Biography

Photo: Ravi Dhingra

Shakti Maira is a critically acclaimed artist-philosopher from India. His work as a sculptor, painter and printmaker has been widely exhibited, and is largely centered in a Buddhism-inspired spirituality. It is in the collections of the National Gallery of Modern Art in India and in private collections around the world.

He has written extensively on art, design and aesthetics, and is the author of two books – Towards Ananda: Rethinking Indian Art and Aesthetics and The Promise of Beauty & Why it Matters. He has conducted a number of art workshops in schools in India and abroad, and has been a guest lecturer on art and aesthetics in U.S. colleges. He has been invited to speak at several international events, including the International Arts Education Symposium in Seoul, the Mystics & Scientists Conferences in the UK, and the Edinburgh International Festival.

He was born in 1947 in Shimla, and lives in New Delhi.

One Person Exhibitions

  • Untitled
    1973, Taj Art Gallery, Bombay
  • Monsoon Skies
    1974, Taj Art Gallery, Bombay
  • Waves of Sea, Waves of Mind
    1976, Taj Art Gallery, Bombay
  • Mountain Ways and Mist of Mind
    1978, Taj Art Gallery, Bombay
  • Mountains Breathing, Whispering Mandalas
    1979, Taj Art Gallery, Bombay
  • Meditation in Landscape
    1985, Salon des Artistes, Boston
  • New Hampshire Drawings
    1988, Triveni Gallery, New Delhi
  • Fallen God Series
    1989, Taj Art Gallery, Bombay
  • Fallen God Series
    1989, Triveni Gallery, New Delhi
  • Chikai Bardo Series
    1990, New England College Gallery, Henniker
  • Paintings and Drawings
    1990, India International Centre, New Delhi
  • Intimations of Transcendence
    1991, Lalit Kala Academy (National Arts Academy), New Delhi
  • Intimations of Transcendence & Sunyatta
    1992, Cymroza Gallery, Bombay
  • Recent Work
    1994, Windsor Gallery, Bangalore
  • Sculpture, Marble Paintings & Prints
    1994, Shridharani Gallery, New Delhi
  • Ganga as Grace
    1995, The Village Gallery, New Delhi
  • Insight/Absorption (Folding panels) & Silent Witnesses (Ceramic Sculpture)
    1997, Shridharani Gallery, New Delhi; Taj Art Gallery, Bombay
  • Chitrakala: Celebrating Indian Art on India’s 50th anniversary of Independence
    1998, Galerie Grewal Mohanjeet, Paris
  • Bodhi Series
    1999 , Jehangir Art Gallery, Bombay; The Fine Art Company Gallery, Bombay
  • Pilgrim’s Path & Transitional Self
    2001, Shridharani Gallery, New Delhi; Jamaat Art Gallery, Mumbai
  • Beej
    2003, Jamaat Art Gallery, Mumbai; Shridharani Art Gallery, New Delhi
  • Bhumi – Selected work
    2010, India International Centre, New Delhi
  • Seekers
    2012, India Art Fair, New Delhi
  • The Sangha: A Creative Journey (1989 – 2011)
    2012, India International Centre, New Delhi
  • Formed Resonance: Sculpture and Drawings
    2017, India International Centre, New Delhi

Group Shows

Bombay, Los Angeles, Colombo, Manchester, Concord, Acton, Portland, Newport, Washington DC, Portsmouth, New York, Henniker, Boston, New Delhi, Santa Fe, Cambridge, Bangalore, Rotterdam, Hollis and Madras.

Books

  • The Promise of Beauty and Why It Matters
    2017, Harper Collins India
  • Artistic Visions and the Promise of Beauty
    Cross-Cultural Perspectives
    Co-edited with Kathleen Higgins and Sonia Sikka
    2016, Springer International Publishing, Switzerland
  • Towards Ananda
    Rethinking Indian Art and Aesthetics
    2006, Penguin Viking India, New Delhi

Essays

  • The Cult of the Goddess
    Edited by Arputha Rani Sengupta
    2015, DK Printworld, New Delhi
  • Transmissions and Transformations
    Edited by Kapila Vatsyayan
    2011, Primus Books, New Delhi
  • Educating for Creativity: An Asian Vision of Arts in Education
    2005, UNESCO, Bangkok
  • Learning through the Arts
    2005, IIC Quarterly, New Delhi

Columns and Articles

2002 – 2014 The Hindu, First City Magazine, Resurgence and Design Today Magazine

Public Talks and Seminars

  • Mystics & Scientists Conference: The Nature of Inspiration in Art, Science and Spirituality
    Inspiration in Art: Unfolding, Connecting, Forming
    2013, University of Warwick, Warwick, England
  • Symposium on Biology and Beyond
    Art & Science
    2012, CCMB, Hyderabad
  • International Seminar on The End of Art and the Promise of Beauty
    The Hollowing of Art and the Call of Beauty
    2012, New Delhi
  • Edinburgh International Festival
    Heirlooms Panel
    2011, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Ramsay Garden Seminars
    View from India – Rebalancing Economic Policy as if Aesthetics Mattered
    2011, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Cortona India
    Beauty – A Fundamental Organizing System in a Relational World
    2010, Hyderabad
  • Glasgow Centre for Population Health
    Nested Relationships: Beauty, Aesthetics, Art and Happiness (BAAH!)
    2009, Glasgow, Scotland
  • The Attic Sacred Arts Festival
    Insight Forms: Creating a Contemporary Spiritual Art Language
    2009, New Delhi
  • Mystics & Scientists
    Beauty – A Master Key for Sustainable Relationships
    2009, London
  • Mystics & Scientists Conference: The Science of Well-Being and the Experience of Bliss
    Bliss and Beauty - An Indian Vision
    2009, University College, Winchester
  • Sharpham House
    Buddhist Aesthetics and Contemporary Dharma Art
    2008, Devon
  • INTACH Seminar
    Chairperson - Best Practices in Intangible Heritage Education
    2008, New Delhi
  • The Attic
    Buddhist Aesthetics and the Spiritual in Contemporary Art Practice
    2008, New Delhi
  • Jamia Millia Islamia
    Seminar on 'Visualizing the Sacred: Fine Arts and the World Religious Traditions'; Valedictory Address: The Spiritual in Art: A personal exploration
    2007, New Delhi
  • International Indology Conference
    Indian Aesthetics in Everyday Life
    2006, Goa
  • The National Museum Institute
    Seminar on Cult of the Goddess Past & Present in Indian Art - The Goddess Steps out of the Iconographic Frame
    2005, New Delhi
  • Korean Arts and Culture Education Service & Korean Association of Arts Education: International Arts Education Symposium
    Creative Partnership: Theory and Practice in the Field of Arts Education
    2005, Seoul
  • India International Centre
    Symposium on Learning through the Arts in Asia
    2005, New Delhi
  • Indian Institute of Advanced Studies
    Identity, Influences and Initiatives in Contemporary Asian Art and Aesthetics
    2004, Shimla
  • Natya Kala Conference
    Suggestion in Art
    2003, Chennai
  • Brown University
    Spirituality in Landscape
    1989, Providence, RI

Lectures and School Workshops

  • Navdanya-Bija
    Beauty and Ecology
    2010, Dehradun
  • Art from Indian Hands Workshops for Schools
    2000-2007, Rajghat Krishnamurti School, Varanasi; Akanksha, Mumbai; Woodstock School (with Harvard University Art in School Program), Mussoorie; Navdanya-Bija, Dehradun; Bluebells International School, New Delhi; Sriram Junior School, New Delhi; Sriram Senior School, Gurgaon; Mayo Girls, Ajmer; Pathways School, Dubai
  • Plymouth State University
    Multiculturism and the Arts
    2000, Plymouth, NH
  • Arts in Education Program, NH State Council on the Art
    Roster Artist
    1999-2001, Concord, NH
  • New Hampshire Allstate Art Festival
    Faculty Artist
    1999-2000, Currier Gallery, Manchester, NH
  • Arts in Education Conference, NH State Council on the Art
    1999, Concord, NH
  • Holderness School
    Faculty on ‘Artward Bound’ Program
    1998, Holderness, NH
  • New England College
    Buddhism 101
    1990, Henniker, NH
  • Rivier College
    Guest Lecturer
    1990-94, Nashua, NH

Outreach

  • NCERT Committee of Arts Education Curriculum
    2006, New Delhi
  • The India Foundation for the Arts (IFA)
    Consultant
    2006, Bangalore
  • Art Camp
    2004, Mayo College, Ajmer
  • The Arts India Artists' Camp
    1997, Mumbai
  • New England Sculptors Association
    Juried Member
    1990-1991, Boston, MA
  • Integral Institute, Integral Art Branch
    Founding Member
    1990, Boulder, CO
  • New Hampshire Art Association
    Director
    1989-91, NH

Collections

National Gallery of Modern Art, India and leading corporate and private collections in India, U.S. and Europe.

Education

  • Mayo College, Ajmer
  • St Stephen’s College, Delhi
  • IIM, Ahmedabad