Jangarh Singh Shyam
Born into a Pardhan Gond family in the village of Patangarh, Mandla district, Madhya Pradesh, Jangarh Singh Shyam (1962 – 2001) achieved fame quickly when, in 1986, merely five years after his ‘discovery’, the twenty-six year old, was conferred the Shikhar Samman (the Summit Award)— the highest civilian award bestowed by the Government of Madhya Pradesh. He was subsequently commissioned to do the exterior murals for Vidhan Bhavan—the new legislative building in Bhopal designed by the renowned architect Charles Correa. In 1989, his art was displayed in the Pompidou Centre’s Magiciens de la Terre (Magicians of Earth) exhibition in Paris. He went on to do residential stints at the Mithila Museum in Tokamachi, Japan. In 2001, it was during his second residency at the Mithila Museum that Jangarh died.
Jangarh has been credited by the critic Udayan Vajpeyi to be the initiator of a new school of Indian art which he calls ‘Jangarh Kalam’. The primary subjects of Jangarh’s paintings are Gond deities like Thakur Dev, Bada Deo, Kalsahin Devi and others. He also depicted cutout-style portraits of animals.