Kattingeri, 1911 - 1996

Kattingeri Krishna Hebbar

It was during his studies at Sir J. J. School of Art in Bombay that K. K. Hebbar was drawn to impressionism, although it was Indian classical art that remained a ceaseless source of inspiration. His early paintings – landscapes and figural compositions in the academic style – disciplined his hand and mind and led him towards his own style.

Inspired by Ananda Coomaraswamy’s discourses, Hebbar began exploring his creativity through the forms of traditional Indian art found in Jain manuscripts, Rajput and Mughal miniatures and the murals at Ajanta. In his drawings and paintings, Hebbar harmoniously blended the traditional form with elements of surrealist and abstract art. Strongly inspired by Amrita Sher-Gil’s manner of expressing her vision of the East through Western techniques, Hebbar’s inclination lay toward Western art,...

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Biography

It was during his studies at Sir J. J. School of Art in Bombay that K. K. Hebbar was drawn to impressionism, although it was Indian classical art that remained a ceaseless source of inspiration. His early paintings – landscapes and figural compositions in the academic style – disciplined his hand and mind and led him towards his own style.

Inspired by Ananda Coomaraswamy’s discourses, Hebbar began exploring his creativity through the forms of traditional Indian art found in Jain manuscripts, Rajput and Mughal miniatures and the murals at Ajanta. In his drawings and paintings, Hebbar harmoniously blended the traditional form with elements of surrealist and abstract art. Strongly inspired by Amrita Sher-Gil’s manner of expressing her vision of the East through Western techniques, Hebbar’s inclination lay toward Western art, and to explore it further he left for Europe in 1949.

This exploration brought him to the Academie Julian in Paris where he studied painting under the impressionist painter Professor Cavailles, and later graphics at Ecole Estienne. From 1964-75, he travelled extensively in Europe, exhibiting his work. Upon his return to India, Hebbar experimented with mediums, methods and styles for two years in an attempt to find his own line, rhythm and colour, even learning the classical dance form of Kathak in his attempt to understand rhythm.

In 1976, Hebbar was selected a fellow of the Lalit Kala Akademi. Mysore University bestowed an honorary degree of doctor of letters on him. From 1953-73, he served as the chairman of the Artist’s Centre, Bombay, and received the Padma Bhushan from the Indian government in 1989.

Artworks

1

Untitled (caravan), 1979

RELATED CATEGORIES

Abstract Painting / Drawing / Figurative Painting / India / Indian Art / Landscape / Medium / Oil on Canvas / Oil Painting / Painting / Paris / Rhythmical Expression / Surrealism / Traditional Form / Traditional Indian Art

CURRICULUM VITAE

Education

  • 1938

    Diploma in Painting, J.J. School of Art, Bombay

Solo Exhibitions

  • 1994

    Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • 1993

    K. K. Hebbar – Exhibition of Paintings, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • 1980

    Retrospective Exhibition, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai

Group Exhibitions

  • 2005

    Manifestations III, organised by Delhi Art Gallery, Nehru Center, Mumbai and Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi

  • 2004

    Manifestations II, organised by Delhi Art Gallery, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai and Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • 2003

    Manifestations, organised by Delhi Art Gallery, World Trade Center, Mumbai and Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi

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Curriculum Vitae

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Education

  • 1938

    Diploma in Painting, J.J. School of Art, Bombay

Solo Exhibitions

  • 1994

    Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • 1993

    K. K. Hebbar – Exhibition of Paintings, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • 1980

    Retrospective Exhibition, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai

  • 1978

    Hebbar – Drawings and Paintings, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai

  • 1973

    Drawings and Paintings, All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society (AIFACS), New Delhi

  • 1971

    Retrospective, Rabindra Bhavan, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi

  • 1969

    Bonythan Art Gallery, Australia

  • 1964

    New York. USA

  • 1953

    All India Exhibition of Paintings and Sculptures, traveling to USSR, Poland and West Germany

  • 1945

    Solo exhibition in Bombay

Group Exhibitions

  • 2005

    Manifestations III, organised by Delhi Art Gallery, Nehru Center, Mumbai and Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi

  • 2004

    Manifestations II, organised by Delhi Art Gallery, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai and Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • 2003

    Manifestations, organised by Delhi Art Gallery, World Trade Center, Mumbai and Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi

Selected Exhibitions

  • 2018

    India’s French Connection: Indian Artists in France, DAG, New York (~ 2019)

  • 2013

    The Naked and the Nude: The Body in Indian Modern Art, Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • 2011

    An Artist's Quest: K.K Hebbar- A Retrospective, at National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Bangalore; New Delhi and Mumbai (~2012)

  • The Body Unbound, Rubin Museum of Art, New York (~2012)

  • Manifestations VI, Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • Manifestations V, Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • 2010

    Manifestations IV, Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi

  • 2009

    Indian Art After Independence: Selected Works from the Collections of Virginia & Ravi Akhoury and Shelley & Donald Rubin, Emile Lowe Gallery, Hempstead

  • Bharat Ratna! Jewels of Modern Indian Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

  • Long Gone & Living Now, Gallerie Mirchandani + Steinreucke, Mumbai

  • 2008

    Moderns, Royal Cultural Centre, Amman, Jordan organized by Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi in collaboration with Embassy of India, Amman, Jordan

  • 2004

    All India Exhibition of Paintings and Sculptures, traveling to USSR, Poland and West Germany

Grants & Awards

  • 1990

    Maharashtra Shasan 'Gourav Puraskar'

  • 1989

    Padma Bhushan by Government of India

  • 1988

    Maharashtra State's Gaurav Puraskar

  • 1986

    Karnataka State Rayotsava Award

  • 1985

    Karnataka Lalit Kala Akademi Award for Distinguished Artists

  • 1980

    The President of India nominated him the Chairman of Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi (~ 1984)

  • 1961

    Padma Shri by Government of India

  • 1958

    National Academy of Art Award, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi

  • 1957

    National Academy of Art Award, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi

  • 1956

    National Academy of Art Award, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi

Collections

  • Museum of Modern Art, Paris

  • The Staten Island Institute of Arts & Science Museum, U.S.A

  • Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata

  • Birla Academy of Fine Arts, Calcutta

  • Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai

  • National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

  • Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi