Born in Kerala on 15 February 1924, KG Subramanyan was one of the leading artists who was part of India’s post-Independence search for identity through art. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the Presidency College in Chennai. In 1948, he graduated from Kala Bhavan in Santiniketan, where he studied under the tutelage of Benode Behari Mukherjee, Nandalal Bose and Ramkinkar Baij. In 1955, he received a British Council Research Fellowship to the Slade School of Art at the University of London.
A writer, scholar, teacher and art historian, KG Subramanyan was prolific in his art, spanning the spectrum of mediums from painting to pottery, weaving, and glass painting. He believed in the value of Indian traditions and incorporated folklore, myth and local techniques and stories into his work. He was an inspiration to generations of students as a member of the Baroda M S Fine Arts Faculty. His focus there in later years was on terracotta and pottery.