Sheikh held his first solo exhibition in Mumbai in 1960. His work has been exhibited widely in India and abroad since then. Prominent exhibitions include the Baroda Group Show, Bombay (1959), Group 1890, New Delhi (1963), Cinquieme Biennale de Paris.(1 967), Pictorial Space, New Delhi (1 977), Six who declined to show in the Triennale, New Delhi, (1978), Place for People, Bombay and Delhi 91981), Returning Home, solo, exhibition at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris 1985), and the IV Asian Art Show, Fukuoka, Japan ('995).
Sheikh has played an important role in initiating and theorizing the Narrative-Figurative tendency in contemporary art. His early works depict the subconscious reaches of human existence. His painting seems to have an undercurrent of the erotic which appears to animate the landscape. Autobiographical reference has been an important part of his practice. Musings on place, on the cultural environment of the individual are of great importance to him. The physical and the transcendental meet in his work. His deep understanding of literary tradition especially Sufism enables him to create visual couplets in his works.
Gulam started his career in 1960 when he joined as a teacher in the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University, Baroda. His teaching positions have included teaching art history in the Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda (1960-63 and 1967-81,) and as Professor of Painting, Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda (1982-1993). He has been a Visiting Artist at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1987 and 2002, and a Writer/Artist in Residence at Civitella Ranieri Center, Umbertide, Italy (1998), at the University of Pennsylvania (2002), and at Montalvo, California (2005).
Awards received by Gulam Mohammed Sheikh:
* National Award, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, 1962.
* Padma Shri by Government of India, 1983
* Kalidas Samman, Madhya Pradesh Government, 2002.
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