Krishen Khanna Archives

These paintings were done over a period of a year. They have been in the studio, close to me and to each other.

A few painter friends have seen them as they grew, members of my family have looked at them as has the postman who always peeps in, the woman who cleans my studio and the carpenter who makes the stretchers. All of them have felt free to make their comments. And these have varied from philosophical and aesthetic and the question of techniques to the more general. Even the critical notes have been friendly and sympathetic possibly because all these people know me and respect the seriousness of my concerns.

If a part, even if it is small, of the complexity of what I felt, finds some sympathetic cord, I will feel that these paintings will have justified themselves. Not that one positively seeks justification, but there is a difference between devil - may - care extensions of the ego and a sense of recognition of one’s self through the eyes of another.

I feel more than indebted to several painters who have given me the most valuable gift a person can receive - honest criticism with the utmost of love. My generation has been most fortunate in producing people who poured acid but which became manna through some alchemy.

We said, and say so now the things that matter, and it is the things that matter which keep the tissue of life and art alive.

And what does it matter if a painting did not work out, did not make the grade so long as the life forces were not corrupted.

I am moved by the affection which so many fellow artists have shown.

Swaminathan took it upon himself to design, write the foreword and see through the entire business of catalogue. Manjit Bawa produced the cover of the catalogue which makes my drawing look better than it actually is.

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