He was an Indian painter, cultural anthropologist, and Gandhian. He was also an author of folk arts and tribal arts. He belonged to the Baroda Group of the artists who brought tribal and folk art themes in the main space of Indian art.
Born on 26 March 1934, in Valod in Gujarat. His mother was influenced by Mahatma Gandhi so does he. He completed his initial schooling in Valod as well as being an active member of the student union. He was graduated in fine arts BFA, from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in 1955. Then, he completed his master’s in the same university.
He had many one-man shows in 1965 in Kolkata and Mumbai. In 1968, he curated the “Unknown India” exhibition in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He received the Rockefeller grant in the same year. He received Nehru Fellowship Award in 1971.
He carried out much field research on the tribal arts and crafts as well as traditions and folklore. For several years, he taught at the Gandhian Ashram in south Gujarat for the several years. For several years he had curated many museums for the several years.
He was deeply influenced by tribal art and culture as well as the Bhakti movements. We can find his works in his Nirguna poetry. He was very instrumental in the foundation of Shilpgram, a crafts village in Udaipur, Rajasthan.
He published his memoirs titled, Manush. He died in 2019 following cardiac arrest.
Vikash Kalra is a self-taught artist & writer based in New Delhi whose work has been exhibited across India and is held in several private and corporate collections.