Sheetal Gattani’s abstract paintings on paper and canvas are studies in colour, texture and light, executed with a spare palette shorn of gestural flourishes or definable forms. ‘I work towards a complete integration of medium, form, colour and texture,’ the artist says. Process is central to her practice – she doesn’t begin with an idea of what she’s going to paint, but ‘discovers’ little by little as she works, making room for the unexpected, the unpredictable. Sheetal’s works grow out of a rigorous making – the paper/canvas painted over and over in multiple layers and colours, the paper scratched with blade, carved, peeled and then covered in watercolour, charcoal or dry pastel, scraped out, the same process repeated several times in a ‘dialogue’ between medium and time. The results are works of quiet power that engender a feeling that is elevating though indefinable and intangible.
A resident of Mumbai, Sheetal did not believe she would be an artist or think of art seriously until she joined the famed Sir J.J. School of Art in the city with the intention of teaching art to young children. She completed a diploma in Art Education from that institution in 1990, and went on to pursue an M.F.A. in painting.
Sheetal has had several solo shows and taken part in group exhibitions across India and the world.