1910 - 1993




Artist Profile


He was born in Kamilia, in the canal colonies of the undivided Punjab. 1938 He accompanied the Bihar and Orissa Research Society, as an art adviser, to Tibetan expedition. 1939 He visited Bhutan and Tibet with the Political Officer of Sikkim. 1939-40 He again accompanied the British Goodwill Mission to Tibet to paint the installation ceremony of Dalai Lama in Lhasa and stayed there for about eight months. 1943-44 He with his artist wife Devayani Krishna, traveled widely all over Northern Sikkim across the border of Tibet. 1945 Invited by Sir George Cunningham Governor of N.W.F.P., to travel vastly in Afghanistan, Khyber swat and Chitral, Kaffiristhan to paint life and landscape. 1946 Spent one full winter in Kashmir. 1947 Undertook another expedition to Tibet. 1948 On the kind initiative of General K.M. Carriappa, he spent six months with Indian army during Indo- Pak war, to paint and record the activities of the fighting Indian soldiers, Jammu and Kashmir. Associated with


  • 1930 Studied at Benaras Engineering College, but gave up his engineering studies for art. 1933-39 Diploma, Govt. College of Art and Craft, Kolkata. 1953 Worked under William Hayter for three months and studied basic techniques of the graphics medium, Paris.


1939 AIFACS, Lahore. 1942 Joint Show with Devyani Krishna, Silver Jubilee Celebration, Benaras Hindu University. 1942 Group show, Banaras Hindu University. 1943 Joint show with Devyani Krishna, organised by the Roerich Centre of Arts and Culture, Annie Besant Hall, Allahabad. 1946 Joint show with Devayani Krishna, organised by French Information Bureau, New Delhi. 1946 Group show, UNESCO, Paris International Exhibition, New Delhi. 1947 Joint show with Devayani Krishna, AIFACS, New Delhi. 1947 Group show, the Indian section of the International Exhb. of Modern Art, India House, London. 1947 Two of his paintings were exhibited, UNESCO Art Exhb., Paris. 1948 Jammu and Kashmir war paintings exhb., inaugurated by Prime Minister Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru, New Delhi. 1950 AIFACS exhb., Calcutta. 1951 Solo show at Rome. 1952 Solo show, Dramen, Supsberg, Stockholm. 1952 Solo exhb., Academy of Fine Arts, Salon, Norway. 1952 Solo show, Gallery Cappelen, Oslo, Norway. 1953 Group sho


National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi. Ministry of Defence, New Delhi. Gottinghan University, Germany. Lancashire University. Gray Foundation, USA. Chitrakala Parishad, Bangalore. Hyderabad Museum, Hyderabad. R.P.G Enterprises, Bombay. Duncan House, Calcutta. Reliance Industries, Bombay. Governor`s House, Orissa. Delhi Art Gallery, New Delhi.


1939 First Prize, All India Exhb. of Fine Arts, Lahore. 1946 First Prize, International Exhb. of Contemporary Art, New Delhi. 1950 Gold Medal, Academy of Fine Arts, Calcutta. 1961 Awarded Gold Medal, Academy of Fine Arts, Calcutta. 1954 Awarded the First Prize and Gold Medal, Academy of Fine Arts, Amritsar. 1955 Awarded the First Prize and Gold Medal, Academy of Fine Arts, Amritsar. 1961 Awarded four Gold medals, including Bengal Governors gold medal for the best work in any medium, Graphics and cash awards. 1963 Mention Award at Sao Paolo. 1973 Honoured by the Sahitya Kala Parishad, New Delhi. 1984-85 Honoured by the Ministry of culture with Emirates Fellowship.


Kanwal Krishnas love to travel and a life of wandering gypsy for nearly fifteen years of his life resulted in an intense love for nature. The mysterious phenomena of nature, that is light, darkness and space engraved a deep impression in his mind. Therefore the theme of nature and its mysteries had been a constant obsession with Kanwal Krishna all his life. Whatever he thought there was the land and sky, the wind and the snow, the apace around and the light. He would try relating this with his own life and what he sees and experience. For instance he would relate the inner space in him, and the pilgrim, with outer space and the total environment. His early works are characterized by the masterly use of watercolor. He has painted rugged faces of the hill people and lamas with psychological insight. His portrayal of mountains and other landscape shows infinite variety of natures moods painted spontaneously and skillfully. The later works impart a glow transparency with images in crystall


1951 Study tour on invitation by Italian Govt. 1952-53 Study tour on invitation by Norwegian Govt. 1957 Invited by British council, he went to England to teach art at Hailybury an imperial service college. 1958 Head of the Art Dept., Modern School, New Delhi. 1964 New York University gave round the world ticket to travel and discuss the art of teaching method, in different countries.