Art needn’t be realistic – but it absolutely must be truthful.” This is the philosophy of renowned artist Lalu Prasad Shaw, an ideology he truthfully represents in his latest painting exhibition.
An art enthusiast from a very young age, Shaw was captivated by the technique of painting pictures in suspended animation.
He says, “I tried to unlearn all that I was taught under the norms of academic art, in pursuit of a medium to depict restlessness through abstractions and geometry.” The collection houses a number of Shaw’s paintings that project a sense of restlessness and suppressed agitation through the stillness.
Centered around the Bengali middle class, which is his hallmark, he portrays women in various emotional states.
A set of three paintings in shades of black, portray the evolution of a woman from the traditional stereotyped homemakers to the modern woman with no heavy gold jewellery.
The central picture is a stencil sketch, which along with the modern woman looking sideways at the traditional woman, depict a sly mockery of the state of living and the social status in the olden days.
Other works portray, in an abstract manner, feministic sentiments of the artist.
The pictures are arranged in a logically sequential manner, which include men smoking at various junctures and women in a serene and calm state of mind.
The mental state of the women’s mind, who are seen waiting for their loved ones to return is another aspect in the paintings.
Shaw indulges in abstract depiction with a section of his paintings portraying women as an apple and men as butterflies seen rejoicing in the essence of the fruit.
The paintings portray a deliberate lack of visual depth, which indicates that the painting itself is a depiction with the true message being revealed on careful scrutiny.
These are enough to captivate one’s total attention in the search of the real meaning behind them.
The exhibition is open till May 30 at the Shristi Art Gallery in Jubilee Hills.