GULAM MOHAMMED SHEIKH (B. 1937)
SOLD TO BENEFIT THE PS CHARITIES PS Charities is a Public Charitable Trust established in the year 1992 by Mrs. Prema Srinivasan, a member of the TVS Family. The credo of the trust is to ensure that the poor and socially marginalised get an equal opportunity to succeed in life by providing them with access to high quality education, financial aid and medical relief while also encouraging them to nurture and embrace their own social and cultural heritage.
GULAM MOHAMMED SHEIKH (B. 1937)

Beyond the Ridge

Details
GULAM MOHAMMED SHEIKH (B. 1937)
Beyond the Ridge
signed, titled, dated and inscribed 'GULAM MOHAMMED SHEIKH 'BEYOND THE RIDGE' 1976 OIL ON CANVAS Rs. 5000/- only' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
54¼ x 48 in. (137.8 x 121.9 cm.)
Painted in 1976
Provenance
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner

Brought to you by

Umah Jacob
Umah Jacob

Lot Essay

After completing a degree in Painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts of M.S. University in Baroda, Gulam Mohammed Sheikh spent three years at the Royal College of Art in London on a Commonwealth Scholarship. It was during his third year in London that he had a breakthrough in his work.

"Since his college had direct access to the Victoria and Albert Museum, Sheikh would often stop before the Kota miniatures on his way to the canteen. Delighted with the Indian student who was reminded of the painter Rousseau by the magical, almost surrealistic quality of Kota miniatures, scholar Robert Skelton put him in touch with the percipient Stewart Cary Welch. Recalls Sheikh, 'Here were dark trees entwined, some under a moon. Tigers camouflaged, so were the hunters. I felt they're not on their own. I'm with them. What reaches out to me from these paintings after 200-300 years? Was it possible to live in multiple spaces and times? Could I get this into my work?' Back in India, Sheikh had two exhibitions of sudden, unexpected, miraculous-seeming landscape changes seen on bus or train wanderings. 'I painted trees, land, some erotic work also. I found I could feel colour through temperature. The levels at which colours are pitched in miniature painting are actually temperature. This thermal consciousness became central to my work.'" (G. Ramnarayan, 'Coming home to one's world', The Hindu, 20 April 2006)

Soon, Sheikh's practice became firmly entrenched in the figurative-narrative tradition within Indian art, focusing on the search for an indigenous vocabulary that reflected 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 , 1997, p. 67)

Sheikh's early canvases like the present lanscape are thus infused with a sense of the fantastical, emphasised through his use of a bright, almost psychedelic colour scheme to depict landscapes and 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, p. 379)

PS Charities is a Public Charitable Trust established in the year 1992 by Mrs. Prema Srinivasan, a member of the TVS Family. The credo of the trust is to ensure that the poor and socially marginalised get an equal opportunity to succeed in life by providing them with access to high quality education, financial aid and medical relief while also encouraging them to nurture and embrace their own social and cultural heritage.
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