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Amit Ambalal

(b. 1943) Born in Ahmedabad, it was a radical shift for the commerce and art graduate, Amit Ambalal, to gradually give up the family business to pursue painting, his passion. Without formal training, he was guided by renowned artist, Chhaganlal Jadhav, in understanding the basics of art. He later became a full-time painter at the age of thirty-six, in 1979. Ambalal’s paintings show a contemporary approach to tradition via ‘degenerate’ forms of popular religious traditions. Marrying his passion for painting and his interest in art history, particularly devotional pictures from Nathdwara, his paintings equally exhibit a historian’s aesthetic interest and the critical comment of an irreverent humorist in his works. He later wrote a book on the same subject titled, ‘Krishna as Shrinathji – Rajasthani Paintings from Nathdwara’ which was published in 1987. A founder member and secretary of the Contemporary Painters Group in Ahmedabad, Ambalal, from the late-Seventies onward, has been a member of various educational and cultural institutions including Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal, National Institute of Fashion Technology in Gandhinagar, and National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi. He has had several shows around India and exhibited in several group exhibitions abroad while actively involved in organizing artists’ camps. Ambalal lives and works in Ahmedabad.