EPITAPH : K G SUBRAMANYAN

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We have lost a national treasure. Yesterday (29th June, 2016), as the 92 year old Indian Modernist Painter and creator of many a tales passed away in Vadodara, India – it was a moment where tears fell, and a realization came over that an era of Indian Art History ended with his last breath.

Born in Kerala, this creator of tales first started out as a student of economics, who struck by the times he was living in, joined the freedom struggle against the British. His journey then took him from Presidency College Chennai, to Calcutta, and from there to Shanti Niketna. Here this modernist’s talent was nurtured by the greats such as Ram Kinker Baij, Nandlal Bose, and Benode Bihari Mukherjee to name a few. A scultptor, painter, muralist – K G Subramanyam was never to be silent, always creating, and his academic mind constantly forming opinion and commentary on not just Art, but the Socio-Political lives that unfolded around him. He was a booming voice, both academically as well as visually, participating in the ongoing narratives he has left us with a rich and robust legacy. Delving into his themes of memory, myth and magic has always fascinated me as artist, historian, and curator. His re-imagining of the human figure, his deconstructing it time and time again – is fascinating! 

I look back, into his journey and feel I am still to unravel the man, the artist, the activist and thinker. In ode to his creative acts.

“There are but a few moments that are clear in a sea of haze and confusion, when such an artist creates, we stop – look, and listen….yes listen – as these images he created are wanting conversation, wanting to be heard, to be understood and unravelled, from their canvas!”
– Divvya Nirula