Artist Profile
Profile of Badri Narayan

“Narration comes to me naturally; I have been fond of telling stories since my childhood.” Badri Narayan was a self-taught artist, born in July 1929, in Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh. He was always an immensely introspective individual. In a painting career spanning a period of over 45 years, he has worked as an art teacher and an artist. This portrays a fervid self-reflective side of his personality which has time and again showed up as recurrent themes in Narayan's work. Almost all the paintings of the artists are narrative, and titles like ‘Queen Khemsa's Dream of Hamsa’ and ‘Meeting at Midstream’, are the fulcrum or origination points from where the viewer must begin to decipher the intricacies exposed by the paintings, in order to make sense of and comprehend them. Allegories are recurring characteristics of his works, though sometimes, he also uses popular icons of Indian religion and culture like ‘Ganesha’. He makes it clear by saying, "I have picked up the imagery that surrounds me, the one I am born into, and it comes naturally." Narayan borrows a lot from Indian mythology and analogies and acknowledges the influence of the Indian miniature tradition in his works which makes them a lot more inter-disciplinary. Although preferring to work in a smaller format, Badrinarayan believes in the two-dimensionality of painting. According to him a smaller format is much more practical and well suited for the watercolours that have been his preferred medium for several years. Besides using watercolours the artist has also delved a lot into working with etchings, woodcuts and ceramics and has also illustrated some children’s books. The Hyderabad Art Society did Narayan’s first solo exhibition of paintings 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 Kolkata; Sakshi Art Gallery, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, Mon Art Gallerie and Gallery Mementos Bangalore. His artwork has also been featured in several group shows, the most recent ones being 'The Root of Everything' at Gallery Mementos, Bangalore, in 2009; ‘Different Strokes’ presented by Tulika Arts at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, in 2007-08; ‘Journey 2’ at Gallery Art and Soul, Mumbai, in 2007; and ‘Spectra’ at Gallerie Zen, Bangalore, in 2007. He has also participated in the Bharat Bhavan Biennale, Bhopal, in 1992; the 7th Indian Triennale, New Delhi, in 1991’ the 1st and 2nd International Triennales, New Delhi, in 1968 and 1971 respectively; the 5th International Biennale of Prints, Tokyo, in 1966-67; and the 2nd International Biennale, Paris, in 1961.

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Past Exhibitions (5)
Badri  Narayan