Indian Masters' Retrospective Exhibition
Featuring paintings and sketches by artist Shiavax Chavda
WHAT: Indian Masters' Retrospective Exhibition - artist Shiavax Chavda
WHEN: Friday, December 21, 2018 to Sunday, January 6, 2019
WHERE: The Nehru Centre Art Gallery, Worli, Mumbai
TIMINGS: 11am to 7 pm
For any further details or media-related information, please contact -
Jeroo Chavda firstname.lastname@example.org
Sanaya Chavda email@example.com
The Nehru Centre Art Gallery proudly presents their Indian Masters Retrospective Exhibition featuring the original works of one of the pioneers of Indian modern art, Shiavax Chavda.
This is the 26th year of this prestigious annual event. A large number of art connoisseurs and students alike await this exhibition that showcases works from some of the finest Indian artists.
Shiavax Chavda, who was part of the Bombay Progressive Artists' Group, held his first show at the Taj Mahal Hotel Prince's Room in 1945. He gave top priority to drawing and was considered a master draughtsman. Over his four-decade career, he was felicitated as fellow of the Lalit Kala Academi in 1986 and awarded Artist of the year by the Maharashtra State government in 1990.
The artist experimented in various artistic styles studying and recreating with his deft strokes the human body, birds, serpents and other animals, Balinese masks, famous Indian ancient temples and cave sculptures, Indian musicians, classical Indian dancers, semi-abstract and abstract art. He worked with paper, canvas, silk, plywood, Chinese ink, crayon, watercolours, tempera and oils.
Chavda’s paintings are part of collections both in India and abroad including the Victoria & Albert Museum London, Budapest Museum, The National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, Baroda museum, corporate houses like Tatas, institutions like Northcote nursing home and other private and public collections in India and abroad. He has held more than 40 one-man shows in cities like Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Singapore, London, Paris, Zurich and New York.
The artist passed away on August 18, 1990 at the age of 76, but his work continues to be an inspiration to younger artists till today.
About the artist
Early life and studies
Shiavax Chavda was born on June 18, 1914 in Navsari, Gujarat to a Parsi couple (Allamai and Dhunjibhoy Chavda) Right from an early age, Chavda showed a great interest and promise in drawing.
He began his formal training at The JJ School of Arts, Bombay in 1931 where he earned his Diploma in Fine Arts. From 1934-37, he participated in the prestigious, The Bombay Arts Society competitions and won several prizes which further encouraged him. Post a scholarship grant from The Tata Trust, Chavda headed to London for further studies at The Slade School. He was the first Indian to be given exemption to complete the three years course in two years. In 1939, he was awarded The Sir William Orpen Bursary at the Slade. Chavda always considered himself very fortunate to have studied under one of the greatest European draughtsmen of his times professor Mr Randolph Schwabe and then to have learnt stage decor under Mr Vladimir Polunin, pupil of the great Russian stage designer Leon Bakst. At the Slade, he spent two years drawing human figures from life and acquired a sound knowledge of draughtsmanship and composition. Alongside The Slade, Chavda also studied Commercial Art at the evening college at St Martin’s in London and at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, Paris, he took courses in portraiture, bas-reliefs and restoration.
During his summer vacations, Chavda would visit galleries at The Louvre in Paris and The British Museum in London for a greater study of the old masters. He studied Michelangelo’s work as well as Indian Miniatures, to gain an insight into the classical and traditional essentials of the compositions. In 1939, at the advent of The Second World War, Chavda had to return to India. He explored his home country, touring many villages around his hometown Navsari in Gujarat and making hundreds of sketches of people, their homes and livestock. He traversed the country going to Bihar, South India, Ajanta Ellora, Nagaland and Mizoram, Sanchi and Kashmir. Art magazine Marg carried his detailed sketches from his Kashmir trip. He also toured Bali, Indonesia, with the Borobudur and Prambanan temples, filling his numerous sketchbooks.
Love for Dance
Chavda was a lover of all forms of art including dance. He was given permission to stand in the wings and sketch the ballet performances of Sadler’s Wells Ballet company at The Covent Gardens, London This increased his sensitivity for stage décor, costumes, and backdrops which he later put to use in 1941 while designing stage and costume for Austrian dancer Hilge Holger’s dance production and as the art director for the Hindi film Amrapali. Upon his return to India, Chavda watched a beautiful dance recital by Uday Shankar and The Vajifdar Sisters (the first Parsi dance company to perform Indian classical and folk dance)
Later in 1947, Chavda went on to marry Khurshid, the second sister of the dancing trio. The other two sisters - eldest Shirin Vajifdar married noted author Mulk Raj Anand, and the youngest Roshan married Dr Hirenmaya Ghose.
Notable works and achievements
• In 1947 he taught at the evening course at J.J.College. From 1947-49, he taught artists Pilloo Pochkhanawala, Mehlli Gobhai, Kaiser Irani and Silloo Bharucha.
• 1n 1947, he was commissioned a mural ‘Triumphant Aerial Return of Ram & Sita from Sri Lanka’ by Air India for their Bombay office.
• In 1948, Chavda won The Dolly Khurshedji prize for his mural in colour, at The Gujarat Samachar building.
• In 1956, he was elected as 1 of the 9 Eminent Artists of India.
• In 1964-65, he was commissioned the Air-India mural in their office in Washington DC
• In 1969, he executed a mural for Gandhi Darshan, Parliament House, New Delhi.
• In 1985 felicitated by The Abhivadan Trust Award–Gujarat.
• In 1986, he was felicitated by The Gujarat Lalit Kala Akademi.
• In 1981, he was commissioned three 20 x 18 feet murals at The National Centre Of The Performing Arts (NCPA) on the Tantric theme, that’s still on display.
• In 1986, he was elected as Fellow of The Lalit Kala Akademi.
• In 1987, felicitated by The Valsad Jilla Chitrashisak Sangh & Navsari Nagarpallika Award –Gujarat.
• In 1990, awarded The Artist of the year-1990 by the Maharashtra Government.