Subramaniam (Mani) was born in Pal Ghat, Kerala. He went to Madras and then to Bengal. There he took art lessons from Nandlal Basu and Vinod Bihari Mukherjee at Shanti Niketan from 1944.
Mani was a little upset with Nand Babu, but in Mukherjee Babu, Mani not only saw an excellent artist and teacher but also saw a sympathetic human being.
Despite the technical rigor and the over-emphasis on the past, Money remained conscious of the importance of modern Western art. Initially he was an admirer of Nandlal but later he turned towards modern art of the West. u
He realized that there are more differences between the two externally, but internally both have some things in common. In 1955 he went to study at the Slade School of Art, London. Went to America in 1966 on Rockefeller Scholarship.
Mani started painting in modern style. In his paintings he gave prominence to the cubist geometric structure. There were forms in the picture but the space within the entire picture was carefully considered. “The Cock Seller” is a good example of this period. Later he was also attracted to the art of Spanish American painter Ubeda.
Mani is also a good sculptor and clay painter. He is adept at creating two-dimensional designs in murals and textiles. Having been the chairman of the design department of the Handloom Board, he has understood the nature and nature of Indian designs, hence his art includes intricate patterns and Descriptiveness has been included.
They also use calligraphy on top of designs with smooth surfaces. Apply bright colors. To create different effects, he has also used sand, marble powder etc. and also various substances to create shine. Plywood, match sticks and tangled wires have also been used.
In this situation, the importance of colors has become secondary, hence monochromatic or brown colors are considered appropriate. People have started calling some series of paintings as “Khaki Painting Series”. They cut each shape into many small parts and mark intricate designs on them.
He has done a new experiment in wall painting. Terracotta tiles are first manufactured and then installed on the wall. If there is any error in these, there is scope for improvement.
He is a good painter, muralist, designer and thinker, he is also a very good teacher. Apart from canvas, he has also painted on glass. In 1978, his book “Moving Focus” was published which became very popular.
After being associated with M.S. University of Barida for thirty years, he is now in Shantiniketan. In 1982, on the occasion of the inauguration of Bharat Bhawan on 13 February, he was honored with the “Kalidas Award” worth Rs 1 lakh by Smt. Indira Gandhi.
He along with his teacher Vinod Bihari Mukherjee completed the murals of Hindi Bhawan of Shanti Niketan in 1948. From Vinod Babu he got detailed and serious knowledge of various techniques of wall painting.
In addition to regularly exhibiting in India, Subramanian exhibited in Sao Paulo in 1961. Participated in many exhibitions in India, Japan and London etc.; Created many toys and murals.
He was a design consultant to the Government of India for twenty years. He represented India in Australia and Mexico. In 1985 he also visited China.
Shri Subramanian has received many important awards right from the beginning. From 1957 to 1959 he received awards from the Bombay Art Society. In 1961 he won the first prize in the Maharashtra State Exhibition.
In 1961 itself, he was awarded the Special Honor Medal in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Elected Ratna-Member (Fellow) of Lalit Kala Akademi in 1965.
Some of his famous murals are Jyoti Limited, Baroda (1955, 65, 76): Rabindalaya, Lucknow (1963): Indian Pavilion, New York World’s Fair (1964-65): Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda (1964) and “India of My Dreams” Pavilion. , Gandhi Darshan, New Delhi (1969). He was awarded ‘Padma Shri’ in 1975 and Kalidas Samman in 1981.