- Badri Narayan
Art Career : The self-taught artist Badri Narayan has been painting for over 45 years. During this time, he has worked as an art teacher and an artist, but has always remained a deeply introspective individual. This self-reflection and autobiographical perspective is the most constant theme in Narayan's work.
Solo Exhibition :
Narayan’s first solo exhibition of paintings was held at the Hyderabad Art Society in 1954. Since then, he has held well over fifty solo shows including several exhibitions at Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai. He has also exhibited his work at Mon Art Gallerie, Kolkata; Sakshi Art Gallery, Bangalore; and Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai.
Group Shows :
2009 - 'The Root of Everything' at Gallery Mementos, Bangalore; 2007-08 - ‘Different Strokes’ presented by Tulika Arts at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai; 2007 - ‘Journey 2’ at Gallery Art and Soul, Mumbai; 2007 - ‘Spectra’ at Gallerie Zen, Bangalore; 1992 - The Bharat Bhavan Biennale, Bhopal; 1991 - The 7th Indian Triennale, New Delhi; 1968 and 1971 - The 1st and 2nd International Triennales, New Delhi; 1966-67 - The 5th International Biennale of Prints, Tokyo; 1961 - The 2nd International Biennale, Paris.
Honours and Awards :
1990 - Maharashtra Gourav Puruskar, Maharashtra State Government; 1987 - Padma Shri, Government of India; 1984-86 - Senior Fellowship for Outstanding Artists, Government of India, New Delhi; 1968-69 - ‘The Critics’ Award’, Artists’ Centre, Mumbai; 1965 - National Award, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi; 1949,54,60,62 - Gold Medal, Hyderabad Art Society, Hyderabad.
Death : 2013.
The artist’s paintings are narrative, and titles like ‘Queen Khemsa's Dream of Hamsa’ and ‘Meeting at Midstream’, are the starting points from where one must unravel the complexities presented by the paintings, in order to interpret and understand them. Symbolism is a recurring feature of his works, though sometimes, he also uses popular icons of Indian culture like Ganesha. He explains, "I have picked up the imagery that surrounds me, the one I am born into, and it comes naturally." Narayan draws heavily from Indian mythology and metaphors and acknowledges the influence of the Indian miniature tradition in his works. The artist believes in the two-dimensionality of painting, and prefers to work in a smaller format; one that he finds practical and well suited for the watercolours that have been his preferred medium for several years. Narayan has also worked with etchings, woodcuts and ceramics and illustrated some children’s books.