Selected works by Rajan Krishnan

Rajan Krishnan
Substances Of Earth


Acrylic on Canvas

274 x 366 cm

Rajan Krishnan’s painted works depict a reclaimed earth after humanity has abandoned it. His series of paintings pay attention to the changing landscape, as man-made settings are occupied and then deserted in the pursuit of something better. Krishnan’s Substances of Earth is a colossal acrylic painting that offers a dull palette and stylised forms. Recalling part of the grand-canyon, the detail shows a vast landmark taken over by animated insects. The surface appears overwhelmed by these creatures covering the landscape. Boulders of rock appear to resemble a carcass laid out on the face of the mountain.



An artist from Kerala, a southern state in India, Krishnan's art is very sensitive to his environment, reflecting the socio-cultural ethos he inhabits and works from. Krishnan uses landscapes or elements from his immediate natural environment as his "principle protagonist" to express his innermost, aesthetic proclivities whether in celebration, homage or protest. Representing a post agricultural landscape, his works are often, bleak, fragmentary visions of a dry, sterile landscape that seems to be an echo of a time which once buzzed with activity. While his early experiences and memories of growing up in a remote village in Kerala have had a strong presence in his early works, this slightly sentimental nostalgia now seems to be giving way for a more hard hitting, cynicism that strives to document the sudden and overwhelming transitions occurring in his environment. These works make a clinical examination, up close and unforgiving, at those "un-done landscapes" that he once held so dear

"In alluding to the crisscrossing vectors of time and space, the landscape functions as a memorial passage: a recollection of things both witnessed and imagined. As an artist who lives and works in Kerala, Krishnan underscores the cyclical forces of destruction and creation: his images oscillate between visions of the past, present and future," says Kathleen Wyma, who is pursuing her Ph. D at the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Wyma has been tracing Krishnan’s works for her dissertation and best describes the current works saying, "There is a dark side to every landscape. When idyllic representations are subverted by the artist’s perception, the landscape becomes a site of haunted desolation. Eliciting a sense of disturbance rather than evoking pictorial escapism, Rajan Krishnan's Embryo creates a space of silent and unknowable devastation. The embryo – the genesis of life – lies inert and void. Pierced by an unknown force, the perfect organic spheres are strewn in a land riddled by diseased plants. The fetid water of the foreground is juxtaposed with the pristine rigid form inching into the upper regions of the canvas, forcing one to consider the space in between." She has also published a piece in November 2004 titled, "The Task of Translating in the Work of Rajan M. Krishnan," Little Black Drawings.

Krishnan is an artist on the rise both at home and internationally. Krishnan was born 1967, in Thrissur district, Kerala and received his B.F.A. (Painting) at the College of Fine Arts, Thiruvananthapuram and his Master’s degree at the Faculty of Fine Arts, M. S. University, Baroda. He has participated in numerous group shows in India where he proudly represents the group of artists from the South. He has also had two solo exhibitions – Little Black Drawings in 2004 at Kashi Art Gallery, Kochi and Enroute, Bombay Art Gallery, Mumbai in 2006. Bodhi Art recently exhibited his works at Art Singapore 2006, which was very well received. This is his first international solo show. Krishan currently lives and works in Kochi, India.