Lalu Prasad Shaw is a self-trained artist who emerged as one of the leading figures among Indian graphic artists during the resurgence of printmaking in the late sixties. He made a name for himself both in India and abroad, winning acclaim, accolades and cementing himself as one of the best in the field. More than printmaking, he is also one of the few painters who led Bengal art in a new direction when Indian art was in dire need of a fresh beginning.
It was during the early 1970s when he joined Kala Bhavana as a faculty member that his art took to this new direction of painting after getting inspired by Company Period Lucknow temperas. This switch to an entirely new idiom and media was a stretch from the abstract graphics that he did for long; however, it did not clash with his pursuit of figuration.
In the picture, the lady is standing with a gentle gesture while enjoying a quiet time of leisure. She exudes an air of elegance and refinement seen in her posture, accessories, and entire demeanor. The portrait is achieved with bright flat colors and tidy lines while confined within borders, an idiom fashioned from diverse sources of native pictorial tradition. As with his early temperas, there is an obvious reference to the Bengal School but evolved to bear the imprint of a modernist sensibility.
Manasij Majumder, Lalu Prasad Shaw: A Dual Discourse, The Fine Art Advisory, Dubai, unpaginated
Auction Catalogue – South Asian Art – ‘Modern and Contemporary’ – March 12 -16, 2020