Photo & text: Kiran Nadar Museum of Art
Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA) presents the first ever comprehensive exhibition showcasing the works of eminent artist Himmat Shah through the decades between 1957 to 2015. The exhibition is a celebration of Shah’s solitary pursuit and his 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 that has never been seen together in its entirety. Tracing and underlining Shah’s contribution to the discourse of modern Indian art, the exhibition presents around 300 works with 215 from the KNMA collection and loans from various public and private institutions and collections. Along with 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 and silver paintings — hardly seen by the Indian art fraternity and public at large. Hammer on the Square highlights key ideas in 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 as well as echoes of lost civilizations and cultures.