Camden Arts Centre

Matthew Krishanu: The Bough Breaks

This major solo exhibition presents a body of new work, including paintings and works on paper that form the expansive world of Krishanu's artistic practice. Matthew Krishanu (b.1980, Bradford, UK) paints…

Exhibitions

Event Details

Category

Exhibitions

Event Starts

Apr 26, 2024

Event Ends

Jun 23, 2024

Venue

Camden Arts Centre

Location

Arkwright Road, London

This major solo exhibition presents a body of new work, including paintings and works on paper that form the expansive world of Krishanu’s artistic practice.

Matthew Krishanu (b.1980, Bradford, UK) paints atmospheric, pared-back compositions including scenes from the artist’s life, particularly his childhood years in Bangladesh growing up with his brother, and their parents who were Christian missionaries. In the paintings, seemingly familiar narratives are alluded to but destabilised. The viewer’s own projections are called upon to fulfil the interpretive loop, raising questions about childhood, religion, race, power, and the legacies of empire.

These personal stories are told through layers of memory, imagination, and conversations with the history of painting. Drawing on multiple influences including El Greco, Gwen John, Noah Davis, and the Ajanta cave paintings, Krishanu’s work often explores how representations in the canon of Western art have shaped our collective unconscious around questions of race and gender. Working in ongoing series that include Another CountryMission, and Holy Family, one painting segues into the next as a natural telling of the artist’s own journey through the joys and sorrows of life, with deeply personal subject matter that speaks to the human condition in all its complexity.

The exhibition’s title, The Bough Breaks, proceeds from the artist’s recent exhibition On a Limb (Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai, 2023). Both exhibitions relate to images from Krishanu’s Two Boys series, in which the artist and his brother are depicted perched on, and to some extent dwarfed by, the majestic branches, or ‘limbs’, of the banyan tree—an iconic symbol in Indian culture. The potential failure of this security—if the bough was to break—alludes to the dark undertones of the nursery rhyme Rock-a-bye Baby, as well as to the evident failure of the structures that should protect, provide for, and perpetuate society: a poignant metaphor for contemporary life.

For more information, visit Camden Arts Centre