K. G. Subramanyan
|Died||29 June 2016 (aged 92)|
|Alma mater||Visva-Bharati University|
|Occupation(s)||Painter, sculptor, muralist, printmaker, writer, academic|
|Movement||Contextual Modernism, Baroda Group|
|Awards||Padma Shree, Kalidas Samman, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan|
Kalpathi Ganpathi "K.G." Subramanyan (1924 – 29 June 2016) was an Indian artist. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2012.
Subramanyan was born in Tamil Brahmin family on 1924 in Kuthuparamba in Kerala, India, and initially studied economics at Presidency College, Madras. During the freedom struggle he was actively involved and was known for his Gandhian ideology. He was even imprisoned and later banned from joining government colleges during the British Rule. The turning point of his life, as an artist, came when he visited Santiniketan to study in Kala Bhavan, the art faculty of Visva Bharati University, in the year 1944. Under the tutelage of such pioneers of modern Indian art as Nandalal Bose, Benode Behari Mukherjee and Ramkinkar Baij, Subramanyan studied there till 1948.
In 1951 he became a lecturer at the Faculty of Fine Arts in M.S. University in Baroda. He went to study briefly in London at the Slade School of Art as a British Council scholar in 1956. While having already gone back to Baroda as a professor in painting and continuing there, he did a short stint in New York as a Rockefeller Fellow in 1966. In 1980, Subramanyan went back to Santiniketan to teach in his alma mater Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharati University, in his capacity as a professor in painting, which he continued till he retired in 1989. In the same year, he was made a Professor Emeritus of Visva Bharati.
Subramanyan resided in Baroda, with his daughter Uma, towards the later days of his life and it was here that he died on 29 June 2016.
K.G. Subramanyan was greatly influenced by folk art from Kerala, Kalighat painting and Pattachitra from Bengal and Odisha, as well as Indian court paintings.
Main article: K.G. Subramanyan, a Retrospective
There have been numerous retrospective shows of K.G. Subramanyan. K.G. Subramanyan, a Retrospective was the fourth and largest, curated by R. Siva Kumar at the National Gallery of Modern Art.
From 1951 to 59 Mr. Subramanyan was the Lecturer in Painting, Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda. He was the British Council Research Scholar, UK from 1955–56. He was Deputy Director (design), All India Handloom Board, Bombay from 1959 to 61 and Reader in Painting, Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda from 1961 to 65.
He has also been on the Board of studies of M.S. University, Baroda; Benaras Hindu University, Benaras; Punjab University, Chandigarh; College of Fine Arts, Trivadrum, Kerala; Faculty of Fine Arts, Bombay University; Rabindra Bharati University, Calcutta etc. and a member of the Editorial advisory Board of Leonardo.
Some of his students were Bhupen Khakhar, Ghulam Rasool Santosh, Gulam Mohammed Sheikh, Haku Shah, Jayant Parikh, Jyoti Bhatt, Jyotsna Bhatt, Laxma Goud, Mrinalini Mukherjee, Nilima Sheikh, Rajeev Lochan, Ratan Parimoo, Rekha Rodwittiya, Shanti Dave, Thota Vaikuntam, Vivan Sundaram.[need quotation to verify]