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.