Himmat Shah’s sculptures, especially in terracotta and bronze tend to explore materiality as well as texture. They also consider the various ways of presenting the life and realities of it by internalizing the consumerist society’s built-in obsolescence. His gilded objects made in clay carry on them the traces of paintings and are akin to unreadable hieroglyphs deftly gouged into his series of metal heads. Alluding to age and decay, these self-mocking elements add a touch of drama to the work.
He launches his sculptural discourse as part of a prolonged waiting. And the truth that finally manifests itself is preceded by an intense introspection. It’s a kind of sacred ritual in which he unveils his quest for truth experienced in totality. But when the artist known for his meticulousness would quip that it’s always not required to draw before sculpting, it simply amazes you.
For him, often the medium itself presents with an evolving drawing. Image would arrive during the continual interaction with the matter, a rather intuitional unveiling in a random moment of action. Many of Himmat Shah’s sculptural works in terracotta as if come to us from his direct engagement with the medium that crystallizes his artistic thought and trajectory.
Himmat Shah’s predilection for the medium of drawing was quite natural. Being an inexpensive, economic and transformative, yet free-flowing form, it appealed to him in his artistic negotiations with form and space. Looking at this veteran artist’s early drawing works closely, one is able to notice the inherent skill evident behind those chaotic black lines. Almost unpredictable and curious in the manner in which they employ a rather simple medium to interpret deeply complex contemporary visual fields, these works seize your attention.
Indeed, delving into the influences and inspirations, the sensitivity and sensibilities, the processes and philosophy of the veteran sculptor-printmaker is in itself an enriching experience.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Himmat Shah’s vast and vivacious oeuvre
Posted by शांत प्रशांत at 1:25 AM