Kaarawaan and Other Works

Majnun in the Forest (left) | Tree of Sleep (right)

Kaarawaan and Other Works Gulammohammed Sheikh

Vadehra Art Gallery presents a special solo exhibition titled KAARAWAAN AND OTHER WORKS of paintings, sculptures and installations by the renowned Indian modernist Gulammohammed Sheikh, after almost fifteen years. The exhibition is on view at the main gallery of Bikaner House, New Delhi from 19 February to 11 March 2024, and is open to the public all days of the week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Kaarawaan and Other Works Dus Darwaze (left) | Forest Fire (right)

Dus Darwaze (left) | Forest Fire (right)

Gulammohammed Sheikh’s oeuvre grows from a deep immersion into cultural narratives with his mastery of painterly and sculptural forms. His work is rooted in a profound exploration of cultural histories, mythologies and artistic traditions transcending conventional confines and charting a distinctive trajectory that interweaves heritage and contemporary expression. Being an accomplished artist, poet and scholar have jointly shaped his work, with the four paintings he contributed to the exhibition Place for People (1981) marking a first confluence. In these works, he drew on elements from his memory, immediate surroundings and world art at-large to create images that “open up passages between the personal and the social, the present and the past, the near and the distant. With it, his paintings became, like the world he lived in, a palimpsest of many temporalities and cultures that speak to us in multiple tongues” – writes art historian and curator professor R. Siva Kumar in the exhibition essay.

Kaarawaan and Other Works Deluge, Water, Life

Deluge, Water, Life

Since then, Sheikh’s work continues to offer us narratives and symbols, voyages and fellow travellers through “all-embracing motifs like the tree of life and map of the world with a history spread across several cultures; formats like the accordion book and the kavaad that allow multiple open-ended readings; and figures like Kabir and Gandhi, who embraced the worldly and the spiritual with natural ease and strove to bring communities together [...] That the world hurtles from one crisis to another compels Sheikh to turn his artistic practice into an ever-expanding endeavour at remaking the world as a place of hope and coming together, working against all odds [...] This current exhibition, with an imposing ark of kindred artists and poets and precious cargo of cultural memories negotiating turbulent waves; a large map of our troubled world with St. Francis and Kabir flanking it like guardian saints; double-faced panels with images offering countervailing visions; and small kavaads that open up the world and the city for intimate scrutiny is the latest chapter in this ongoing endeavour,” writes Professor R. Siva Kumar.

Kaarawaan and Other Works Gandhi


Words Platform Desk
Date 02.04.2024