Himmat Shah

Artist Profile

A celebrated Indian master artist, Himmat Shah is often described as bohemian and free spirited. His experience and contribution to the art world is immense, in a career spanning over six decades. Himmat Shah’s works are highly unpredictable and ironic in the way simple mediums are used to illustrate complex visual fields.

Born in Lothal, Gujarat, in 1933, Himmat Shah initially trained to become a drawing teacher, before enrolling at the Faculty of Fine Arts at M.S. University, Baroda, to study painting, from 1956-1960. He was also a National Cultural Scholar in 1956 and received a French Government scholarship to study etching at Atelier 17, Paris in 1967.

In his younger days, Shah drew heavily from the works of N.S. Bendre and K.G. Subramanyan. He had a preference for drawing as a medium, which allowed him to negotiate with form and space. From 1967 onwards, he started working on relief work and sculpture, and he is widely recognised for his abstracted terracotta and bronze sculptures.

Himmat Shah has participated in several solo and group shows in India and abroad. In 2003, he was conferred with the Kalidasa Samman by the Government of Madhya Pradesh. Shah has also received the Sahitya Kala Parishad Award, New Delhi, in 1988. He currently lives and works in New Delhi, and confesses that he continues to search for a medium that is completely his own, to push the boundaries of his creative expression.

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