K K Hebbar


Kattingeri Krishna Hebbar was born in 1911 and was popularly known as K.K. Hebbar. He was one of the most prominent artists in India and he was known worldwide for his India themed art works. He was one of the artists who has explored entire India and had been successful to portray the beautiful India in his canvas.

Kattingeri Krishna Hebbar was bornin Kattingeri near Udupi, Karnataka, in India. Karnataka is one of the states which have given birth to lots of promising artists. K K Hebbar was born in a Brahmin family which speaks Tulu. It was very obvious for Hebbar to be an artist because he was totally motivated by several forms of art and paintings from his early childhood.   

Education & Work

K K Hebbar’s father was an irregular sculptor and used to create different Ganesha Idols. K K Hebbar studied at J. JSchool of Art and as he belonged from an artist family, it was bound for him to have a formal training on Art as well. He pursued art at JamshedjiJeejeebhoy School of arts in Mumbai. Then he thought of higher training in Art and left for Paris to continue his art training at Académie Julian. Once he got his degree he started his career as being one of the correspondents and as a Member of the Academy of Arts in Berlin between the years 1975-1993. He was one of the artists who have represented India in an International Platform.   

Hebbar at his early career created several beautiful paintings and art creations and this particular phase of art was called his Kerala phase. In this phase of his works he has portrayed the beautiful locals and landscapes of Malabar and Tulu Nadu regions.

In his later work phase, he has experimented and initiated working on several other themes. Most of his art works were motivated by Paul Gauguin and Amrita Sher-Gil. K K Hebbar was one of the first artists to won International audiences at Art Now In India exhibitions in 1965. These most prestigious exhibitions were held in London and Brussels.

The best part about his career is that he didn’t limit himself on representing in Indian exhibitions. K K Hebbar had also participated in several International Art Exhibitions like the Venice Biennale, São Paulo Art Biennial as well as the Tokyo Biennale. He had so much in his kitty that today most of his artworks are considered as most highly influential Indian Art History. Today’s art aspirants look at his creations and take inspirations.  

Hebbar during his art life has participated in various solo exhibitions and his works had been always appreciated by the art lovers. Some of his solo exhibitions include ‘K.K. Hebbar Exhibition of Paintings’ at Vadehra Art Gallery, in New Delhi, India. Again he participated in ‘Indian Drawing Today’ at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, India. ‘K.K. Hebbar Retrospective’ was exhibited at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, India in 1980. Apart from his participations in India, he had too part in Venice Biennale, and in Sao Paulo Biennale in 1995.

K.K. Hebbar died in 1996 at the age of 85. There was several Hebbar’sretrospective exhibitions like'Long Gone & Living Now' at Gallery Mirchandani and Steinreucke in Mumbai, in 2009. His works were remembered at the Fine Art Company, Mumbai, in 1999. There people explored Hebbar’s – Paintings, Drawings, Publications’ organized by the K.K. Hebbar Art Foundation at the Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, in 1997.

Awards and Accolades

K K Hebbar was one of the artists who had been honored by several awards in his entire career. He was one of the artists in India who had been honored with Padma Bhushan by the President of India in 1989. He was honored with Maharashtra Shasan ‘GouravPuraskar’ in 1990.Hebbar was felicited with Padma Shri which is also known as India’s fourth highest civilian award. Apart from these, he bagged with awards by Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata and Bombay Art Society Award. He had received Lalit Kala Akademi Award, Varna Shilpi K Venkatappa Award. These are an honorary doctorate from Mysore University. He also got Soviet Land Nehru Award

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