|Narayan Shridhar Bendre
N.S. Bendre (1910-1992) was born in Indore and was initially trained in the State
Art School, Indore, prior to taking the Government Diploma in Art from Bombay in 1933. His
initial interests were conditioned by the quasi-modemist landscape painting as practiced
in the Indore School at the beginning of the 20th century. An avid traveller, Bendre
continued to paint the landscape throughout his career, often with different stylistic
means. Early recognition came with the Silver Medal from the Bombay Art Society in 1934,
followed by the then ultimate honour of the Gold Medal in 194 1. Part of the year 1945 was
spent as artist in residence at Sanfiffiketan, where he met Nandalal Bose, Rain Kinkar
Baij and Binode Behari Mukhedee, and in Calcutta, Jamini Roy. Bendre's early work has been
classified as being academic and impressionist, dominant subjects being the landscape and
the portrait, in oils and gouache.
The year 1947 saw Bendre back in Bombay, in the June of which year he
departed for the United States, holding a solo exhibition at the Windermere Gallery, New
York, in 1948. On his way back to India, Bendre traveled through Europe, gaining exposure
to original works of the modernist masters. An independent nation and an art scene
animated by the adventure of the Progressive Artists Group greeted his return in the March
In 1950, Bendre moved to Baroda as the first Reader and Head of the
Department of Painting at the Faculty of fine Arts. He was to remain there till 1966,
becoming Dean of the Faculty in 1959. He was instrumental in laying the foundations of the
new programme at the Faculty. It was here that he embarked upon a phase held as his most
important, which involved experiments with Cubist, Expressionist and abstract tendencies,
producing such works as Thorn (1955, National Award)', Sunflowers, The Parrot and the
Chameleon, which give evidence of his shifting allegiances to currents in mainstream
European modernism, and his endeavor to marry these with Indian formal and thematic
Travels continued, within India and internationally: he visited West
Asia and London in 1958, the USA and Japan in 1962. The adventure of modernism that Bendre
carried from Bombay to B aroda bore fruit in the formation of the Baroda Group of artists
in 1956. Along with Bendre, several of the first generation of his students at Baroda were
members of the Group, which held regular shows in Bombay, Ahmedabad and Baroda, providing
wide exposure to work being produced at the new art school.
After he resigned from Baroda in 1966, Bendre experimented with his
version of pointillism and held shows in Bombay every alternate year. He was awarded
Padamshri by the President of India in 1969. He was elected to chair the International
Jury at the Second Triennale in New Delhi in 1971 an as fellow of the Lalit Kala Academi
in 1974. His illustrious carrier was recognized further with a Retrospective
Exhibition at the Lalit kala Academi in 1974, the Aban-Gagan Award from Viswa
Bharati University in 1984, and the Kalidas Samman in 1984.
He continues to pain till he passed away in February 18th 1992.
Oil on Board
47" x 66"
Oil on Canvas
36" x 48"
Oil on Canvas
36" x 48"