Krishen Khanna

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Krishen Khanna

Krishen Khanna, a genre painter and a narrative who weaves and spins images out of the fragments of time was born on the year 1925 at Lyallpur, now Faislabad in Pakistan. His art practice is embedded in the unfoldment of his own life experiences. With his colleagues, he belongs to the generation that experienced painting and independence, painting for independence, and painting from a position of independence. In a paradox, his art springs from the observation of life lived around himself but it is not an intimate act of confession or self-examination. In this way, Khanna is central to his own practice as a mediator and interpreter but never as a subject. He assumes the position of the ‘Katha vachak’ or narrator, looking outward to the other rather than the self. The central image then is of the artist as a commentator, who through painted gesture and narrative seems to set up threads of connectivity. To all families, like his own which suffered the ravages of the Partition, the accumulation of family and community narratives, of loss and survival became like a bank of stories, shared and adapted over the years. It was a partition that drove the first wedge of displacement and deep anxiety into the everyday experience of many young Indians growing in Punjab but for Krishen, the actual sense of displacement came much earlier during his schooling in England at the Imperial Services College. Read More..


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