Raqib Shaw

Raqib Shaw

Born in Calcutta in 1974, Raqib Shaw now lives and works in London. A graduate of London’s Central Saint Martins College, he has developed a fantastic universe that straddles the monstrous and the erotic. His paintings lie somewhere between the categories of fine art and applied art. Shaw’s landscapes, bustling with chimeras, are line-drawn with an evident mastery of classical draftsmanship. The colours are arranged as though a silversmith’s compartmentalizing techniques has been used. Shaw fastidiously chooses radiant tones, enlivening his images with coloured enamel and metallic paint. His dreamlike landscapes draw from decorative and floral motifs, as well as the bestiary. He is inspired by crafts like silversmithing, tapestry work, and jewellery making. Each image seems to be an illustration of a marvellous and cruel tale written by the artist, based upon his aesthetic encounters. His work evokes the seething and malevolent universe of Jerôme Bosch, as well as British traditions, circumvolutions of medieval heraldry, and the detail and refinement of Persian miniatures.

Solo exhibitions


Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France



Raqib Shaw, Rudolfinium, Prague

Raqib Shaw, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester



Of Beasts and Super Beasts, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris



Paradise Lost, White Cube, London



Absence of God, White Cube, London

Absence of God, Karlsplatz Project Space, Kunsthalle Wien, Wien



Raqib Shaw At The Met, The Metropollitan Museum, New York



Art Now: Raqib Shaw, Tate Britain, London

Raqib Shaw: Garden Of Earthly Delights, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami



Raqib Shaw: Garden of Earthly Delights, Deitch Projects, New York



Raqib Shaw: Garden of Earthly Delights, Victoria Miro Gallery, London

Group exhibitions


Eurasia. A view on painting, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris Pantin



7th Asia Pacific Triennal, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane

Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy, London    

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times. Rebirth and Apocalypse in Contemporary Art, 1st Kiev Biennale Arsenale    

Phantoms of Asia, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco 



Asian Contemporary Art from Private Collections, Singapore Art Museum     

A Dream of Eternity, Villa Empain, Brussels     

Painting Between the Lines, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco    

East ex East, Brand New Gallery, Milan



Kupferstichkabinett: Between Thought and Action, White Cube, London

The Beauty of Distance: 17th Biennale of Sydney", Sydney

Resonance, Suntory Museum, Osaka, Japan



Nightmare full of unspeakable things, Concept V, New York

Taswir: Pictorial Mappings of Islam and Modernity, Martin-Gropius Bau, Berlin

Flower Power, Villa Giulis - CRAA Centro Ricerca Arte Attuale, Verbania, Italy

Die Macht DesOrnaments (The Power Of Ornament), Belvedere, Vienna



Panic room - Works from The Dakis Joannou Collection, Deste Foundation, Centre for Contemporary Art, Athens



Around the World in Eighty Days, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London

The Sixth Gwangju Biennale: Fever Variation, Gwangju, South Korea      Without Boundary: Seventeen Ways of Looking, The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Passion for Paint, National Gallery, London

Passion for Paint, Bristol City and Art Gallery, Avon

Passion for Paint, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle

Dan Attoe, Elliot Hundley, Raqib Shaw: There's No Fooling You (The Classics), Peres Projects, Los Angeles



Expanded Painting, Prague Biennale, Prague



Plantmania! Art and the World of Plants, Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens



Nation and Nature; Vaster than Empires, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery

Nation and Nature; Vaster than Empires, Worcester City Art Gallery

Nation and Nature; Vaster than Empires, The Yard Gallery, Nottingham

Nation and Nature; Vaster than Empires, Lethaby Gallery, London



Direction 2002, The London Institute Gallery, London

Chancellor's Forum, London College of Fashion, London



Future Map 2001, Lethaby Gallery, London






Martin Herbert, Kupferstichkabinett: Between Thought and Action, Time Out, 5 August                 

Ted Loos, Eastern Promise, The Wall Street Journal, 21 October



Unknown, Raqib Shaw: Absence of God at Kunsthalle Wien, Artdaily.org, 19 November

Unknown, Raqib shaw: Absence of God opens at Kunsthallw Wien, 19 November

Zehra Jumabhoy,  Raqib shaw: Absence of God, ArtAsiaPacificm September and October

Unknown, Critics choice galleries, Time Out, 2-8 July

Fisun Guner, London Lowdown: Art Review" Raqub Shaw - Absence of God, Metrolife, 26 May

Unknown, Critics: Choice Galleries, Time Out, 21-27 May

Ben Lewis, An Orgy of Animal Spirits, The Evening Standard, 21 May

Norman Rosenthal, The World's most magical artist, The Telegraph review, 16 May

Unknown. Critics' choice, Time Out, 14-20 May

Unknown. In the Studio: Raqib Shaw, Time Out, 14-20 May

Karen Rosenberg. Starting from Holbein, Then Taking Flight, The New York Times, 2 January



Pernilla Holmes,  Is Art Having an Indian Summer?, The Financial Times, 2 August

Various Contributors. "Power 2008", Art & Auction, December

Amit Roy, Calcutta-born 'upstart' set for Sotheby's rebirth, The Telegraph - India, 28 April



Amrita Jhaveri, Where I Work - Raqib Shaw, Art Asia Pacific, Issue 56, November/December

Uma Nair, Heavenly work, Earthly delights, The Ecnomic Times, 27 October

Raqib Shaw, Quintessentially Art, Autumn

Amanda Couslon, Art & Market, Tema Celeste, January-February



Nick Hackworth, Violence and Beauty Collide, Evening Standard, 1 December

Martin Herbert, Against Nature, Modern Painters, September

David Galloway, Fantastic, Aquatic, Orgiastic, ARTnews, September

Paul Laster, In the Garden of Eden, Art Asia Pacific, Issue no. 47, Winter

P.C. Smith,  Looking for Islam, artnet.com, 15 March

Glenn D. Lowry, Gained in Translation, ARTnews, Volume 105, Number 3, March 2

Holland Cotter, What Does Islam Look Like?, New York Times, February 26



Bridget L. Goodbody, Raqib Shaw, Time Out New York, September 22-28

Holland Cotter, Raqib Shaw, The New York Times, Friday 30th September



Richard Dyer, Raqib Shaw in conversation, Wasafiri, Issue no.42, Summer

Dean Rhys Morgan, Freize Frame Interviews, AXM Magazine, October

Eliza Williams, Raqib Shaw, Tema Celeste, June

Rox Exley, Raqib Shaw, Flash Art, No. 236, May - June

Colin Gleadell, Contemporary Market, Daily Telegraph, 29 March

Laura Cumming, Lost in the Small Print, The Observer Review, 14 March

Rebecca Geland, Review: Raqib Shaw - Victoria Miro Gallery, Time Out, 3 March

Jessica Lack, Garden Of Earthly Delights, The Guardian, 1 March

Raqib Shaw, AXM Magazine, March issue

Sebastian Preuss, AD Magazine, issue 47, 3 March

Riki Simons, Elsevier, issue  9, 28 Feb

Massimo Torrigiani, We Are Animals, Boiler Magazine, Issue.4

Fisun Guner, Dazzled By the Sight, Metro London, 20 Feb

Morgan Falconer, Pleasure Gardens, What's On, 18 Feb

Richard Dyer, London News, Contemporary Magazine, Issue 60

Alex Poulson, Raqib Shaw, Dazed + Confused





17th Biennale Of Sydney. The Beauty Of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age, Biennale of Sydney, Austrailia, Sydney

Susan May, Kupferstichkabinett: Between Thought and Action, White Cube, London



Homi K. Bhabha, Absence of God, White Cube, London

Flower Power, Villa Giulis - CRAA Centro Ricerca Arte Attuale, Verbania, Italy



Around the World in Eighty Days, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London

Panic Room: Works from The Dakis Joannou collection, Centre for Contemporary Art, Deste Foundation, Athens

The Sixth Gwangju Biennale: Fever Variations, Gwangju Biennale Foundation, South Korea

Without Boundary: Seventeen Ways of Looking, The Museum of Modern Art, New York



David Rimanelli, Raqib Shaw - Garden of Earthly Delights, Deitch Projects, New York

Giancarlo Politi, Editor, Expanded Painting, Prague Biennale 2, Prague



Nature and Nation: Vaster then Empires, Hasting Museum and Art Gallery, UK



Uta Grosenick, ART NOW, Taschen

Public and private collections

Tate Britain, London

Museum of Modern Art, New York

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York