Artist Lalu Prasad Shaw tells stories in tempera at his solo exihibition in Art Exposure, Kolkata

Veteran Artist Lalu Prasad shaw's latest showcase shifts between dream and reality

Sharmistha Ghosal Published :  11th January 2019 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  11th January 2019 12:00 AM

Painting by Lalu Prasad Shaw

Renowned artist Lalu Prasad Shaw’s ability to conjure up experience through the shape and weight of lines and rhythms of composition on canvas is provoking to say the least. Gallery art Exposure will hold the 82-year-old painter’s solo exhibition, The Stories We Tell Ourselves, from today. Expect a showcase 26 paintings of the artist, curated by art critic Nanak Ganguly. His works in tempera are in bright hues of red, yellow, green, blue, purple and ochre depicting nature and man in various moods.

Lalu Prasad Shaw's Bibi

The fine yet bold lines and opaque colour formats, symbolise the intricacy and depth of his perception of life. His precise brush strokes, carefully filled flat spaces and subtle colours complement each other to create distinctive visuals. There is a sense of stillness in his paintings. He uses combination of thin and thick lines to give dimension to the flat surface.

“Shaw’s sense of proportion is amazing. Each stroke delineates his hardship through which the artist has channelised himself to reach his desired place of tranquillity. The Stories We Tell Ourselves, will give everyone a chance to view a series of his drawings and paintings that deal with different elements of our surroundings in a totally new format,” says Uma Mitra, proprietor, Art Exposure.

Painting by Lalu Prasad Shaw

The series of paintings are open to interpretations and the ideas behind them seem to have been conceived in isolation by the artist, feels Ganguly. “Far from excluding content, the works aim at providing a screen to the viewer on which he can project his own experience provoked by the artist,” explains Ganguly.

Ganguly avers that though a few paintings from his famed Babu Bibi series will  be showcased in this exhibition, there will also be other drawings,where his enormous erudition and sense of form and texture are present.

Lord Ganesha by Lalu Prasad Shaw on display at Art Exposure, Kolkata

The traditionally held view of Shaw as a bridge between the classic and the avant-garde artists of the 60s and the following decades is only partially true and is an oversimplification, feels Ganguly. “Despite his vast contribution in the making of a language that marks the emergence of Indian contemporary art in the 60s and 70s of the past century, the younger Indian artists drew inspiration from his work and moved ahead in different directions, developing a language of their own,” he adds.

Painting by Lalu Prasad Shaw

Since the late 50s to the present his etchings, paintings, and sculptures has presented a challenging, half-mocking conundrum to the viewer. The bareness of the image forces the viewer to consider the idea behind uneventful painted space.“Seductive yet austere paintings float weightlessly, unconstrained by necessity, yet no less connected to material realm,” tells Ganguly.


The exhibition will be on till February 5 at Art Exposure, Mahanirban Road.