K. S. Kulkarni
K. S. Kulkarni K. S. Kulkarni K. S. Kulkarni K. S. Kulkarni

K. S. Kulkarni

K. S. Kulkarni

K. S. Kulkarni

1916 - 1994

K. S. Kulkarni

Forced to paint signboards at the age of eleven when his father died, Krishna Shamrao Kulkarni battled numerous early struggles to achieve a pre-eminent place in modern Indian art.

Born in a village in Belgaum in Karnataka in 1916, Kulkarni engaged with modernist techniques and mediums to create a highly individuated pictorial language.

Kulkarni imbued his figurative works with the classical grace of Ajanta paintings and a distinctive modernist spirit. If some works evoked village life and seemed to carry the melody of a flute being played in the distance, his cityscapes showed tightly packed blocks rising up in strong outlines. However, he neither idealised rural life nor disparaged urban existence—choosing to paint life as he experienced it.

On completing his diploma from Sir J. J. School of Art, Bombay, Kulkarni shifted to Delhi in 1943 to work in textile design. Along with other artists who had moved from Lahore to Delhi following Partition, he became a member of the All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society, and was founder-president of Delhi Silpi Chakra. He was also a founder member of Triveni Kala Sangam, the multi-arts complex in New Delhi. From 1973-78, he served as the vice-chairman of Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi.

Kulkarni exhibited his works widely and travelled extensively, especially to South America, with Mayan and Etruscan art inspiring his visual language. A winner of several national and international awards, he passed away in 1994.

“Beyond the influence of Indian culture and its ethos, my horizons are universal”



dag exhibitions

The ‘Manifestations’ series of 20th Century Indian Art’, Editions V, VI, VII, VIII, X

DAG, New Delhi and Mumbai, 2011-14

‘Indian Landscapes: The Changing Horizon’

DAG, New Delhi, 2012

‘Indian Divine: Gods & Goddesses in 19th and 20th Century Modern Art’

DAG, Delhi and Mumbai, 2014

‘Indian Abstracts: An Absence of Form’

DAG, New Delhi, 2014; Mumbai and New York, 2015

‘The Naked and The Nude: The Body in Indian Modern Art’

DAG, New Delhi, 2013; Mumbai, 2015

‘India Modern: Narratives from 20th Century Indian Art’

DAG, New York, New Delhi, Mumbai, 2015; Chandigarh, 2017

‘India’s Rockefeller Artists: An Indo-US Cultural Saga’

DAG, New York, 2017; Mumbai, 2018

‘Primitivism and Modern Indian Art’

DAG, Mumbai, 2019; New York, 2020

‘Navrasa: The Nine Emotions of Art’

DAG, Mumbai and New Delhi, 2020

‘The Fifties Show’

DAG, New Delhi, 2020

‘Home is a Place: Interiority in Indian Art’

DAG, New Delhi, 2021

‘Ways of Seeing: Women Artists | Women as Muse’

DAG, New Delhi, 2021

‘Indian Blue: From Realism to Abstraction'

DAG, New Delhi, 2021

notable collections

National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, India

Jehangir Nicholson Art Foundation, Mumbai

Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh

Salarjung Museum, Hyderabad

Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery, Vadodara

Bharat Kala Bhawan, Varanasi

archival media

National Herald

1-5 July 2005