Krishen Khanna | Biography | Life | Artworks
Krishen Khanna is known for his figurative approach. His later paintings around (1990) are revolutionary in the sense that he discards his careful drawing and formal approach which was characteristic of his earlier works such as his series on trucks, Generals, positions and Jesus and his Betrayal. His painting of 1990, such as Band Walla, which combine the ridiculous and the amusing in the middle-class marriage rituals, deal with the state and fate of a humbled man.
Though krishen has generally rejected the form in the strict formal or structural sense, he has suffused his paintings with energetic brushwork and striking tensions of brilliant complementary hues. This is indeed, an abrupt change from the color and tonal key he has employed in his earlier work.
His generally large-scale works, with advancing space effect and expending pressure beyond the limits of the frame, are at once influenced by the rhythmical quality of oriental calligraphy and explosion of color in the spirit of ‘abstract Expressionist’.
This is amply evident in the immensely thick layers of frenzied, moduled oil paint. His bold brushstrokes seems to be drawn across the canvas as if by a violent gesture that does not formulate but only suggests human figures. Krishen is obviously, in the process of developing a ‘handwriting’- his own way of getting the paint on to the canvas.
In discarding the earlier rigid formal approach Krishen has, perhaps, discovered the core of a new reality were the central fire rages and consumes. The painting portrays the pure ardor of primeval energy.
The images, though blurred and deformed, become evocative and expressive through the gesture of the brush. Krishen, in his present works, seems to be concerned with the act of painting as the chief mode of expression.
The new development may be described as an inclination towards what is called “Art antre” or “tychism”, or even “informal”, a word that express a kind of “dehumanization” of figurative forms for they seem to be submerge in the fury of his brush strokes, creating a turbulent noisy feeling.
His painting reveals a new awareness of paint and a concern for the actual physical process as the prime instrument of expression. They possess a kind of brutal quasi-realism similar to that of De-Kooning or Karel Appel. In Krishen Khanna’s works the exterior reality does not seem to be treated with any “methodical search”.
In other words, nature has been suppressed for achieving “plastic qualities” or semi aesthetic values. But then, perhaps, the distortion and deformation of form has become a necessary “technique” or made of expression in contemporary art in an idea.