1957 24th June, Udaipur (Rajasthan)
1981 Post graduation (Drawing & Painting), with Merit (Gold Medal) from (MLSU) University Udaipur.
1981 Gold Medal, M.A. (Drawing & Painting)
1985 Silver Medal, 17th Annual All India Exhibition of Painting organized by TKP, Udaipur.
1990 State Art Award 31st Annual Art Exhibition RLKA, Jaipur.
1996 Kalidasa consolation Prize, National Kalidasa Exhibition, Ujjain.
2003 Annual Exhibition Birla Academy of Art & Culture, Kolkata
1990 Fiber Glass Training from National Council of Science Museum, Calcutta.
1981-2004 National Exhibition of Art LKA, New Delhi.
1995-00 National Kalidasa Exhibition, Ujjain.
1982-00 Annual Exhibition of RLKA, Jaipur.
1981-98 An All India Exhibition of Art Chandigarh, Ahemdabad, Raipur (M.P.) Udaipur, New Delhi, Nagpur.
2001 1st Northern Region Art Exhibition org. by Camlin Art Foundation at AIFACS Gallery, New Delhi.
1995 National Level Workshop on Basohli Paintings, Mansar, Jammu.
1985 National Level Painting Camp, Org. by TKP, Udaipur.
1999 National Level Painting Camp, Suraj Kund, Harayana.
2001 Art Festival org. by National Lalit Kala Akademi, Lucknow.
2003 State level painters camp on kalidasa’s Ritusamharm Org. by Sanskrit sahity
akademi & R.L.K. Akademi, Jaipur.
2009 Painting Camp of Traditional and Contemporary org. Nirja Modi School, Jaipur.
1999 LTG Art Gallery, New Delhi.
1983 Shridharani Art Gallery, New Delhi.
1991 Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai.
1995 Taj Art Gallery, Mumbai.
1996 LTG Art Gallery, New Delhi.
1999 Art Forum Gallery, New Delhi.
2003 Birla Academy of Art & Culture, Kolkata.
2008 Journeys through Metaphysical Spirit, Academy of Fine Arts & Literature, New Delhi sponsor by Nitanjali Art Gallery.
1996 India Inter National Centre, Delhi.
1999 An Exhibition of Paintings inspired by India Cinema, India Habitate Centre, New Delhi.
2001-09 “Harvest” Painting Exhibition org. by Arushi Art Gallery, New Delhi.
2001 12th Anniversary Exhibition org. by Gallery Ganesha The Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
2002-09 “Harmony” Exhibition org. by Reliance Industries Ltd. At Nehru Centre, Mumbai.
2003-05 Art fore God’s Sake, The Art Trust, Mumbai.
2003 Indian old & contemporary painting exhibition Org. by Jawahar kala Kendra at Northern center culture center, Allahabad (U.P.)
2004 ‘SHADANGA’ group exhibition of painting and sculptures curated by Dr. Alka Pande, Visual Art Gallery, India Habitate Centre, New Delhi- Org. by Gallery Ganesha New Delhi.
2006 PARTATION: An Exhibit of contemporary paintings from Pakistan and India at HNTB Architecture, Washington, DC.
2007 Drops from the Ocean: Gandhi Memorial Center Library, Washington, DC.
2009 On the Edge, India tour exhibition organize by Australia-India Council at Jawahar Kala Kendra and at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi.
2009 “Timeless Treasures” paintings exhibition by Art Elements Gallery in association with Crowne Plaza, Delhi
LKA, New Delhi, Govt. Museum & Art Gallery, Chandigarh, Jawahar Kala Kendra Jaipur, Bharat Bhawan, Bhopal, The Leela Palace Kempinsiki & in various collection in India & abroad.
Poetry of the Brush
Throughout epochs and civilisations, miniature painting has unfolded a delight for the beholder's eye and a testimony to the precision and poetic potential of artists. An intimacy of scale, meticulous attention to detail and design, with resplendent coloration combine to render a jewel-like journey of the painter's vision. From Mughal period works to early Christian illuminated manuscripts, from Persian folios (The King of Kings) to noble private calendars (Les Tres Riches Heures of the Due de Beri) to Celtic interlace (The Book of Kells), miniatures have been created with royal and ecclesiastical patronage. In Rajasthan alone,, since the 16th century, a number of different schools flourished. Contemporary masters are few, given the dedication necessitated by the genre. Nevertheless, there are painters who brave this path.
These artists pursue a "path of grace" (pushtimarg), unfolding paintings as visual aids which foster the relationship between the viewer and the work of art. Similarly explored in the darshan or connection between an individual and the depicted deity.
Chhotu Lal delves into the layers of the metaphysical personal and universal. Each stroke, each arc upon his tableaux fosters an aesthetic pathway towards reverie; at points his personages conjure up mythological frescoes, fairytales, divine beings and temple paradigms. A realm in which the real and surreal converge, where the finite expands into the infinite.
Composition here draws from Western Indian manuscript illustrations, Mughal miniatures, alongside European Renaissance perspectives.
Sworls as intricate as bindus cover the surface, with arcs of tiny dots in gold or silver. Creatures with wings, with blue, pink and white torsos, hold sway with others possessing hind-quarters of cows, horses and tiger. All attest to the Supreme Person.
Chhotulal: Drops from the Ocean (excerpt)
The artist's series of paintings assembled for this collection are a modern interpretation of shloks (verses) in Sanskrit from the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita depicting the partitions between the mind and body, with exact precision and definition, while the meaning remains subject to the mind's eye of the viewer. Then the artist takes a highly intellectual approach to the material, combining metaphysics with art.
There are certain stylistic similarities that unify all the works. First, the paintings are all two-dimensional with no depth or perspective. But it is this geometric precision combining the forms of circles and rectangles that provides unified backdrop for the compositions themselves. Secondly, two themes are repeated throughout, the abstract form of the mind or "ego" that gives rise to the idealized vision of the subject-matter of the painting; and the highly stylized "griffin" or combined form of an animal (for example, a bird, lion, horse or tiger) with a man or a woman. In many works, the image is looking backwards at the face or "ego" creating a certain tension leading the viewer's eye to the backward glance thus giving the work certain dynamism. The strong colors are beautifully contrasted with each other in appealing palettes and are blended from light to dark masterfully, again lending a certain precision and depth to the works.
The paintings challenge the reader into questioning the spiritual dimension of these works, and the elusive meaning of the artist's controlled yet transcendent depiction of man's relationship with his inner nature and his relationship, ultimately, to God.