The first ever comprehensive showing of eminent artist Himmat Shah, which is on at Pink City’s multi arts centre — Jawahar Kala Kendra (JKK) since 31 October, has received huge appreciation from a large number of visitors. In just over a month, the exhibition ‘The Euphoria of being Himmat Shah – A continuing journey across six decades’ has had a footfall of over 3000 visitors which include art and design students, art enthusiasts as well as foreign artists apart from the local and foreign tourists.
It is also noteworthy that around 300 students of 14 schools and colleges from the city have also visited the exhibition, as a part of JKK’s outreach programme. Most of the visitors have expressed in the feedback in the visitors’ book that this is one of the most unique exhibitions they have witnessed and that Himmat Shah’s art works left them mesmerized and awe-struck. In addition the striking exhibits, what has been more awe-inspiring for the visitors is the opportunity to closely interact with the octogenarian artist, Himmat Shah.
Award winning designer Malene B, after her recent visit to Jawahar Kala Kendra, posted about Himmat Shah’s exhibition on her Instagram account. “I’m so glad I was able to see the work of Himmat Shah, a living legend in the contemporary Indian art. The exhibition covers six decades of his work, sculptures, drawings as well as architectural details for buildings. What a privilege to bask in his talent!”
Another visitor Rohit Gupta in his feedback for the exhibition wrote: “Absolutely stunning work of a highly accomplished and spiritually abstract nature. I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to see it.”
Looking at the highly encouraging feedback of the audience, the exhibition has been extended by a week and will now be on till 22 December instead of 15 December.
As a part of the exhibition, a three day Pottery Workshop was also conducted recently at JKK with award winning potter from Alwar, Om Prakash Galav. The workshop also witnessed an enthusiastic participation of school children as well as art lovers from the city.
It is worth noting that the exhibition has been curated by Ms. Roobina Karode and is being held in collaboration with Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA), New Delhi.
About the Artist
Acknowledged as one of the most remarkable artists working today in India, Himmat Shah was born in 1933 in Lothal, Gujarat, one of the prominent cities of Indus valley civilization, and currently lives and works in Jaipur, Rajasthan. After initial training at Dakshinamurti in Bhavnagar, he studied painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts of M.S. University, Baroda, from 1955 to 1961. He received National Cultural Scholarship in 1956, and received a French Government scholarship to study in Paris from 1966-67. Shah was a founder member of Group 1890, a short-lived artists’ group, formed in 1962 along with J. Swaminathan, Gulammohammed Sheikh, Jeram Patel, Ambadas etc. The group dispersed soon after their seminal exhibition at the Lalit Kala Akademi in 1963, and each of its members, including Shah continued their artistic practices with their own agendas. While still a student Himmat Shah had received Lalit Kala National Award for Painting twice, in 1959 and 1962. He was also awarded the Gold Medal by the Jammu & Kashmir Academy of Art in 1960. He came to be known and appreciated within the artistic circles for his erotic drawings exhibition in 1964 in Delhi, and created quite a stir. His early exhibitions were well-received and earned him a unique position. In 2003, the artist was honored with the Kalidasa Samman by the Government of Madhya Pradesh. Shah has also received the All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society (AIFACS) Award, New Delhi, in 1996, and the Sahitya Kala Parishad Award, New Delhi, in 1988. He has held numerous group and solo exhibitions in India and abroad and has represented the country in ‘Festival of Indian Art’ in Moscow in 1996, the ‘Biennale de Paris’ in 1967 and 1970 and ‘biennale 13’ in Antwerp.
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