About the artist
Krishen Khanna was born in 1925 in Faisalabad in Pakistan. He studied at Imperial Service College, England, from 1938-42 as a Rudyard Kipling scholar. Returning to Lahore for a course in English literature at Government College, he simultaneously took evening classes at the Mayo School of Art. Khanna worked as a printer at Kapur Art Press, Lahore, before moving with his family to Shimla following Partition. Khanna was deeply affected by not only the change in his personal life, but also the socio-political chaos that reigned around him. His early works are reproductions of the scenes that were indelibly imprinted in his memory during this period and his works are mostly figurative. Bordering on the narrative, Khanna’s work captures moments in history, much like photographs do, but the artist’s technique is far from photo-realist. Khanna transfers his observations onto the canvas with spontaneity and exuberance, keeping the representational elements of his subject matter intact. The artist’s use of colour and his expressionist brushwork make the mundane rise to the challenge of the creative. He won the National Award of the LKA, Delhi in 1965 and the Gold Medal at the First Triennale of Contemporary World Art, Delhi in 1968. He was also awarded the Padma Shri in 1990.