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Biography for Shanti Panchal RWS RBA (1951)

Shanti Panchal is a leading London-based Indian artist with an international reputation. He has won the 1991 National Portrait Gallery/BP Portrait Award, was Artist-in-Residence at the National Gallery in London in 1994, and was a 2003 nominee for the UK Asian Achievers Awards. During 2010-11 he was included in the Tate Britain initiated touring exhibition, and has had a painting commissioned in 1989 and recently bought a painting of his sons in Afghanistan by The Imperial War Museum. Last year he was the winner of the prestigious Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize for a painting titled 'Artist and the Lost Studio'.

Born in 1951 in Mesar in the state of Gujarat, Shanti Panchal studied art at the JJ School of Art in Mumbai where he also worked on a fellowship for a year. Further study at the Byam Shaw School of Art in London on a British Council Scholarship directed his future track that included a stint as artist-in-residence at the British Museum in London.

For over twenty five years Panchal has worked solely in watercolour not prepared to accept the conventional limits he pushes the boundaries of his medium, developing a unique way of using watercolour that is close to the art of fresco, building layer upon layer almost in a meditative state of being.

Only by living away from the culture of his formative years, Shanti is able to crystallize his thoughts and vision hence when Shanti talks about his paintings he explains:

“The earthen colours of my palette relate to my early years spent in a village in Gujarat, Western India.  It is strange but through these experiences I found myself inspired to develop a very personal visual language.  In my paintings of the family in which I grew up, where western notions of privacy were absent, the characters manage to create their own inner space and the lack of privacy often highlights their essential loneliness.”

Many of Panchal’s paintings include graceful figures with large dark soulful eyes illustrating a personal vision suspended in time taking on an almost mythological atmosphere. In all of this artist’s compositions he creates a narrative questioning our place in the world, literally illuminating the everyday until it is full of beauty. He creates an intimacy which draws us closer to another culture and presents an insight into the artists mind.

Andrew Lambirth wrote.’ ('Luminous Serenity', The Spectator, January 2007)   His... 'Are luminous images of great poise and dignity, which quite often attain gravity unusual in contemporary portraiture... Shanti Panchal, through a thorough understanding of interval and placement and a palette which is both powerful and subtle, makes paintings of rare poetry and eloquence.'

Born Mesar (Gujarat), India

Studied Sir JJ School of Art, Bombay

1976 Fellowship Sir JJ School of Art, Bombay
1976-78 Taught Sophia College Polytechnic, Bombay
1978-80 Studied Byam Shaw School of Art, London (British Council Scholarship)
1994 Artist-in-residence, British Museum, London and Harris Museum, Preston
2000 Artist in Residence, Winsor & Newton Art Factory, London
Invited to meet HRH Prince Charles at St James’s Palace as a shortlisted artist for the W & N Millennium Art Award
2001 TV Interview with Richard Cork, a touring show opened at the Pitshanger Manor Gallery, London
2005 Invited to contribute in BBC series of ‘Masterpieces of the East’ with British Museum
2010 Curated a show ‘Paintings by Five’ at The MP Birla Millennium Art Gallery, London
2016 Invited as an Honorary Member at the Royal Society of British Artist RBA, London
2017 Invited as an Honorary Member at the Royal Watercolour Society RWS, Bankside Gallery, London
Shortlisted for the ‘Portrait Artist of the Year 2018’ by Sky Television

One Person Exhibitions
1978 Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai
1980 Arts 38 Gallery, London
1983 October Gallery, London
1984 St Botolph’s, Aldgate curated by the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
1988-90 Earthen Shades: Paintings by Shanti Panchal, Arts Council funded touring exhibition, curated by Cartwright Hall, Bradford and Castlefield Gallery, Manchester , touring to:
Kirklees, Huddersfield Cleveland Gallery, Middlesborough
Oriel Gallery, Cardiff Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne
Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth Newlyn Oriel Gallery, Penzance
Third Eye, Glasgow Castle Museum & Art Gallery, Nottingham
1991 Square Gallery, London
1992 Royal Festival Hall, The South Bank Centre, London
1993 Museum of Modern Art, Oxford
1998 Shanti Panchal: The Windows of the Soul, Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham and
1999 Midlands Art Centre, Birmingham
2000 Chappel Galleries, Chappel, Essex
Shanti Panchal: Private Myths, Pitshanger Manor Gallery, London touring to
2001 Cartwright Hall, Bradford, Blackburn Museum and Art Galleries, Blackburn and
2002 Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry.
2003 Berni Gallery, Jersey Art Centre, Jersey, Channel Islands.
Shanti Panchal: A Personal Journey, The British Council, touring to Jehangir Art Gallery and Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai, curated by Usha Mirchandani and Phiroza Godrej.
2006-07 Shanti Panchal: In the Mind’s eye, Chelmsford Museum, Chelmsford, Essex.
2011 Shanti Panchal: curated by Oliver and Ann Mannion, The Bossanyi Studio, (part of Hillingdon open studios). Pinner
2013 Shanti Panchal: Paintings of Exile and Home, Piano Nobile Gallery, Holland Park, London
Recent paintings by Shanti Panchal, Hayletts Gallery, Maldon, Essex
2014 Paintings by Shanti Panchal, The Gallery at HAC, Harrow, London
2016 A Way of Watercolour by Shanti Panchal, Hayletts Gallery, Maldon, Essex
2016-17 Shanti Panchal: Ragas of the Dawn, Kings Place/ Piano Nobile, London

Selected Group Exhibitions
1980 Grand Prix International D’Art Contemporain, Monte Carlo, Monaco
1982 Between Two Worlds, Barbican Gallery, London.
Gallerie Nina Dausset, Paris
1982-87 Whitechapel Open, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
1983 Contemporary British Watercolours, Bankside Gallery, London
1985-87 JP Portrait Award Exhibition, National Portrait Gallery, London
1987 On a Plate, Serpentine Gallery, London
1987-89 John Moores Liverpool exhibition 15 and 16, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
1988 Gujarati Indian Artists, Leicester Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester
1988-90 The Contemporary Art Society, Smith Galleries, London
1989 On Commission: The Artistic Records Committee 1972-89, Imperial War Museum, London
Figuratively Speaking, The Bankside Gallery, London
1989-90 The Tree of Life: New images of an ancient symbol, Cornerhouse Manchester, curated by the South Bank Centre and tour
1990-91 The South Bank Picture Show, Royal Festival Hall, London
1991 BP Portrait Award exhibition, National Portrait Gallery, London
1993 Innocence and Experience: Images of children in British art from 1600 to the present, curated by Manchester City Art Gallery, Manchester and tour
Discerning Eye, invited by the Judge Stephen Tumim, The Mall Galleries, London
Cadences of the Heart: Works from South Asia in British Collections, Mead Gallery, Coventry
1995-96 Splash: Contemporary watercolour painting, curated by Walsall Museum and Art Gallery and tour
1996 Talking Pictures, Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Nottingham
Under Anden Himmel: International Triennale, Copenhagen,
1997 The Judge Hangs: a personal selection by Sir Stephen Tumim, Michael Parkin Gallery, London
1999 Watercolour C21, Bankside Gallery, London
Chichester Open Art Exhibition, Edes House, Chichester
2000 W & N World-wide millennium painting competition, London, Brussels, Stockholm and New York
An Exemplary Life, Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery, Suffolk
Cultural Ties, Jariwala/Westzone Gallery, London
2001 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London
The Singer & Friedlander / Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, London, Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham
2002 Intimacy, The Lowry, Manchester.
2003 Shantipath, Tao Art Gallery, Worli, Mumbai, India.
2004 Anticipations, Fine Art Resource, Jehangir Art Gallery and The Museum Gallery, Mumbai, India.
2005 Faith, Castle Museum, Nottingham
Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize first open exhibition, London.
2006-8 Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Mall Galleries, London and Manchester
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London
Indian Images, Art Pilgrim, London
2007 Rigard and Ritual (two persons show) Ben Uri Gallery, The London Jewish Museum of Art, curated by Rachel Dickson & Julia Weiner, touring to
2008 CCi Space (university Gallery launch) Portsmouth.
2008-9 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London
Ananya, an overview of contemporary art, Visual Arts Gallery and Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India
2008-9 RWS/ Sunday Times watercolour competition, Bankside Gallery, London and touring
Anglo-Indian Express, a group show, Grosvenor Gallery, London
2009-10 Portrait Prize Winners, A Gallery, Wimbledon, London, curated by Beatriz Hernandes
2009-10 At the Edge, British Art 1950-2000, organised by and touring to Touchstone Rochdale, Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston, Gallery Oldham and Bolton Museum & Art Gallery
2010 Watercolour in Britain, curated by the Tate Britain, touring to Castle Museum Norwich, Millenium Gallery Sheffield, Laing Art Gallery Newcastle
2010 Group Exhibition, KIAF, Korea International Art Fair, SumeriaLunn/Hanmi Gallery, Seoul
2010 The New English Art Club, Open Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
2010-11 Light, Passion & Darkness, presented by Touchstones Rochdale and touring to Gallery Oldham and Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery
2010-12 The Sunday Times watercolour Competition, Mall Galleries, London
2011 National Open Art Competition, Minerva Theatre, Chichester, West Sussex
2011-12 Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Mall Galleries, London
2011-13 Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Competition & Exhibition, Kings Place Gallery, London and touring to
2012 University Gallery, Newcastle
2012-17 RWS Open Exhibition, Bankside Gallery, London
2012 The Sunday Times watercolour competition, London and the Lightbox Gallery, Woking, Surrey.
2012-16 The Threadneedle Prize exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
2013 Royal Society of British Artists, Mall Galleries, London
2013 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London
2013-17 Self and Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Mall Galleries, London
2013-14 Catalyst: Contemporary Art and War, Imperial War Museum North, Manchester
2015 Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Competition & Exhibition, Kings Place Gallery, London and touring to Pallant House
Gallery, Chichester.
2015-17 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London
2016 Ruth Borchard Collection: The Next Generation, Self-Portraiture in the 21st Century, Piano Nobile/Kings Place, London
2016 100 for 100: Ben Uri Past Present Future, Christies, London
2016-17 Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
Royal Society of British Artist’s 300 Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
RBA member exhibition at The Russell Gallery, London
Autumn Collections, Chappel Galleries, Colchester, Essex
2017-18 The Past is Now: Birmingham and the British Empire, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Selected Awards
1974 Bombay Art Society, Bombay
1976 Maharashtra State Art Exhibition, Bombay
1983 Chris Beetles Award, RSW Bankside Gallery, London
1984 First Prize, Royal Overseas League, London
1987 John Moores Liverpool Exhibition 15, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
1989 First Prize, London Paperworks, Square Gallery, London
1990 South Bank Picture Show, Royal Festival Hall, London
1991 BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, London
South Bank Picture Show, Royal Festival Hall, London
1999 First Prize, Chichester Open Art Exhibition, Edes House, Chichester
2000 The Year of the Artists Award, London Arts, London
2001 First Prize, The Singer & Friedlander/ Sunday Times watercolour competition, London
Shortlisted artist for the Financial Times/ Arts & Business Awards, London
2002 Nominated and shortlisted Artist for the Guild of British Asian Awards, London
2003 Nominated artist for the Asian Achievers Awards, UK
The British Council Award (to exhibit work in India)
2010 The Artist Prize, RWS Open Exhibition, Bankside Gallery, London
2012 Second Prize, The Sunday Times watercolour competition, London
2015 Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize, Kings Place/Piano Nobile, London
2016 Eastern Eye Award for Arts, RFH, Southbank Centre, London

Selected Commissions
1985 Public Art (40 x 30 Ft. Mural) in Shadwell, Greater London Council, London.
National Garden Festival, City Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent.
Homerton Hospital, Whitechapel Art Gallery and Public Art Trust
1989 Imperial War Museum, London.
1993 Public Art (3 Tiled Murals 2.5 x 30 meters each) in City Centre, London Borough of Harrow
1996 H. Goldie and Co Ltd for De Beers, London.
Co-op Society CWS, Manchester
1997 Commissioned artist for two stained glass windows, London
2006 B. Arunkumar / Rosyblue, Mumbai

Public & Corporate Collections
Arthur Anderson Collection, London H. Goldie and Co Ltd, London
Arts Council Collection Homerton Hospital, Hackney, London
B Arunkumar / Rosyblue, Mumbai Imperial War Museum, London
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham Inder Pasricha Fine Art
Blackburn Museum & Art Galleries, Blackburn Lalit Kala Academy, Ahmedabad
British Museum, London Leicestershire Museums, Arts and Records service, Leicester
Cartwright Hall, Bradford Meghraj Bank, London
Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Nottingham Meghraj Group, Jersey
Coopers and Lybrand Collection, London Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke- On- Trent
Co-op Society CWS, Manchester Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Collection, London
Cymroza Art Gallery, Bombay Singer & Friedlander Group plc, London
De Beers, London Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston Walsall Museum and Art Gallery, Walsall
Harrow Education Authority, Harrow, Winsor & Newton Art Factory, Harrow

Selected Bibliography
1980 Max Wykes-Joyce, Shanti Panchal: Arts 38 Gallery, Arts Review, July 4
1981 Richard Cork, Art on View: Indian diversity, Evening Standard, April 15
1983 Mary Rose Beaumont, The Whitechapel Open Exhibition, Arts Review, April 1
Peterborough, London Day by Day: Mystery Prize, The Daily Telegraph, London July 15
1986 William Packer, East End’s local brew, Financial Times, January 28
1987 Stephen Games, Not just a pretty face: Bringing water to a dry ground: Shanti Panchal, The Independent, May 27
1988 Jenni Lomax and Nima Smith, Earthen Shades: Paintings by Shanti Panchal, catalogue essays, Cartwright Hall, Bradford and Castlefield Gallery, Manchester
Susan Morris, Shanti Panchal, Arts Review, London, July 1
1989 John Russell Taylor, The Show’s the thing, The Times, London, July 11
Marina Warner, The Tree of Life: New Images of an ancient Symbole, catalogue, South Bank Centre ISBN 1 85332 044 7
Frank Ruhrmund, Earthen Shades: Shanti Panchal, Arts Review, November
Sarah Kent, Back for Moores, Time Out 20/20 magazine Issue No. 8, November
1990 Philip Vann, Portrait of the Artist: Shanti Panchal, The Artist’s and Illustrator’s Magazine (cover page) Issue 43, April, Kaveri Ponnapa, Indian Images: the Paintings of Shanti Panchal, Swagat-IA Magazine, September Angela Summerfield, Shared experience: Shanti Panchal, interview, overseas ROSL Quarterly Journal, Sept – Nov.
1991 Kaveri Ponnapa, Bestriding two cultures: Shanti Panchal, The Times of India Saturday Review, Bombay, April 6
Tim Hilton, Choice: Shanti Panchal, The Guardian, London, November 23
1992 Marina Warner, catalogue essay, Shanti Panchal, Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, London.
Sarah Kent, Art Preview: Shanti Panchal, Time Out, July 29
Sara Holdsworth, catalogue, Innocence and Experience: images of children in British Art from 1600 to present, Manchester City Art Galleries ISBN 0 901673 00 5
Philip Vann, Seeing beyond the frame, RA Magazine, Preview No. 35, Summer, and Timeless Art: Shanti Panchal, Interview, Resurgence Magazine No. 153, July-August
John Russell Taylor, On an Indian painter who works in Britain, The Times, London, August 5
David Lee, Viewpoints: Shanti Panchal, Art Review, Vol XLIV August
1993 Sister Wendy Beckett, The Gaze of Love: Mediations on Art, Marshall Pickering book ( page 72-73 ) Harper Collins Publication, London ISBN 0 551 02810 6
Nima Smith, catalogue, Candences of the Heart : works from South Asia in British Collections, Mead Gallery, Coventry
Mark W L Scott, Editor’s Choice: Discerning Eye, Shanti Panchal, Watercolours, Drawings and Prints Magazine Vol 8 No1
1995 Sian Morgan, Shanti Panchal, Art & Craft Magazine, November
1996 Sir Stephen Tumim, My Cultural Life, The Guardian, London, September 13
1997 The Times Diary, People – Party on: The week ahead, Saturday Directory, The Times, London, March 29
1998 Philip Vann, Previews: Shanti Panchal, Galleries, Vol XV No. 12, May 1998, ISBN 0265 7511
Balraj Khanna and Aziz Kurtha, art of Modern India, Thames and Hudson (page 101) London, ISBN 0-500-23755-7
Robin Dutt, Focus On: Shanti Panchal, Artists and Illustrators Magazine, Issue 141, June
Richard Cork, catalogue essay, Shanti Panchal: The Windows of the Soul, Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham
1999 Terry Grimley, Drawing on two Culture Scenes, Birmingham Post, January
John Russell Taylor, The Big Show: Windows of the Soul, The Times, Metro (page 42), London, Feb 13
Samira Seth, Interview: A Double Life, Art India, The Contemporary Art Magazine Vol. 4, Issue 2, Apr-Jun
2000 Andrew Lambirth, catalogue essay, An Exemplary Life, Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery, Suffolk
Norbert Lynton, catalogue essay, Shanti Panchal: Private Myths, Pitshanger Manor Gallery, London.
Kapil Jariwala, Introduction, Cultural Ties, Westzone Publishing Ltd (page 128-9) London ISBN 1 903391 08 3
2001 Rich Jevons, Preview: Private Myths, The Leeds Guide, Leeds, January (page31)
Mick Rooney RA, Gallery VII, Royal Academy Illustrated, Summer Exhibition (page 104-114) London
Frank Whitford, Different strokes, The Sunday Times, Culture (page 6) London
Martin Gayford, Introductory Essay, BP Portrait Award 1990-2001, National Portrait Gallery (page 19) London ISBN 1 85514 328 3
Tracey Murkett, Inside Shanti Panchal’s Studio, an interview, Artist & Illustrators magazine, issue 183, December
2002 Sharmila Sagara, Profile: Shanti Panchal, the Times of India Ahmedabad, March 17.
Two Distanced Figures for Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, National Art Collections Fund, 2002 Review 2003 Laura Gascoigne, Panchal’s latest exhibition, The Spectator, London, June and Sight Specific, Shanti Panchal/ M.P. Birla Art Gallery, What’s On in London magazine, June 25 – July 2
Priya Singh, Beyond the Conventional, a conversation with Shanti Panchal, The Asian Journey, Asian Voice, London
Heather Wells, The stillness of being, Faith and the Artist, Initiative, issue 9, Summer.
Deborah Swellow, Shanti Panchal: An Introduction and Kamala Kapoor, On Shanti Panchal, catalogue asseys, Shanti Panchal: A Personal Journey, The British Council, Jehangir Art Gallery and Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai.
The Art of Shanti Panchal, Connecting magazine, British Council, Mumbai (cover page and page 11) October
Kanu Nayak, On Art of Shanti Panchal, Mumbai Samachar, Mumbai
Philip Vann, interview, Shanti Panchal: Timeless Art, Images of Earth & Spirit, published by Green Books Ltd. UK.,
A Resurgence art anthology, edited by John Lane and Satish Kumar. ISBN 1 903998 29 8 (page 34)
2004 Ranjit Hoskote, Introduction, Anticipations, Fine Art Resource, Jehangir Art Gallery and The Museum Gallery, Mumbai
2004/5 Richard Davey, Catalogue Interview, Shanti Panchal, Faith, Castle Museum, Nottingham ISBN 0 905634 70 5
2005 Dhruti Shah, Shanti Panchal at Christies Auction, Harrow Observer, London October 13
2006 Sushma Bahl, catalogue, Indian Images, Art Pilgrim, London, November
Amit Roy, Eye on England: Riots of Colours The Telegraph, Calcutta and Panchal’s Paintings, Mid-Day news, Mumbai, Sunday 24 December
2007 Philip Vann, Shanti Panchal, Galleries, volume XXIV No. 8, January 07 Issue 284 ISSN 0265-7511
Andrew Lambirth, Luminous Serenity, Shanti Panchal: In the Mind’s eye, Chelmsford Museum, The Spectator, 13 Jan.
Richard Davey, A Contemplative eye on everyday things, Shanti Panchal: In the Mind’s eye, Chelmsford Museum, CHURCHTIMES No 7507, London, 26 January
Nicholas Usherwood, catalogue essay, Rigard and Ritual, Ben Uri Gallery, The London Jewish Museum of Art, April. ISBN: 978-0-900157-05-9
Philip Vann, Subtle Vibrancy, Resurgence magazine, Sep/Oct 2007 No 244, ISSN 0034-5970 (page 40)
2008 Sushma Bahl, catalogue, Ananya, an overview of contemporary art, Visual Arts Gallery and Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India.
2011 Oliver Lange, Shanti Panchal in conversation, Watercolour with Impact, The Artist magazine, London, February ISSN 0004-3877 Vol.126 No.2 Issue 959 (pages 18-21)
500 Portraits, BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, London, ISBN 978 -1 -85514 -448 -4 (page 70)
Philip Vann, An Amazing Depth, Profile/London, Art Journal, Mumbai, India, Volume 3, Issue I & II (page 73-74)
2012 Hugh Pearman, Pleasures of a broad palette, The Sunday Times, Culture (page 12) London
2013 Andrew Lambirth,, Shanti Panchal: Paintings of Exile and Home, The Spectator, 25 May, ISSN 0038-6952
Philip Vann, Shanti Panchal: Paintings of Exile and Home, Piano Nobile, Galleries, May, Issue 358 ISSN 0265-511
Rani Singh, Shanti Panchal: A Renowned Painter Tackling Serious Issues, Asian Voice 22 June, VOL 42, Issue 8
2014 Ian Proctor, Award-winner’s ‘home’ exhibition, Harrow Observer, News, May 29 (page 24)
2014-5 Amie Mulderrig, Dreaming in Watercolour, Asian Inspired Magazine, London (Page 47)
2015 Amit Roy, Portrait of an Award Winner, Eastern Eye, 31 July
Jackie Wullschlager, Critics’ Choice, Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize 2015, FT Weekend, 1 August
Robin Blake, Gems, Financial Times, 27 August
2016 John Evans, Panchal’s dawn chorus of colour, Islington Tribune
Jackie Wullschlager, Critics’ choise, Shanti Panchal: Ragas of the Dawn, FT Weekend, 22/23 October

Hayletts Gallery, Oakwood House, 2 High Street, Maldon, Essex CM9 5PJ

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