Lalu Prasad Shaw

“Art needn’t be realistic – but it absolutely must be truthful.”

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 color 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.

1954-59 Diploma in Painting (Western), Government College of Arts and Crafts, Kolkata



2011-12 – ‘Looking In’, Galerie 88, Kolkata
2011 – ‘Graceful Silence’, Art Musings, Mumbai
2008 – ‘The Myrid Minded Artist’, Gallery Sanskriti, Kolkata
2007 – ‘Sepia Notes’, Art Musings, Mumbai
1995 – ‘Painting’, Centre for International Modern Art (CIMA), Kolkata
1990 – ‘Graphic Art’, Centre for Contemporary Art, New Delhi
1990 – ‘Graphic Art’, The Seagull Foundation for Arts, Kolkata
1987, 85 – ‘Painting’, Dhoomimal Art Centre, New Delhi
1984 – ‘Graphic Art’, Heritage Art Gallery, New Delhi
1980 – ‘Graphic’, Udipi, Bangalore
1976 – ‘Graphic’, Sarla Art Gallery, Chennai
1967 – ‘Painting’, Arts and Prints Gallery, Kolkata
1965 – ‘Painting’, Art and Industry Gallery, Kolkata


2011 – ‘Manifestations V’, Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi
2010 – ‘Contemporary Printmaking In India’, presented by Priyasri Art Gallery, Mumbai at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai; Priyasri Art Gallery, Mumbai
2010 – ‘Summer Show 2010′, Centre of International Modern Art (CIMA), Kolkata
2010 – ‘Manifestations IV’, Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi
2007-08 – ‘From Everyday To The Imagined: Modern Indian Art’, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore and at Museum of Art, Seoul National University, Seoul
1996 – ‘Indian Miniature Painting’, Hong Kong
1986 – II Biennale, Havana
1985 – ‘Indian Print Making Today’, Helsinki, Finland
1985 – ‘Indian Print Making Today’, Bonn, Germany
1985 – ‘Indian Graphic in Indian Fair’, USA
1984 – 2nd Asian Art Biennale, Bangladesh
1982 – Exhibition of Indian Graphic, Havana, Cuba
1980 – 3rd World Biennale of Graphic Art, London
1980 – 3rd World Biennale of Graphic Art, Baghdad
1974 – 2nd Norwegian Prints Biennale, Norway
1974 – 4th International Exhibition of Original Drawing, Rajeka, Yugoslavia
1976 – International Exhibition, Berlin
1974 – International Exhibition of Graphic Art, Prechem
1973 – Prime Internagionale Biella, Italy
1973 – Contemporary Indian Prints Exhibition, Germany
1973 – 10th Ljubijna Biennale, Yugoslavia
1971 – VII Paris Biennale, Paris
1971 – 2nd British Biennale, London
1956 – World Youth Festival Art Exhibition, Prague

Award & Recognition:

1981 – All India Graphic and Drawing Exhibition, Chandigarh
1978 – Award for Graphic Art and Drawing, India
1976 – Birla Academy Award for Graphic Art, India
1971 – National Award in Graphic Art, India
1959 – West Bengal Lalit Kala Academy’s Award for Graphic Art, India

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