Seeking a Poetry of the Real: The Political Works of K. G. Subramanyan

  • Seeking a Poetry of the Real: The Political Works of K. G. Subramanyan

Art Heritage in collaboration with the Seagull Foundation for the Arts brings to Delhi audiences a powerful show that pays tribute to one of modern India’s great artists: Seeking a Poetry of the Real: The Political Works of K. G. Subramanyan is dedicated to the memory of an artist and pedagogue who passed away last year.

As a creative painter, muralist, toy maker and scholar, K.G. Subramanyan’s work crystallized into its mature form after years of close interaction with the ‘living’ traditions of the country. Mani-Da, as he was commonly known, advocated that modern Indian art would stand to gain from a closer understanding of artisanal practices that were indigenous to the country. His works, like those of all great works of art, are characterized by a distancing of the events, in his case through the prism of irony, wit and a certain amount of lampooning, that allowed the mundane and the archetypal to levitate in a state of lila or playfulness.

Seeking a Poetry of the Real focuses primarily on Subramanyan’s work from the late 1970’s onwards, when the artist’s response to political upheavals that began to rock the nation became evident. The exhibition collates seminal works that encapsulate the artist’s deep and abiding concern with the cracks and fissures that have unfortunately developed due to the political misrepresentation of a great, tolerant culture and civilization such as India’s. Works on display include The Bangladesh Terracottas (1971/1976), This City is not for Burning (1993), The Tale of the Talking Face (1989), Anatomy Lesson (2008), and The War of the Relics (2012) among others. Prof. R. Siva Kumar, Geeta Kapur, Roobina Karode, Gayatri Sinha and Jyoti Bhatt have contributed to the catalog for the exhibition.

In addition to the Seeking a Poetry of the Real exhibit, for art lovers interested in collecting K.G. Subramanyan’s works, a wide selection is available for sale during the show.

The exhibition will be on view from November 11 to December 30, 2017 at Art Heritage’s newly renovated spaces in Triveni Kala Sangam, 205 Tansen Marg, New Delhi – 110001.


11 Nov - 30 Dec 2017


Acrylic on canvas, Oil on board, Mixed Media on paper, Reverse Painting, Watercolour on paper, Brush and Ink on paper, Gouache on paper, Pen and Watercolour on paper, Crayon and gouache on paper