Artist of the Day | Lalu Prasad Shaw


Lalu Prasad Shaw

Untitled 2010 Tempera on paper 19.5 x 12.5 in

Lalu Prasad Shaw was born in Bengal in 1937, and completed his education in fine arts at the Government College of Arts and Crafts in Kolkata.

Known widely for his highly stylized portraits of Bengali women and couples, Lalu Prasad Shaw’s works lay the most emphasis on his subject’s physical characteristics. Capturing the expressions of his subjects perfectly with the greatest economy of line and colour each of Shaw’s paintings has an intimate feel to it.

Influenced by the pre-independence Company School of art, the traditional Kalighat Pat and the Ajanta cave paintings, Shaw’s works, mainly executed in gouache or tempera, like his own person, are simple and graceful, having a very still, well-composed and smooth exterior. This senior artist draws his inspiration primarily from nature and the milieu surrounding the great Bengali middle class, often depicting pleasant and quiet scenes from his own life on his canvases and papers. His style is unique and modern in its adaptation of academic and traditional Indian formats.

Though he would describe himself as a painter, Shaw took a liking to printmaking when he was 32 years old and mastered the genre of graphic arts shortly since he had worked with intaglios and lithographs earlier, making a name for himself as a printmaker comparable to the great reputation that he already had as a painter.

Shaw has exhibited extensively in India and abroad since 1956, and his works have been a part of prestigious international shows such as the second British Biennale in London, 1970, two Norwegian Print Biennales in 1974 and 1978, the seventh Paris Biennale in 1971 and the second Asian Art Biennale hosted by Bangladesh in 1984.

A particularly notable aspect of Shaw's paintings is their simple yet sophisticated look. One notices a seamless synthesis of different stylistic elements to achieve a phenomenal effect. His work is a part of the permanent collections of various institutions like the Birla Academy in Calcutta and the Art Forum in Singapore.

Lalu Prasad Shaw lives and works in Kolkata, where his son Partha has also established himself as a young artist. courtesy of saffronart.com

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