Kalakriti Art Gallery in collaboration with The Seagull Foundation for the Arts, Kolkata brings to Hyderabad for the first time an exhibition showcasing drawings of women by renowned and eminent artist, K.G. Subramanyan.
Given the solid representation of K.G. Subramanyan artistic journey, the exhibition, offeres a selection of Subramanyan’s images of women, titled as ‘Women seen and Remembered’. Subramanyan’s oeuvre: images of women occupy a predominant place. Giving the human figure a new dimension – drawing upon the rich resources of myth, memory and tradition, Subramanyan tempers romanticism with wit and eroticism.
The works on view can be divided into three groups – both chronological and typological, with all such divisions, and a few overlaps. A handful of Subramanyan’s early drawings are studies from models, of the kind that art students practise, their main aims being training in observation and an accurate rendering of the visible.
Subramanyan emphasized the sensuousness of the body in a manner seldom seen in traditional Indian art. This visual vocabulary that he lays out in certain drawings from the sixties and early seventies marks the first consolidation of a vision, or an arrival, rather than an absolute beginning. The impact and and influence of early modernists like Binod Bihari Mukerjee, Ram Kinkar Baij and Nandlal Bose, whom Subramanyan was fortunate to have as his teachers along with his own sensative and profound philosophy, are facts that have contributed to his long sustained and prolific career.
The exhibition allow viewers to reveal a culture and society that are tumultuously involved in a grand civilization moment of transition.
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 went 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.
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.