Krishen Khanna

Born in Lahore in 1925, Krishen Khanna moved to Shimla during the partition. In Lahore Khanna had attended evening classes at the Mayo School of Art. After arriving in India he took up a post with the Grindlays Bank and was placed in Mumbai. Once there Khanna was invited to join the Progressive Artists' Group with whom he remained in active association for the rest of his time. In Mumbai he held his first major exhibition and sold his first painting to Dr. Homi Bhabha for the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.

Khanna was awarded the Rockefeller Fellowship in 1962 and was Artist in Residence at the ameiican University in Washington in 1963-64. Apart from several one man shows he has participated in group shows like the Tokyo Biennale 1957 and 196 1, the Sao Paulo Biennale 1960, the Venice Biennale 1962, the Festival of India in the then USSR and in Japan in 1987 and 1988. He won the National Award of the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi in 1965, the Gold Medal at the First Triennale of Contemporary World Art, New Delhi in 1968. Khanna has held several important positions in decision-making bodies of the Lalit Kala Akademi, National Gallery of Modem Art and Roopanker Museum, Bhopal. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1990.

Making a gestural impact on the canvas Khanna's masterful deployment of paint to evoke the human situation is unmatched. The thick impasto surface often seems like a prism through which figures can be discerned as if in memory or in remote areas of childhood.

Khanna does not favour the profusion of figuration, common in Indian paintings. He transfers his observations onto the canvas, with spontaneity and exuberance, without obliterating his subject matter. His earlier works are reproductions of scenes that have imprinted themselves on his mind. He was profoundly moved by the events he witnessed during the Partition of India in 1947. He painted 'News of Gandhiji's Death' after the Mahatma's assassination, which shows a group of people standing motionless around a traffic island in Delhi, all immersed in their newspapers.

Khanna lives and works in New Delhi.

Artwork for Sale

Nocturne
by Krishen Khanna

Size:

14 X 20 inches