b. 1968, in Mumbai, India


Sheetal Gattani pursues a way of applying pigment which ensures that viewing the numerous applications acquires a priority over specific form, and figure. There is a full concern in working out quantities, measurements, detecting the texture, locked up in her materials and it overrides anything, which might resemble an accidental symbol or familiar emotion.  The assembly of monochromes she normally displays for her exhibitions are hardly researches into the creation of light effects by means of screens and suggested movements. Her procedure is to intensify the language of water colour, not only by saturation but by subtle differentiation, brought about by the pressure of loaded brush, knife and wet, absorbent paper.


She avoids representation of any kind of form, including a geometrical restfulness. An absence of line or suggestive smudge, carries the gaze to the present tense moment of emanating and shifting permutations of colour curtains, bands and codes.


An obliteration of the black paper ground on which she starts the multiple layering, results in the opposite process of revelation, a random exposure of the under paint, emerging as gashes, marks and penumbras. By allowing such interstices to happen in the colour body, the worn away and peeled off patch replicates weather conditions --- dry and gravelly or rainless earth patch, moraine, or a vegetative mass which simmers as pulp or liquefies into membranous and milky veils.


Formlessness, as a strategy in art can awaken large thoughts as are found in, for instance, in the Indian Samkhya philosophical system. It proposes a calibration of psychic conditions to interpret knowledge. Sheetal’s frameless-formless canvas could be perceived as container of psychological insight into the emotional world, if the correspondence of a mental state with colour zone is considered as the only interpretative tool. Formlessness, as presented here, is a means to coalesce experience, emotion, desire, recall, social condition and histories and to achieve a unity of a monochromatic poem. This is an exclusionary drama of volatile pigments, independent, spectral and sober, all at once.


Sheetal’s paintings spread-eagle and hold that contrary potential of a monumental space and an endless time; touching upon several self-propelled colour chords, and protruding silences that plead with the artist and viewer to begin seeing all over again.