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Lot Details

Initialed in Hindi (lower right)
Signed, dated and inscribed ‘The Offering by Badri Narayan / watercolour on paper / 1991’ (on the reverse)

Sotheby's / Lot 80 / 20th Century Asian Art / 14 July 2005

Without any formal training in art, Badri Narayan followed his own instinct and experimented with diverse media and forms in his paintings. A natural storyteller, he picks up imagery and influences from his surrounding but the core of his work remains on the metaphoric weight of literature that served as the basis of his visual representation

Narayan's representation is marked for their simplicity and minimal stylization as in "The Offering". He created a painting that is profoundly somber rendered in a dream state. The subdued palettes he employed enhanced the tranquility and stillness of the work suggesting contemplation and a calm moment of reflection. A believer in two-dimensionality, his paintings are intimate with an element of fantasy. Outwardly, the paintings, simple in subject matter, reveal their intricacies to the viewer.

Badri Narayan

(1929 - 2013)
Born in Hyderabad, Badri Narayan is a self-taught artist. He has held over fifty solo exhibitions in various cities in India and internationally, the most recent being at the Viewing Room, Mumbai, in 2012; Mon Art Gallerie, Kolkata, in 2007-08; Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai, in 2006, 2004, and 2002 and Galerie 88, Kolkata in 2002. Narayan has also represented India at the Bharat Bhavan Biennale, Bhopal, in 1992; the VII and II International Triennials, New Delhi, 1991 and 1971 respectively; the Festival of India, Moscow, in 1987; the V Biennale of Prints, Tokyo, in 1966; and the II Paris Biennale in 1961. He has exhibited with Saffronart in Hong Kong in 2001. He has written and illustrated several books since 1977, and taught art to school children. Narayan was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1987; a Senior Fellowship for Outstanding Artists from the Government of India in 1984-86, and the National Award from the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, in 1965. Badri Narayan passed away in Bangalore in 2013.