- Interact With Art
An important pedagogue and artist, Subramanyan has worked in a variety of mediums such as painting, mural, weaving and book illustrations, merging the artist and artisan together. With shattered barriers between art and craft, Subramanyan has experimented with toy making and also ventured into glass painting and terracotta murals. While studying in Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan, Subramanyan served as an apprentice to Benode Behari Mukherjee, who, at the time, was painting Hindi Bhawan murals. Since then murals have been an important part of his oeuvre.
A man with multifaceted aptitudes, Subramanyan has also written extensively on art in India, formulating a foundation and theoretical framework for the study of contemporary Indian Art. He has also published books for children with fables and illustrations. Many of his works resemble an assembled unit, with interlaced grids, characters gleaning from history and windows within windows placed together. With subject matter of narrative and flora and fauna present in abundance in his works, Subramanyan plays the game of revealing and concealing with the viewer’s reading. He continuously finds methods of breaking the grid with small interventions that dispossesses it from any descriptive function.
Born in Kerala 1924, Subramanyan studied under the tutelage of Benode Behari Mukherjee, Nandalal Bose and Ramkinkar Baij at Santiniketan. He graduated from Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharati University in 1948 after receiving his bachelor’s degree in economics from the Presidency College in Chennai. In 1951 post his Santiniketan training, he was invited by Markand Bhatt to teach at the Department of Fine Arts in Baroda, along with N S Bendre and Sankho Choudhary. In 1955, he received a British Council Research Fellowship to the Slade School of Art at the University of London. His recent solo exhibitions include New Works by K.G. Subramanyan, the Government Museum & Arts Gallery, Chandigarh in 2014 and New Works by K G Subramanyan, Red Earth Gallery, Vadodara in 2014. He is a recipient of several awards including the prestigious Padma Vibhushan in 2012 and Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 2006.
Subramanyan lives and works in Baroda.