PROPERTY FROM THE FAMILY OF A RENOWNED MUMBAI ARCHITECT
Oil on canvas
70 x 33 in. (177.8 x 83.9 cm.)
Signed and dated 'K Khanna / 66' lower left and further signed 'K Khanna' on reverse
In the mid-1950s Krishen Khanna's paintings reveal a preference for a predominantly white and brown palette. The figures that appear in the works are outlined in thick, bold, black lines, enclosing tones of brown and umber. These early figural forms have sweeping curves with textured backgrounds. By the mid-1960s, the period of the current painting, the formal structure of his paintings has dissolved into more gestural compositions. The artist explains that the current work belongs to a series of work, including Rider , that he created in the mid-1960s based on the idea of speed, that focused on figures riding motorbikes and bicycles.
Khanna's move to a more gestural approach may have partly been inspired by the arrival in India of the American art critic Clement Greenberg who spoke in New Delhi at the Two Decades of American Painting exhibition. 'As the high priest of abstract expressionism and the chief spokesman of the art of Jackson Pollock, Greenberg served as an interpreter of American Abstract expressionism even in distant India... Greenberg related the rise of Pollock directly to the industrialisation of America, and in post-Independence India the urgent thrust towards modernity created in the minds of many artists the desire to ally precisely with such an expressly post industrial art.' (Gayatri Sinha, Krishen Khanna, A Critical Biography, New Delhi, 2001, p. 81)
The colours of the original are less saturated than the catalogue illustration with a greater range of tonal contrast. The painting has been recently cleaned, re-stretched and re-varnished. Scattered areas of paint loss in the lower left corner, in the darkest browns lower centre and in the deep orange and browns above the figure's head have been retouched and further areas of flaking consolidated. The retouching is partially visible to the naked eye especially in the upper orange section. Overall fair condition.
About The Artist:
KRISHEN KHANNA (b. 1925)