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  • Writer's pictureAnustup Kundu

One Hundred Years and Counting: Re-Scripting KG Subramanyan

News Desk, News Nation 360 : In April 2024, Emami Art opens a major research-based, retrospective-scale exhibition of Indian modernist KG Subramanyan (1924-2016), curated by curator and cultural theorist Nancy Adajania. Marking his birth centenary year, this wide-ranging and critical survey, the largest in eastern India after his death, will situate and re-assess the artist in the larger cultural scenario of postcolonial India’s unfolding modernism and affirm the continuing relevance of his practice. Richa Agarwal, CEO of Emami Art stated that this art exhibition celebrates 100 years since the birth of KG Subramanyan, a highly regarded Indian artist. Subramanyan is known for his diverse and unique artistic style, which significantly impacted modern Indian art after independence. The curator, Nancy Adajania, has chosen over 200 works to showcase Subramanyan's art in a fresh light, aiming to spark new discussions and interpretations. Despite being from Kerala and teaching in western India, Subramanyan is considered an important figure in Bengali art because of his studies at Santiniketan. The exhibition also highlights Subramanyan's talents beyond visual art, including his writing, poetry, and translations, even including his children's books. This event is expected to be of interest to artists, art enthusiasts, and students. In addition to being one of the most prolific and versatile artists,

Subramanyan was also a brilliant writer, thinker, and pedagogue. He studied painting at the Slade School of Art in London and Kala Bhavana in Santiniketan under Nandalal Bose, Benodebehari Mukherjee, and Ramkinkar Baij. This exhibition will showcase over 200 pieces of art spanning over seven decades of his career, including his early paintings from the 1950s, his famous reverse paintings on acrylic, his gouaches, his marker pen works on paper, his postcard-sized drawings (particularly his astute impressions of his travels through China in the 1980s), and his creative toys created for the Fine Arts Fairs at MS University, Baroda between 1962 and 1979, and a substantial amount of never-before-seen archive material, including meticulously constructed children's book mock-ups, drafts used to create murals, and the maquettes for his striking "The War of the Relics" (2013). This exhibition aims to demolish the stereotype by examining a variety of facets of his creative genius.  After many years of honing his craft and learning how to be an engaged citizen and artist, he allowed himself to be greatly impacted by the events and circumstances around him, whether they occurred domestically or abroad. Numerous events in this world compel people to respond to them, become activists, speak out against them, or take other actions based on individual capacity and competence. Simply painting them against them is a tactless move.


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