Born in 1924 in Kerala, KG Subramanyan studied fine arts at Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan and later, the Slade School of Art, London on a British Council Fellowship between 1944 and 1956. He taught painting at MS University, Baroda and Kala Bhavana, Santiniketan, his alma mater.
One of the most revered and versatile modern Indian artists, Subramanyan was the subject of the major retrospective exhibition at National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi (2002) and numerous solo shows at Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad (2014); Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi (2002); Art Heritage, New Delhi (2002); Seagull Foundation for the Arts, Kolkata (1999); Sakshi Art Gallery; and many other major galleries in India and abroad. He has participated in “Art South Asia,” Manchester, UK (2002), “Tryst with Destiny: Art from Modern India 1947-1997,” Singapore (1998); among many others. He was awarded numerous prestigious awards, including the Kalidas Samman by the Govt. of Madhya Pradesh; Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India and Deshikottam by Visva-Bharati.