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Lot Details

Signed 'Kkhanna' (lower right)
Further signed and inscribed 'Kkhanna / oil on canvas' (on the reverse)

Saffronart / Lot 14 / Winter Online Auction / New York, New Delhi & Mumbai / 9-10 December 2019
Dhoomimal Gallery, New Delhi

Krishen Khanna's earliest bandwallas were painted in the 1970s when he mulled over the consequences of war and victimization, and marginalized figures became his main preoccupation. "As an artist, Krishen's response to the marginal figure was already manifest in his paintings of refugees in the 1950s. His paintings of bandwallas build up a broad narrative around these figures, one that draws from mixed social references." (Gayatri Sinha, "Serenading Lajwanti," Krishen Khanna, Norbert Lynton, Gayatri Sinha, et al., Krishen Khanna: Images in My Time, Ahmedabad: Mapin Publishing and Aldershot: Lund Humphries, 2006, pp. 29, 31) The present lot depicts the street musicians in their typical red uniform, perhaps caught in the middle of a procession. With their barely discernible expressions and as one of the last vestiges of our colonial past, they draw attention to their status in society, but also gain dignity as the focus of Khanna's work.

Krishen Khanna

(b. 1925)
Born in 1925, in Lahore, Krishen Khanna worked as a banker while he studied painting as a part time programme at the Mayo School of Art. A job transfer brought him in close proximity with the members of the Progressive Artists’ Group in Mumbai, where he chose to pursue a full-time career as an artist. In 1962-63 Khanna received a fellowship from the Rockefeller Council, New York and was artist-in-residence at the American University, Washington DC. In 2010, Saffronart hosted a retrospective of his work at the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi. His other solo exhibitions include those held by Saffronart in association with Osborne Samuel and Berkeley Square Gallery at the Royal Academy, London, in 2007; Saffronart and Berkeley Square Gallery, London, in 2005; Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai 2004; Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, 1994; and Kumar Art Gallery, New Delhi, 2001, 1966, 64, 60, 59 and 58. His works were also included in exhibitions held by Saffronart and Pundole Art Gallery, New York, in 2001 and 2002. In 2011, the Government of India awarded him with the Padma Bhushan; in 2004 he received the Lalit Kala Ratna from the President of India; and in 1997 he received the Kala Ratna from the All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society, New Delhi. Khanna lives and works in New Delhi.