Looking at a seed can you imagine the entire tree? One who can imagine the tree looking at its seed and the seed looking at the tree is a reflection of a true artistic vision. - Himmat Shah
A hammer (sans hand) elegantly fixed onto a cube (sans mass). The gravitational connect between the distinct geometries of the two forms catapults one into an arbitration of potentialities created by the artist. Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA) is pleased to present the first ever comprehensive showing of eminent artist Himmat Shah through the decades from 1957 to 2015. This exhibition is a celebration of Himmat 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 Himmat 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 Himmat Shah’s works: fragility and transience of existence, the heightened relationship between ephemeral layers and stasis, His intense connect and understanding of materials and the material world, echoes of lost civilizations and cultures. ‘Hammer on the Square’, the exhibition is in continuation with the Nasreen Mohamedi's Retrospective (2013) and precursor to the forthcoming show of Jeram Patel (August 2016) at KNMA. It is an avenue for opening up the dialogue on Indian modernism, in with particular emphasis on two decades—1960s and 1970s—by bringing large body of works of these three artists to the public domain. It proposes a reshuffling of ways of viewing Himmat’s works, actively situating his practice among his peer-group of artists, and the study of abstraction.