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Auction of the Week Auction of the Week K G SUBRAMANYAN (1924 - 2016)
Acquired directly from the artist by the original owner
Private Collection, New Delhi
Kalpathi Ganpathi Subramanyan's hybrid style combined Cubist principles with those of Indian folk art and his distinctive characteristic gridwork. A great lover of Indian art, he would mould these traditions into his own paintings, making his visual language an amalgamation of modernism that sprang from the traditional. His work was peopled with subjects and creatures that could be from cultures ranging from India to Egypt to China. Versatility was his hallmark and he also worked with terracotta and glass.
Elongated male and female forms were the site of much of K G Subramanyan's creative explorations. Here, the painting features hallmarks that are instantly recognizable as part of his distinctive artistic voice; patterns that create what seems like a fully realized world on the canvas. He creates distortions that lend the piece dynamism and movement. As he succinctly put it, "I am by nature a fabulist. I transform images, change their character, make them float, fly, perform, tell a visual story. To that extent my pictures are playful and spontaneous". All that and more is apparent in this work.
Born in Kerala in 1924, apart from being an accomplished artist he was also a freedom fighter and was awarded the Padma Shri in 1975, the Padma Bhushan in 2006 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2012. He passed away in 2016.