Shyamal Dutta Ray Biography

Shyamal Dutta Ray





Shyamal Dutta Ray, painter and printmaker, was born in Ranchi, Bihar, India on May 8, 1934. He studied at the Government College of Art and Craft in Kolkata between 1950 and 1955 and completed his diploma in painting. He taught briefly at the Jagadbandu Institution in Kolkuta from 1954 to 1956.

In 1968, Dutta Ray co-founded the Painters '80 Group and, in 1999, he became a member of the Society of Contemporary Artists, Kolkuta. He began his career painting with oil paint but changed to watercolor and became one of the most accomplished watercolorists of modern Indian art. His approach to painting yielded highly intense watercolors that veered from the traditional to a more vibrant yet reflective style. Dutta Ray wrote about his work: “The imagery in my paintings comes mostly from my personal experiences. It is the visual world and its influences on me, that I try to reveal on my canvas.”

Dutta Ray won a gold medal from the Academy of Fine Art, Kolkuta in 1958; and the Rabindra Bharati University Award, Kolkuta in 1968; the National Award from Lalit Kala Adademi, New Delhi; and given the prestigious Shiromoni Puraskar award in 1988.

His work is represented in the National Museum of Modern Art, Baghdad; the Chittagong University Museum, Bangladesh; the Shilpa Kala Academy and the Government College of Arts, Dhaka; the Glenbarra Museum of Art, Hemeji; the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi.

Shyamal Dutta Ray died on 19 May 2005.