N. S. Bendre
 

 
Born in 1910 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, Narayan Shridhar Bendre is counted amongst those masters whose pioneering talents and committed contributions to the art of modern India were instrumental in bringing the art of India to itís glorious blossoming. 
N. S. Bendre
 After completing his Bachelor of Arts at Agra University, Bendre took the first steps into his career in art with his initial training at the State Art School, Indore, where the quasi-modernist landscape painting of the Indore School made an impact on his early works. This was followed by the Government Diploma in Art from Bombay in 1933. In 1940, he moved to Chennai to work as the art director for a film company. Recognition of his gifted brush came early with the Silver Medal from the Bombay Art Society in 1934, and honour was once again bestowed with the Gold Medal in 1941. 
N. S. Bendre

N. S. Bendre

 
Between 1947 and 1950, Bendre an ardent traveller, visited America, Europe, the Middle East and Japan. In New York he had the opportunity to study printmaking, and he also held a solo exhibition at the Windermere Gallery, New York, in 1948. On his European sojourn, he accrued inspirations from the original works of the Modernist masters. In 1950, he joined the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S.University of Baroda, as the first Reader and Head of the Department of Painting, where he rose to be the Dean of the Faculty, in 1959. Bendre had the privilege of spending time with his other acclaimed contemporaries, Nandalal Bose, Ram Kinkar Baij and Benode Behari Mukherjee, as an Artist in Residence at Shantiniketan, in 1945. In 1954, Bendre was in a committee of nine artists under whose watchful eyes, the Lalit Kala Akademy was set up .
N. S. Bendre
Bendre's early work had been labeled as being academic and impressionist, dominated by landscapes and portraits in oils and gouache. But, experiments with Cubist, Expressionist and abstract tendencies marked his works during his Baroda days and yielded such exceptional paintings as Thorn (which won the National Award in 1955), Sunflowers, The Parrot and the Chameleon. His brush was witness to his drifting loyalities to trends in mainstream European modernism, and his efforts to blend Indian themes and forms with them. 
N. S. Bendre
Bendreís journey of modernism that ran from Bombay to Baroda culminated in the formation of the Baroda Group of artists in 1956. Several of the first generation of his students at Baroda, were members of the Group. It held regular shows in Bombay, Ahmedabad and Baroda, extensively showcasing the work being produced at the new art school. After he resigned from Baroda, Bendre explored Pointillism in his own manner, holding exhibitions regularly in Bombay.

In 1969, Bendre was awarded the Padamshri by the President of India. He was elected to chair the International Jury at the Second Indian Triennale in New Delhi in 1971 and was fellow of the Lalit Kala Akademi in 1974. A Retrospective Exhibition at the Lalit Kala Academy in 1974, was held as a tribute to his talent. The Aban-Gagan Award from Vishwa Bharati University in 1984, and the Kalidas Samman in 1984 were some of the other honours earned by Bendre before he passed away in 1992.


 
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