Nilima Sheikh

Artist Profiles > S > Nilima Sheikh

Declaring, “I think beauty can be a vehicle for the most violent of sentiments or attitudes, it should be allowed to contain other things,” Nilima Sheikh produces beautiful paintings about contemporary Indian life, in all of its wonder and grimness. Part a generation of artists who have embraced Indian artistic traditions, she turned from Western-style oil painting to miniature painting, taking inspiration from the Rajput and Mughal court painters. Sheikh works in series and uses traditional materials, including tempera and wasli paper. Narrative is at the heart of all of her work, from her miniature paintings to her murals and large-scale canvases. In her “When Champa Grew Up” series (1984), for example, she illustrated the distressingly common story of a young bride killed by her in-laws, a tragedy that unfolded in her own neighborhood, among people she knew.
Indian, b. 1945, New Delhi, India

Click here for available works

Click here for other available works from Asian Society Portfolio