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Critical studies


KG Subramanyan Artist
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Do you think that drawing is a big issue?

It is for me a big issue, but I don’t know whether it is so to everyone, because I still sort of go with the doodle and the drawing, almost with the same spirit as Leonardo once wanted to say that you discover various things by this doodling, and it happens in my case because from one thing it goes to another, there is a sense of metamorphosis in the way the images flow. For me it’s a great thing, but I don’t know for the others. Many people don’t draw anymore. They make diagrams, but they don’t do this, they don’t grope. Well, we cannot say the last word on all these things. I suppose when the whole wheel of time goes on, people have various kinds of emphasis in their work, and not something, will come out of it. But then this kind of, kind of an easy prolifigacy kind of a thing, making things quickly and more and more in terms of serving a market, but that is true in every field. In fact, I know at one time we used to think that the book publishing trade will probably sort of cease when you thought the electronic projection and things, but then it hasn’t. In fact, you are completely smothered by the tons of books that come out every day, and each book is becoming bulkier and bulkier. I mean it strains my wrist when I sort of lift some of them. Then the other thing is that if you go through a whole book, it takes a lot of time, but what they have to say should have been said in the first 10 pages. But then they have all kinds of verbiage that they clothe it in, so it is very, very difficult. I don’t know whether it is a good thing or a bad thing. It is a good thing for the book publisher. It is not so good for me because I do not have that much time.

KG Subramanyan (1924-2016) was an Indian artist. A graduate of the renowned art college of Kala Bhavana in Santiniketan, Subramanyan was both a theoretician and an art historian whose writings formed the basis for the study of contemporary Indian art. His own work, which broke down the barrier between artist and artisan, was executed in a wide range of media and drew upon myth and tradition for its inspiration.

Listeners: Timothy Hyman

Timothy Hyman is a graduate of Slade School of Fine Art, London, in which he has also taught. In 1980 and 1982, he was Visiting Professor in Baroda, India. Timothy Hyman has curated many significant art exhibitions and has published articles and monographs on both European and Indian artists.

Duration: 2 minutes, 35 seconds

Date story recorded: 2008

Date story went live: 10 September 2010