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Gulammohammed Sheikh

This artist's profile and the listed artworks have been verified and approved by Vadehra Art Gallery

Gulammohammed Sheikh is a renowned Indian painter, art historian, and writer celebrated for his significant impact on the contemporary Indian art scene.

Biography of Gulammohammed Sheikh

Gulammohammed Sheikh was born in Surendranagar, Saurashtra, Gujarat, in 1937. He completed his Master's in fine arts in painting at the esteemed Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Baroda, Vadodara, and taught art history and painting there between 1982-1993. 

In 1966, he received the prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship from the Royal College of Art, London, which led to him being recognized as an associate of the academy. Throughout his career, he received numerous accolades, including the National Award by the Lalit Kala Akademi in 1962, the Padma Shri in 1983, and the Padma Bhushan in 2014, among other esteemed honors.

Sheikh's artistic and intellectual pursuits have taken him to various parts of the world. In 2000, he held the position of writer/artist in residence at the South Asia Regional Studies Department at the University of Pennsylvania. He served as a visiting artist at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002 and as a visiting fellow at Delhi University in 2004. 

Currently, the artist resides between Delhi and Baroda.

Gulammohammed Sheikh's art style

Gulam Sheikh's paintings are an enchanting fusion of pictorial elements and vibrant colors that exude a sparkling effect. His artistic style harmoniously blends the intricacies of Islamic and Rajput miniatures, as well as the refined traditions of Persian art. His works also exhibit hints of European realism and Italian surrealism, adding depth and complexity to his artistic expressions.

One of the most striking features of Sheikh's paintings is their lively and narrative quality and extended sense of space, where he skillfully juxtaposes simultaneous happenings, inside and outside or on earth and in the sky, across various sections of the pictorial canvas.

Sheikh's mind is drawn to the allure of fantastical stories and events, whether inspired by the tales of the Arabian Nights or anecdotes from his surroundings. However, what sets him apart is his unique approach to incorporating these elements into his art. Rather than ordinarily presenting them, he weaves them into his work as metaphorical symbols, infusing his creations with deeper meaning and substituting vision for perception. His paintings are characterized by an amazing assemblage of symbols in vivid colors.

Sheikh's paintings span various formats, from hand-held paper to architectural scale, as he strives to bring the world he knows, sees, and seeks into his life. Through his art, he illuminates the complexities and contradictions of this world, reinventing art history with every stroke of his brush.