Between Reality and Dream

The Aesthetic Vision of K. G. Subramanyan

Margaret Richardson


6 x 9 inches, 264pp, 30 colour reproductions. 2013

ISBN : 9780857420060

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K. G. Subramanyan is one of the most influential Indian artists, teachers and theorists of the twentieth century. Born in 1924, Subramanyan has lived and worked during a transformative period in Indian history, one shaped by the contradictions of colonialism and nationalism, tradition and modernism, and indigenism and globalization. From 1950 to his retirement from teaching in 1989, he helped shape the aesthetic vision of the art departments at the Maharaja Sayajirao University in Baroda and the Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan. With great clarity, sensitivity and wit, he continues to inspire generations of artists and scholars through his prolific writings, lectures and art.


Between Reality and Dream is the first major study to examine the formation and significance of Subramanyan’s polymorphic aesthetic vision of art and culture within the context of modern India. It analyzes the many influences Subramanyan absorbed in India and abroad while elucidating his unique contributions to contemporary Indian art theory and practice. By providing both practical methods for artists and a visionary way of living, Subramanyan’s ideas have shaped the art scene in India for more than half a century.

Margaret Richardson is an Assistant Professor of Art History at Marshall University.