We are delighted to announce that Kolkata’s new art landmark, Zeoline Art Gallery, has finally opened its doors. The inauguration ceremony was a close-knit, intimate event with 40 guests, the formalities lasted for not more than 3 hours, followed by a get-to-know session with two prominent artists present, Shri Lalu Prasad Shaw and Shri Jogen Chowdhury on their love for Indian art. There was no better way to embark on the journey than with live paintings by the most famous artist of all time. Mr. Lalu Prasad Shaw honoured the celebration with live art creations in his inimitable style.
Belonging to the 1960s generation of Indian artists, Lalu began his career with oil painting, focusing on still life and experimenting with specific organic shapes. Frequently presenting pleasant moments from his personal life in his paintings, the senior artist is most often inspired by nature and the surroundings of the Bengali middle class.
Through his paintings, Shaw captures the expressions of his subjects with a great economy of line and colour. His art is a distinctive blend of traditional Indian forms and academic forms. His attempts to explore outside the realms of institutional training heavily influenced his later works.
Shaw’s paintings are characterized by their minimalist yet sophisticated looks achieving an impressive effect through seamlessly blending different stylistic elements. Many of his works are included in the permanent collections of various art galleries in Kolkata, including the Birla Academy and the Art Forum in Singapore.
In addition to exhibiting extensively across India and abroad, Shaw has been a part of several prestigious international shows including the second British Biennale in 1970, two Norwegian Print Biennials in 1974 and 1978, the seventh Paris Biennale in 1971, and the second Asian Art Biennale in Bangladesh in 1984.
Where It All Began – Bengal Art And Its History
Like the rest of India, Bengal’s art was also greatly influenced by British colonial rule. The European arrival was marked by a relative insensitivity to folk art and native art traditions. Artworks were ordered and curated mostly by European settlers. Several movements were inspired by Ajanta and Ellora paintings, Mughal techniques, European art, and Japanese art. Together, these movements gave rise to the revivalist art style. Its unique style of watercolour paintings depicting literary, historical, and mythological themes captured the nationalistic zeal of the Bengal School of Art. “Bharat Mata” is an iconic painting by Abanindranath Tagore from the Bengal School in which the artist represents India as a young woman with four arms holding objects which symbolize her national aspirations. Art from the Bengal School extended throughout India and is regarded as India’s earliest form of art.
It celebrated humanism and gave voice to Indian identity, freedom, and liberation through a fusion of folk art, Indian painting traditions, Hindu imagery, and indigenous materials
As private collectors in Bengal became more interested in art, public exhibitions began to flourish, aided by the Indian Museum and the Academy of Fine Arts in Kolkata. During the 1980s, it was usual for Kolkata’s artistically minded people to seek inspiration at the Academy of Fine Arts and the Government College of Art & Craft. Things began to alter in the city as more art galleries appeared in the 1990s. With a rising number of art galleries, Kolkata, India’s cultural and intellectual capital, provides spectators with a plethora of options for discovering Bengal’s artistic trends from the 18th century to the present.