Between Memory and Music

Between Memory and Music
signed in Gujarati (lower center); further titled and inscribed in Hindi; signed, dated and titled 'GULAM MOHAMMED SHEIKH 1989-1991 BETWEEN MEMORY AND MUSIC'; and bearing label Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
42 x 84 in. (106.7 x 213.4 cm.)
Painted in 1989-1991
Formerly from the Collection of the Times of India Group, India
Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi
Christie's New York, 23 September 2004, lot 247
A. Vadehra, ed., Indian Contemporary Art Post Independence, New Delhi, 1997, p. 269 (illustrated)

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Lot Essay

Gulam Mohammed Sheikh's works are firmly entrenched in the figurative-narrative tradition within Indian art. Sheikh concerns himself with the search for an indigenous art practice that reflects the diversity of human life and art. "In art, painting came in the company of poetry, overlapping and yet independent of each other. Images came from many times, each flowing into the other. Some came from life lived, others from a feeling of belonging to a world of other times, sometimes from painting, sometimes from literature, and often from nowhere, emerging simultaneously through jottings, drawings, and writings. The multiplicity and simultaneity of these worlds filled me with a sense of belonging to them all. All attempts to define the experience in singular terms have left me with a feeling of unease and restlessness. Absence of rejected worlds has haunted me throughout." (Artist Statement, N. Tuli, The Flamed Mosaic: Contemporary Indian Painting, Ahmedabad, 1997, p. 67)

Sheikh's canvases are infused with a sense of the fantastical, emphasized through his use of a bright, almost psychedelic color scheme to depict separate yet interrelated narratives. According to Sheikh "there is no difference in what you call real and what is not real. You cannot extricate one from the other, it is simultaneous, the process is continuous, in that way times collide, spaces collide." (Artist Statement, N. Tuli, The Flamed Mosaic: Contemporary Indian Painting, Ahmedabad, 1997, p. 67)

This work belongs to a series of six commissioned for the Times of India Group Headquarters in New Delhi.

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