2 x 182.9 cm Signed and dated in English and initialed in Devnagari (verso) This work is in scroll form, and intended to be hung as a pennant EXHIBITED: India Moderna, IVAM Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno, Valencia, 2008-09 After Dark, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai, 2004 Conversations with Traditions: Nilima Sheikh and Shahzia Sikander, Asia Society, New York, 2001- 2002 Acquired from Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai, 2003
Nilima Sheikh - Panghat Stories

Nilima Sheikh - Panghat Stories

Original 2001
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Gross Price
Lot number: 319
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NILIMA SHEIKH (B. 1945) Panghat Stories initialed in Hindi (lower right) tempera on Sanganer paper 19¾ x 28½ in. (50 x 72.5 cm.) Painted in 2001 Conversations with Traditions: Nilima Sheikh and Shahzia Sikander, Asia Society, New York; Middlebury College Museum of Art Middlebury, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle; University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, 2001 -- 2004 (traveling exhibition) "I have claimed for myself a lineage that engages with tradition and history [...]". (Artist Statement, Edge of Desire, exhibition catalogue, Singapore, 2005, p. 48) Nilima Sheikh studied history at Delhi University before going on to study Fine Arts at M.S. University in Baroda. Under the mentorship of K. G. Subramanyan and Gulam Mohammed Sheikh, she learned the significance of craft and folk art in modern Indian art forms and the power of narrative structure. History features as an important aspect in Nilima's work and her paintings deal with issues of feminity, communal violence and suffering. Stylistically, the artist has always been interested in traditional art forms such as Rajasthani, Pahari and Mughal miniatures, and received a number of government fellowships in the 1980s to study Indian traditional paintings, in particular the Pichhvai of Nathadwara. These interests are reflected in her paintings with her use of delicate line and choice of color. "Nilima Sheikh has worked out a style that has the fresh inventiveness of a combined aesthetic, bringing together the conceptual poetry of the miniature and the compositional clarity and mood of the seventeenth century Japanese woodcut, while employing naturalistic rendering in the case of specific images, as a figure, animal or vegetation. There is a coordinative sympathy between her style and her subjects, which refer to nature and incidents from everyday life, the drama of the home, the ambiguities of human relationships, animals and children at play." (Edge of Desire, exhibition catalogue, Singapore, 2005, p. 48)
Nilima Sheikh - Lake

Nilima Sheikh - Lake

Original 2004
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Lot number: 565
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Lot Description NILIMA SHEIKH (B. 1945) Lake signed and dated in Hindi (lower right); further bearing label 'Lake Nilima Sheikh 11.5 x 17 inches Casein tempera on sangneri paper 2004' (on the reverse) casein tempera on sanganeri paper Executed in 2004 Exhibited Mumbai, Sakshi Gallery, Making of Divinity, May - June 2006
Nilima Sheikh - Going Away

Nilima Sheikh - Going Away

Original 2010
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Gross Price
Lot number: 101
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NILIMA SHEIKH (B. 1945) Going Away signed in Hindi and dated '2010'; further inscribed in English (onthe reverse and as illustrated) casein tempera and mixed media on canvas 120 x 72 in. (304.8 x 182.9 cm.) Executed in 2010 Gallery Chemould, Mumbai Acquired from the above by the present owner THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR Mumbai, Chemould Prescott Road, Each Night PutKashmir in Your Dreams , April 2010 Nilima Sheikh studied history at Delhi University beforegoing on to study Fine Art at M.S. University in Baroda. Historyhas continued to feature as an important aspect of her work and herlarge scrolls, paintings and screens deal with issues offeminity and communal violence and suffering. 'GoingAway' , from the exhibition, 'Each Night PutKashmir in Your Dreams' , is part of a series thataddresses Sheikh's concerns with the violence in Kashmir, state brutality and the trauma faced by the local community.Engaged with the subject since 2000, in this exhibitionSheikh recalls the violent history of Kashmir to make up a set ofnine scrolls collectively termed by the artist 'after EmperorJahangir's famous exclamation about Kashmir being Paradise onearth, her Firdaus series of works'. Writing on an earlier series of scrolls by Sheikh alsoreferencing Kashmir, Chaitanya Sambrani notes, "Kashmir is an unearthly paradise, aflame, ashimmering fabric rent asunder. For the artist, the sheerbeauty of Kashmir necessitates a response beyond the banality ofBollywood; hers takes the form in a series of hanging scrolls madespecifically for this exhibition. Making references to severalcenturies of writings inspired by Kashmir, Sheikh seems tomerge the poetic with the political in a deeply felt and fluidlyarticulated response to a contemporary tragedy. Incorporatingreferences to the writings of ancient scribes (Kalahana and FaHian) as well as modern poets and novelists (Agha ShahidAli and Salman Rushdie) she paints a relationship toKashmir as an extended meditation on desire and loss." (C.Sambrani, Edge of Desire: Recent Art in India , London, 2005, p. 17) Stylistically, Sheikh has always been interested intraditional art forms such as Rajasthani, Pahari andMughal miniatures,and received a number of Government Fellowshipsin the 1980s to study Indian traditional paintings, inparticular the Pichhvais of Nathdwara. These interests arereflected in her paintings and vertical landscapes with her use ofdelicate line and choice of colour. More recently, theartist has also included stencils which are specially crafted bytraditional artisans in the area of Mathura.
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