K. G. Subramanyan was born on 15 February, 1924, in Kerala. He studied under the tutelage of Benode Behari Mukherjee, Nandalal Bose and Ramkinkar Baij at Santiniketan. He graduated from Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharati University, there in 1948, after receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the Presidency College in Chennai. In 1955, he received a British Council Research Fellowship to the Slade School of Art at the University of London. Since his graduation, Subramanyan’s work has been exhibited in several solo shows, the most recent including those presented by Seagull Foundation for the Arts in collaboration with Nandan Gallery at Kala Bhavana, Kolkata, in 2009; ‘The Painted Platters’ at the Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai, in 2007; and ‘The Magic of Making’ at the Seagull Arts and Media Resource Centre, Kolkata, and Rabindra Bhavan, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, also in 2007. A prolific writer, scholar, teacher and art historian, Subramanyan uses his in-depth knowledge of various artistic traditions to create fantastical images of wit and eroticism that are universal in their appeal, yet coupled with iconic symbols drawn from Indian legends and folklore.
Honours and Awards
2012 Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India.
2006 Padma Bhushan by the Government of India.
2005 Lifetime Achievement Award, Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata.
2004 Lalit Kala Ratna Puraskar, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi on the occasion of its Golden Jubilee.
2001 Gana Krishti Puraskar, Kerala.
2001 Manaviyam Ravi Varma Award, Government of Kerala.
2000 Jadunath Sarkar Gold Medal, Asiatic Society, Kolkata.
2000 Abanindra Puraskar, Kolkata.
1999 Kala Ratna, All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society (AIFACS), New Delhi.
1997 D. Litt (Honoris Causa), Benaras Hindu University, Varanasi.
1994 Shiromani Puraskar, Kolkata.
1993 Conferred Fellowship, Kerala Lalit Kala Academy, Kerala.
1992 D. Litt (Honoris Causa), Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata.
1991 Gagan – Aban - Puraskar, Visvabharati, Santiniketan.
1985 Fellow, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.
1980 Kalidas Sanman.
1977-78 Visiting Fellow, Kala Bhavan, Visvabharati, Santiniketan.
1975 Padma Shri by the Government of India.
1968 Gold Medal, First International Triennale, New Delhi.
1966 Fellowship, J. D. Rockefeller III Fund, USA.
1965 National Award for ‘Studio’, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.
1961 Maharashtra State Award.
1961 Medallion of Honorable Mention, Sao Paulo Biennale, Brazil.
1959 Bombay Art Society, Mumbai.
1957 Governor’s Prize, Bombay Art Society, Mumbai.
1955-56 British Council Research Scholarship to Slade School of Art, UK.
He passed away on 29th June 2016.