Born in Lyallpur in 1933 in pre-Partition Punjab, Ved Nayar’s earliest creative urges were born out of his close engagement with the jungle around his house.
He moved to Delhi as a teenager following Partition and obtained a B.A. degree from the city’s St. Stephen’s College in 1952. He then joined Delhi Polytechnic in 1957 and participated in Lalit Kala Akademi’s national exhibition the same year.
Beginning as a painter, Nayar later included sculpture, installation, archival digital print and photography in his repertoire. The abstract derivations with ritual connotations in the artist’s early paintings gradually evolved into an iconic figure of an elongated human form, mostly female, who dwelt in the intermediate space between the earth and the skies. His art addresses human and environmental concerns, issues of mass consumerism, and cultural globalisation. At the same time, his engagement with man’s quest for immortality sweeps away cultural dimensions of the sacred and the profane, the local and the global.
Nayar won the 1981 Lalit Kala Akademi national award for his sculpture Mankind-2101. In 1988, he designed the citation trophy for the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding.
Nayar lives and works in New Delhi with his artist wife, Gogi Saroj Pal.
‘Programmed in me, I carry compulsions of my cultural identity. I am an aggregate of my local, regional and global consciousness’
The ‘Manifestations’ series of 20th Century Indian Art, Editions V, VII, IX
DAG, New Delhi, 2011-13
‘Indian Portraits: The Face of a People’
DAG, New Delhi and Mumbai, 2014
‘Home is a Place: Interiority in Indian Art’
DAG, New Delhi, 2021
National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi
Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi