019, School of Engineering and Applied Science
Amit Ambalal walked us through his life as an artist in the discussion of The Lightness of Being. He spoke about how he draws inspiration for his work from religious places, politics, nature, wildlife, and mundane daily life experiences. "There has to be an element of surprise in art, not only for the viewers but also for the artist. That is how a painting comes to life," he says.
Mr Ambalal spoke about many of his works and why he paints eccentric human and animal protagonists in everyday theatricality. He shared with us his artistic process of finding faults and quirks in human behaviour and society and using them on his canvases to convey how he sees and questions the world around him.
Amit Ambalal is a renowned artist and author based in Ahmedabad, India. With qualifications spanning Arts, Commerce, and Law, he has cultivated his artistic prowess as a self-taught individual and pursued his art education under Shri. Chaganlal Jadav. In 1979, he transitioned to full-time painting after contributing to the family business. Amitji's Work is deeply influenced by the Nathdwara School of Painting, which is a subset of the Mewar School of Painting, mainly featuring Shrinathji, who is the younger version of Lord Krishna. Amitji has held over 40 solo exhibitions worldwide with his debut as a solo artist at the Hutheesing Gallery in 1980. Amitji has also participated in significant group exhibitions, including the prestigious Bharat Bhavan Biennale (1990), the Sixth Trienniale, India (1986), as well as exhibitions in Amsterdam, Harvard, and Perth. His art has also been featured in prestigious collections like the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the British Museum in London. Apart from his art career, he authored the book "Krishna as Shrinathji" 'in 1987. He received several awards, including the Gujarat State Lalit Kala Akademi Award (1968), AMC Award (1974), Civitela Reneieri Foundation Fellowship in Italy (2003), 'Gaurav Puraskar' by Gujarat Lalit Kala Akademi (2008), and the "Kailas Lalitkala Award" from Morari Bapu in 2012. Amit Ambalal's remarkable journey as an artist and author is a testament to his dedication and passion for the arts and his legacy continues to inspire and enrich the cultural landscape of India and beyond.
As both an artist and educator, Professor Rajesh Naidu's primary research interest lies in the exploration of the human condition and individual identity through representational painting, drawing from the rich tapestry of art history. Holding a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts/Painting from Indiana State University, his upcoming research endeavors aim to explore 'realism' in the contemporary Indian context while preserving its cultural essence.