Friday Review » Art

Updated: October 3, 2012 19:13 IST

Bringing Kalighat to Delhi

Tehreem Hashmi
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Feminine imprint: A Lalu Prasad Shaw creation.
The Hindu
Feminine imprint: A Lalu Prasad Shaw creation.

Lalu Prasad Shaw held an exhibition of his paintings recently

Lalu Prasad Shaw, the 85-year-old artist born and based in Kolkata, showcased his artworks at the Indus Art Gallery in the Capital recently. Titled ‘Interpreter of Dreams’, the solo show comprised 40 paintings, 20 of which were in tempera colours. This linked him with the old traditions of mural paintings, Rajasthani and Mughal miniatures and Kalighat paintings.

Shedding light on the title of the exhibition, Shaw said, “My artworks are based on memories, this is the reason I named it Interpreter of Dreams.” In the manner of Kalighat paintings, Shaw’s works are predominantly portraits of women and couples. The women never look directly in the eyes of the viewers, they look inwards. “The emphasis is on eyes, they are particularly beautiful and deep as they are the main element in my works,” said Shaw. With the elegant economy of line and colour, Shaw captures the emotions and personality traits of these characters.

The figures of Shaw are people who appear to live in a world other than the one they inhabit, one that holds their attention even while they negotiate their way through everyday realities. The women are seen in various poses, sitting, standing, lost in thought, waiting for someone or something endlessly.

Shaw carries forward the Kalighat style of painting which was best exemplified by Jamini Roy. “I always try to capture original Kalighat style as it is very close to my heart,” he said, adding, “My paintings are my expression. I talk in the language of images.”

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