Shuvaprasanna was born in 1947, studied at the Indian College of Art in Calcutta. He is a painter, printmaker, educator, writer and an art activist all in one.
The city of Kolkata has always figured prominently in his work. His themes come from his personal interactions with its urban milieu – its sickness and sordidness, its violence and vulnerability and all that compounds its existential agony. In the 1960s and 1970s his work was influenced by the turbulence and political violence of Kolkata.
Shuvaprasanna has depicted varying moods of the city and its people, its places, and all its facets that make the city distinctive. As he states, ‘There isn’t another city like Kolkata anywhere in the world. In the heart of it, I find innumerable themes, subjects.’ He doesn’t merely portray reality as ‘matter of fact’ and his presentation of reality often has dream-like elements in it. In terms of technique, Shuvaprasanna boasts a precise, finely executed style that yields an unmistakable visual intensity. He works comfortably in an assortment of media, including oil on canvas, charcoal, and mixed media.
Explaining his thought-process and philosophy as a painter, he notes: ‘What every creator wishes to achieve is a universal appeal. There should be no language problem while judging the merits of a painting. One should go beyond themes, beyond words. There can be no clear cut definition for feelings, nor should you wish to seek any logical explanation.’
The iconic figures of Radha, Krishna and Doorga in Shuvaprasanna’s icon series works have a lyrical expression with contemporary representations. Shuvaprasanna is the recipient of several awards including the AIFACS, State Lalit Kala Academy and Birla Academy Awards. He has attended numerous workshops and artists residencies, and has also written on matters of art and issues of social concern and his art has been exhibited in over 50 solo and group shows in various Indian cities and around the world including the Biennales at Bangladesh, Havana and Ankara and VII Triennale India. He was an active member of the ‘Calcutta Painters’ group. His works are featured in the collections of National Gallery of Modern Art, Lalit Kala Academy and College of Art, New Delhi; and several Individual and Institutional collections in India and abroad.