George Keyt was born in 1901 in Kandy, Sri Lanka.
He was a self-taught artist and is considered as Sri Lanka’s most distinguished modern painter.
He had several solo exhibitions:
In 1946 he had a solo exhibition in India. In 1953 he exhibited solo in New Delhi organised by All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society (AIFACS), New Delhi and Group 43, Colombo. In 1954 he exhibited solos at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London and the Art Institute of Rotterdam, Holland. In 1956, 1968 and 1972 he had solo exhibitions in Sri Lanka. In 1969 he exhibited 'George Keyt: Exhibition of Recent Paintings' at Gallery Chemould, Mumbai. In 1974 he exhibited solo at the Commonwealth Art Gallery, London. In 1975 he had a solo exhibition at the Kalagaraya Gallery and French Club of the University of Sri Lanka.
He participated in several joint and group shows:
In 1928 he took part in a memorial exhibition of W. W. Beling at Colombo, Sri Lanka. In 1929 he participated with other Sri Lankan artists at the Ceylon Art Club in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In 1930 he participated in a group show at Ferguson Memorial Hall. In 1932 he exhibited in an exhibition at the Motor Show Room in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In 1936 he participated in a joint exhibition at Colombo Art Gallery in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In 1967 he participated in 'Stained Glass Wall designed for the Sri Lanka Pavilion at Expo 67 in Montreal, Canada. In 1972 he took part in the Lionel Wendt Memorial Exhibition at Colombo, Sri Lanka.
He has received many awards:
In 1950 he was awarded but declined the offer of the Order of the British Empire. In 1968 he was presented with the Honorary Doctor of Litt. from the University of Sri Lanka, Paradeniya. In 1970 he was presented the Award for Services to the Nation in the Field of Art by Ceylon Society of Art. Sri Lanka has issued several stamps featuring the paintings of George Keyt.
George passed away in 1992 in Kandy, Sri Lanka.
He was posthumously exhibited in several countries:
From 2010-11 he was posthumously exhibited in 'Figure/Landscape: Part One & Part Two', Aicon Gallery, New York and London. In 2011 he was exhibited in 'Ethos V: Indian Art Through the Lens of History (1900 to 1980) at Indigo Blue Art, Singapore and in 'Manifestations VI' at Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi. In 2013 he was exhibited in 'The Naked and the Nude: The Body in Indian Modern Art' at Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi.