Krishen Khanna traces evolution of Indian modern art: innovative interview technology used


Saffronart is hosting a series of invaluable art historical documentary interviews with leading Indian artists to broaden the discourse about the evolution of modern and contemporary Indian art. The imaginative use of new interactive podcast technology is an initiative to emulate by both for-profits and non-profits.

The second interview in the speaker series  is to celebrate a retrospective by Krishen Khanna at Rabindra Bhavan, the Lalit Kala Akademi, in New Delhi, which lasted from 23 January to 5 February 2010. In it Krishen Khanna talks about his inspirations for painting and experiences regarding the development of modern Indian art.

Khanna, Bandwallaas in Practice, 2002

He begins with a personal ancedote about how he became involved in India’s art scene in the 1950s: he was formerly a banker, but his wife encouraged him to quit his job and take up painting. and discusses the artists (including F.N. SouzaS.H. RazaM.F. Husain) involved in Progressive Artist Group.

He mentions specific shows, such as Souza’s 1953 show containing a frontal nude self-portrait, which shocked the public and drew the attention of the moral police. Khanna emphasises Souza’s diverse inspirations, which ranged from Hokusai and Picasso.

Khanna, In My Studio, 2008
Khanna, In My Studio, 2008

Khanna also places the Progressive Artist Group into a historical context: he discusses the exodus of artists from India after it won its independence and how major events, like the death of Gandhi, affected  Indian artists globally. He then answers personal questions involving both his participation in the Progressive Artist Group and his relationship with its members.

Using a technique that we have not seen before the 30 minute audio is organised into searchable snippets under the following categories: Souza’s Solo Show, News of Ghandi’s Death, Progressive Artists’ Group, Nationalism in Art, The Form in Art and Drawing and Painting.

To hear the podcast click here.


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Krishen Khanna traces evolution of Indian modern art: innovative interview technology used — 5 Comments

  1. I believe I have an early painting by Krishen, but I am not sure. It is a portrait of a lion and lioness. The medium is I believe oilor pastels on canvas. It appears to have been painted with a painters knife, for there is a lot of texture to the painting. The animals are sitting up close to one another in tall grass. It is a slightly abstract rendering. The canvas appears to be aged and is signed only by the first name”KRISHEN”. I was wondering the best method of verifying the artist. Any advise would be appretiated.

  2. Thanks for your question, Jo. Can any of our readers help out with some suggestions?

  3. I have a Krishen Khanna drawing that I am looking to sell. Can you suggest any galleries or individuals that would be interested in purchasing a piece of his work?

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