Gulam Mohammed Sheikh, ‘Portrait of Artists 4’, 2015, AkaraArt

About Gulam Mohammed Sheikh

An internationally renowned writer, critic, and artist celebrated for his lush, richly narrative paintings, Gulam Mohammed Sheikh has been a key figure in Indian contemporary art since the early 1960s. He began his career rebelliously, forming Group 1890 in 1963 with 11 other emerging artists who were opposed to what they viewed as the stale and derivative art of the preceding generation. Turning towards his own country’s cultural traditions, Sheikh draws inspiration from Persian, Mughal, and Pahari miniatures, and Bakhti and Sufi poetry and magical realism. This, combined with his interest in European Renaissance art, has shaped his approach to painting as a form of storytelling. Sheikh’s canvases are populated with historical and fantastical figures, narrative vignettes, and intricate maps of the cosmos—they illustrate his own memories, historical and mythological scenes, and, ultimately, the universal experience of being human.

Indian, b. 1937, Surendranagar, Gujarat, India, based in Vadodara, India