Born in 1933 in Lothal, Gujarat, he first learnt the intricacies of art under N.S Bendre. After studying art at Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (1956-61), he joined Atelier 17, Paris (1966-67) on a scholarship from the French government.
In the subsequent years, he designed several monumental murals primarily in brick, cement and concrete at Ahmedabad’s St. Xavier's School. During this period, he also dabbled in relief & sculpture works in plaster, ceramics and terracotta.
This renowned sculptor and draughtsman was a member of Group 1890. This artists’ collective initiated by J. Swaminathan looked to promote a unique form of art closer to Indian ethos distinct from the western traditions and schools, but it was short-lived. Jawaharlal Nehru, the then prime minister of India, opened its first and only show in the early sixties. Soon after, the group was disbanded and all its members continued with their respective art practices and their own agendas. Himmat Shah was no exception, as he evolved his own style and thematic idiom.
A series of solo exhibitions of his drawings and sculptures have been held at Jehangir Nicholson Art Gallery, NCPA, Mumbai (2007); Berkley Square Gallery, UK (2007); Anant Art Gallery, Delhi (2005); Art Heritage, Delhi (2002, 2000, 1983); Shridharani Gallery, Delhi (2000); Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai (1994); LKA, Delhi (1982); Dhoomimal Art Gallery, Delhi (1979); Gallery Chemould, Delhi and Mumbai (1966); Kunika Chemould Art Centre, Delhi (1965,64), thus stretching his illustrious art career to nearly five decades.
His work has been a part of many groups shows like 'Vahana', Bombay Art Gallery (2010); 'Essential, Eclectic, Ephemeral', The Harrington Mansions, Kolkata (2010); India Fine Art, Mumbai (2007); ‘Tangibles', Priyasri Art Gallery, Mumbai (2006); ‘Manifestations I, II and III’, Nehru Centre, Mumbai; Delhi Art Gallery and LKA, Delhi (2004-05); 'Face to Face', LKA, Delhi (1998); the inaugural show of Roopankar Museum, Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal (1982). He also featured in 'Group 1890' show in Delhi (1963), the Progressive Painters Group exhibit, Ahmedabad (1962) and the Baroda Group Show, Mumbai (1957-58).