Painter, sculptor, muralist, K G Subramanyan was born in a village in north
Kerala in 1924. While studying economics at Presidency College, Madras, Subramanyan became
involved in the freedom struggle. He was imprisoned and debarred from government colleges.
The turning point of his life came when he joined Kala Bhavan at Visva Bharati in
Santiniketan in 1944. He studied at kala Bhavan till 1948.
Between 1951 and 1959, Subramanyan was a lecturer in painting at the
Faculty of Fine Arts in Baroda. During 1955 and 1956, he wen to the Slade School of Art in
London to study as a British Council research scholar. From 1959 to 1961, Subramanyan was
deputy director (design) at All India Handloom Board. Bombay. He continued to be a design
consultant till 1966. He went back to Baroda as reader in painting between 1961 and 1965.
From 1966 to 1980, Subramanyan was professor of painting at Baroda. He
went to New York as J D Rockefeller 111 fellow during 1966 and 1967. From 1968 to 1974, he
acted as the dean of the faculty of fine arts, Baroda. In 1975 and 1976, he attended World
Craft council meets as a delegate. In 1976, he was a visiting lecturer at various Canadian
universities. In 1980 Subramanyan moved back to Santiniketan and till 1989 was professor
of painting at Kala Bhavan. During 1987 and 1988 ' he lived at Oxford as Christensen
Fellow in St. Catherine's College. In 1989, he was appointed professor emeritus at Kala
Bhavan, Visva Bharati.
A theoretician and art historian, Subramanyan has written extensively on
Indian art. His writings have formed a foundation for the study of contemporary Indian
art. He has also written some delightful fables for children and illustrated them.
A mm of multifaceted talents, Subramanyan demolished banners between
artist and artisan. He experimented with weaving and toy-making. He also reinvested
several mediums earlier used in Indian art. For example, the terracotta mural and glass
painting found a new lease of life with his experiments.
The artist gave the human figure a new dimension. Drawing upon the rich
resources of myth, memory and tradition, Subramanyan tempers romanticism with wit and
eroticism. He has received the Kalidas Samman in 198 1, the Padma Shree in 1975, a D.
Litt. (Honoris Causa) from the Rabindra Bharati University, Calcutta in 1992 and became a
Fellow of Kerala Lalit Kala Akademi in 1993.
64 x 64 cm
Acrylic on canvas
57.7" x 57"
Acrylic on canvas
56" x 57"
Fairy tales from Pusera Palli-3
Water color and oil on acrylic sheet
23.4" x 33.5"