Himmat Shah: A Retrospective

Himmat Shah in his studio. Photo by Rohit Chawla. Courtesy of Open Magazine

Bihar Museum is pleased to bring to Patna, the first-ever comprehensive showing of eminent artist Himmat Shah in collaboration with the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA). This exhibition is a celebration of Himmat Shah’s solitary pursuit and inspiring nomadic life lived under an open sky that transformed into a recurrent poetic metaphor of the vastness and infinity of space in his work. It celebrates his prolific and rich oeuvre which will be presented in the public domain in its entirety. Having lived in Bhavnagar, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Delhi, Himmat Shah now lives in Jaipur since 2000.

Tracing and underlining Himmat Shah’s contribution to the discourse of modern Indian art, the exhibition presents around 200 works from the KNMA collection along with loans from the artist. Besides his famous terracotta sculptures, bronzes, and drawings, it brings to light his lesser-known mediums and extraordinary body of works—high-relief murals, burnt paper collages, prints and silver paintings. Titled Under the Vastness of the Sky, the exhibition highlights key ideas in Himmat Shah’s works: fragility and transience of existence, the heightened relationship between ephemeral layers and stasis, his intense connect and understanding of the materials and material world, and echoes of lost civilizations and cultures.

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