April 2024

The Bough Breaks, Camden Art Centre, London

Matthew Krishanu’s (b. 1980, Bradford, UK) major exhibition will include both paintings and works on paper. The artist’s atmospheric, pared-back compositions depict scenes from his life, including his childhood years in Bangladesh growing up with his brother and their parents who were Christian missionaries. Seemingly familiar narratives are alluded to but destabilised, and 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.

Working in series, 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.

26 April – 23 June 2024 
Matthew Krishanu, Camden Art Centre, London

October 2023

Beyond the Page: South Asian Miniature Painting and Britain, 1600 to Now

Beyond the Page explores how the traditions of South Asian miniature painting have been reclaimed and reinvented by modern and contemporary artists, taken forward beyond the pages of illuminated manuscripts to experimental forms that include installations, sculpture, and film.

The exhibition will feature work by artists from different generations working in dialogue with the miniature tradition, including Hamra Abbas, David Alesworth, Nandalal Bose, Noor Ali Chagani, Lubna Chowdhary, Adbur Rahman Chughtai, Samuel Fyzee-Rahamin, N.S. Harsha, Howard Hodgkin, Ali Kazim, Bhupen Khakhar, Jess MacNeil, Imran Qureshi, Nusra Latif Qureshi, Mohan Samant, Nilima Sheikh, Willem Schellinks, the Singh Twins, Shahzia Sikander and Abanindranath Tagore.

Beyond the Page is curated by Hammad Nasar and Anthony Spira with advice from Emily Hannam.

7 October 2023 - 28 January 2024
Beyond the Page, MK Gallery, 900 Midsummer Blvd, Milton Keynes, MK9 3QA

August 2023

Matthew Krishanu: On a Limb, Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai

The title of the exhibition On a Limb references an idiom that dates to 19th Century America. To be “out on a limb” suggests vulnerability, and its origins refer to a person or an animal climbing a tree and going slightly too far. This sense of intimate fragility pervades Matthew Krishanu’s new paintings.

While continuing his focus on the figure in the land, collectively these works also seem to reflect on the nature of time: the split-second moment after a tree branch breaks, deep geological time of rock contrasted with the fragile human time of early childhood, instant photographic time and the revisionist time of the painter’s studio. Restful time. Productive time. The time it takes to make and the time it takes to look. The type of time that stretches uninterrupted over a summer’s afternoon. The finite nature of human time.

Jhaveri Contemporary
Mumbai 400 001, India
3 August – 9 September 2023
Matthew Krishanu: On a Limb review, Artforum, Mario D’Souza

July 2023

A Voice Answering a Voice, Tanya Leighton, Berlin

Tanya Leighton, Berlin and Los Angeles is pleased to announce ‘A voice answering a voice’, an exhibition featuring works by Marcus Brutus, Clyde Conwell, Denzil Forrester, Stefanie Heinze, Matthew Krishanu, Joy Labinjo, Misheck Masamvu, Manuel Mathieu, Han Shen, and Zhibo Wang. Gesturing toward the exhibition as a dialogue between two cities, the show title is inspired by the eponymous heroine of Virginia Woolf’s ‘Orlando’, a novel about a semi-immortal, man-turned-woman poet who embarks on a three-hundred-year quest for love, recognition, and fortune, all of which are frustrated due to the enduring patriarchy under which she lives.

Marcus Brutus Clyde Conwell Denzil Forrester Stefanie Heinze Matthew Krishanu Joy Labinjo Misheck Masamvu Manuel Mathieu Han Shen Zhibo Wang

Tanya Leighton
Kurfürstenstraße 24/25, Berlin 4654 W
22 July – 26 August 2023

June 2023

Life Is More Important Than Art, Whitechapel Gallery, London

Taking inspiration from African American writer and novelist James Baldwin (b.1924, USA – d.1987, France), who observed that life is more important than art … and yet that is why art is important, Whitechapel Gallery presents a free three-month programme of collaborations with artists, performers and thinkers to examine the interface between art and everyday life, and connections between local and global concerns at a time of uncertainty and change.

Visitors are invited to find meaning and create poetic, playful and reflective connections as they explore works by artists including Rana Begum (b. 1977, Bangladesh), William Cobbing (b. 1974, UK), Sarah Dobai, (b.1965, UK), Susan Hiller (b. 1940, USA – d. 2019, UK), Matthew Krishanu (b. 1980, UK), Jerome (b. 1991, UK), Janette Parris (b. 1962, UK), John Smith (b. 1952, UK), Alia Syed (b. 1964, UK), Mitra Tabrizian, Mark Wallinger (b. 1959, UK), and Osman Yousefzada (b. 1977, UK) spanning sculpture, photography, film and installation.

Life Is More Important Than Art at Whitechapel Gallery review: shows why we need art too, Ben Luke, The Evening Standard

Life Is More Important than Art at Whitechapel Gallery, Jessica Wall, The Upcoming

Can painting ever bear the weight of grief?, Hettie Judah, Apollo

Life Is More Important Than Art
14 June - 3 September 2023
Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 7QX

April 2023

Arcadia for All? Rethinking landscape painting now, The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, Leeds and Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester

Explore work by over thirty contemporary artists with different approaches to their surroundings. Expand your notion of landscape painting in radical and playful ways.

Discover the vitality and variety of contemporary painting. Delve into themes of access to nature and environmental crisis.

The exhibition also tackles issues around equity, colonial legacies, and racism.

Exhibiting artists include Hurvin Anderson, Andrew Grassie, Lubaina Himid, Matthew Krishanu, Elizabeth Magill and George Shaw.

The exhibition is guest curated by Dr Judith Tucker, Senior Lecturer at the School of Design, University of Leeds and Geraint Evans, Pathway Leader MA Painting at Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London.

Arcadia for All? Rethinking landscape painting now (free exhibition)
26 April – 29 July 2023
The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery
Parkinson Building.

15 September 2023 - 28 January 2024
Attenborough Arts Centre
Lancaster Road, Leicester LE1 7HA

March 2023

A brush with... Matthew Krishanu – The Art Newspaper podcast

An in-depth interview with the artist on his cultural experiences and greatest influences, from Jean-Michel Basquiat to Gwen John.

In the first episode of this new series of A brush with… Ben Luke talks to Matthew Krishanu about his influences—including writers, composers, film-makers and, of course, other artists—and the cultural experiences that have shaped his life and work.

Krishanu, who was born in 1980 in Bradford, UK, is one of Britain’s most distinctive painters. He draws on specific photographic images, including those of his family and his childhood in Bangladesh, yet his paintings are richly ambiguous, as he complicates his source material through emotion, memory, geopolitics, references to art history and literature, and the poetics of paint itself.

He discusses the transformative experience of seeing Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work, the ongoing influence of El Greco, his response to the work of Gwen John and the art in the caves of Ajanta in India, and his oeuvre’s intimate connection with literature, film and music. Plus, he gives insight into his studio life and answers our usual questions, including the ultimate: what is art for?

Listen to the podcast here.

March 2023

Matthew Krishanu (monograph)

Matthew Krishanu’s paintings explore topics including childhood, race, religion, art history, family, grief and love. His subjects – frequently Brown people – are realised with a shallow pictorial depth, delicate washes of colour, and with a sense of interior life. Through this, Krishanu questions the positions of his painterly subjects and depictions of landscapes in relation to the legacy of European colonialism and the art historical canon. Krishanu’s practice is heavily informed by his early childhood spent in Dhaka where his parents moved in order to work for the Church of Bangladesh.

This, his first trade monograph, presents a number of series of Krishanu’s works: Another Country, Expatriates, Mission, House of God, Religious Workers and In Sickness and In Health. The publication features essays by Mark Rappolt and Dorothy Price, alongside an interview with the artist by Ben Luke. Rappolt, Editor-in-Chief at ArtReview magazine, details the various worlds present within Krishanu’s paintings. He draws out key themes within Krishanu’s oeuvre such as power, religion, identity and memory. Price, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art and Visual Culture at The Courtauld, writes sensitively about solitude, memory and emotion which are palpable within Krishanu’s work. In particular, the series In Sickness and In Health, which traces a life path of Uschi Gatward, the artist’s late wife, over sixteen years to her untimely death from cancer in late 2021. In an interview with Luke, a critic and editor at The Art Newspaper, Krishanu discusses his practice in relation to ideas of religion, race, global art history, photography, health and personal experiences. Krishanu’s work explores, in the artist’s own words, ‘the puzzle of painting’. Produced by Anomie Publishing and Niru Ratnam, London, the publication has been supported by Guy Halamish; Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai; Niru Ratnam, London; Taimur Hassan; and Tanya Leighton, Berlin and Los Angeles.

Publication date: March 2023
ISBN: 9781910221334
Hardcover, 192 pages, dimensions: 295 x 245mm
Order: Casemate, Waterstones

February 2023

Dhaka Art Summit: Bonna

The framework of exhibition provides a space to explore both childhood as the origin of self and the dynamic that flows between community to self. It is a space layered with relationships and intergenerational exchange. Roman Ondák’s performance Teaching to Walk features a mother accompanying her son as he takes his first steps in the gallery, Matthew Krishanu’s paintings – loosely based on himself and his brother – explore sibling relationships and childhood scenes layered with subjects of race, play and memory. Elsewhere, Aditya Novali’s ongoing project Significant Other is developed from his experience with his neurodivergent younger sister, Ade Novali. Whilst he has struggled to communicate with her, he discovered that she finds comfort in drawing obsessively and that her works exhibit a similar visual language and orderliness to his own abstract compositions. For the Summit, Ade and Aditya Novali will present a collaborative, site-specific installation that speaks to the communication between the two siblings that transcends words.

Dhaka Art Summit 2023, National Art Gallery, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, 14/3 Segun Bagicha Rd, Dhaka 1000
February 3 — 11, 2023, 10am to 8pm

January 2023

Matthew Krishanu: Painting About Religion — Podcast

David Trigg speaks to the London-based painter Matthew Krishanu, whose figurative paintings explore themes of childhood, religion and the legacies of colonialism.

Matthew was raised in Bangladesh in the 1980s, a formative period which has inspired several bodies of work, from paintings based on his childhood adventures with his brother, to his Mission series addressing his father’s role as a priest in the church of Bangladesh, and his House of God paintings, which depict church buildings in the Bengal landscape.

Matthew’s paintings of religious meetings, ceremonies and churches are painted in a simple and abbreviated style with thin washes of paint and bold, assertive marks. Yet his uncomplicated aesthetic belies a complex web of historical and cultural undercurrents that serve to problematise his beguiling images.

Matthew’s interest in making paintings about religion led to his Religious Workers series, created for the Southbank Centre’s Everyday Heroes exhibition in autumn 2020, which responded to the Covid-19 pandemic with a vivid outdoor celebration of key and frontline workers.

Whether addressing religion, the legacies of Western imperialism, or the history of religious art, his works resist polemics, instead inviting conversation and contemplation.

Listen here.

November 2022

Playground, Niru Ratnam Gallery

10 November 2022 — 21 January 2023

Boy on a Climbing Frame, 2022, oil on canvas, 160x120cm

Matthew Krishanu's second solo show at Niru Ratnam ‘Playground’ will run from 10th November 2022 to 14th January 2023. Since his first exhibition at the gallery in October 2020, London-based painter Krishanu has participated in 'Mixing It Up: Painting Today', Hayward Gallery, London (2021), Coventry Biennial (2021) and 'Prophecy' at Mead Gallery, Warwick (2022) in addition to solo shows at Tanya Leighton (Berlin) and LGDR (New York). This new exhibition takes its title from the painting 'Playground', which will be presented alongside new works by Krishanu that further explore the artist’s upbringing and issues around childhood and colonialism that are regular touchpoints of his work.

The Guardian: Secrets of the Seesaw, Elizabeth Fullerton, 8 Nov 2022

Playground, Niru Ratnam Gallery
Niru Ratnam Gallery, First Floor, 23 Ganton Street, Soho, London, W1F 9BW
Wednesday to Saturday, 12noon to 5pm

October 2022

Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale

14 October 2022

Boys on a Rock, 2018, oil on canvas, 50x60cm

Christie’s is delighted to present a group of ten contemporary artworks by artists with links to the Indian subcontinent in our Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale in London this October. Works by exciting names, including Iftikhar Dadi & Elizabeth Dadi, Rasheed Araeen, Haroon Mirza, Prabha Meppayil, Bharti Kher, Ayesha Sultana, Rana Begum, Matthew Krishanu and Tayeba Lipi, will be sold to raise funds for CLEFT centre in Bangladesh and funding post-surgical care.

14 October, Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale.

August 2022

The Kingfisher’s Wing catalogue

Published by GRIMM on the occasion of "The Kingfisher's Wing", 2022.

Hard cover with linen.

Publisher: GRIMM Amsterdam (NL)
Dimensions: 22 x 15 cm | 8 5/8 x 5 7/8 in
Pages: 119
ISBN: ISBN 978-90-83|888-6-7

July 2022

The Kingfisher’s Wing

21 July — 19 August 2022

GRIMM is pleased to announce The Kingfisher’s Wing, a group exhibition curated by Tom Morton drawing together paintings by Gabriella Boyd, Varda Caivano, Louise Giovanelli, Matthew Krishanu, Francesca Mollett, William Monk, Ryan Mosley, Christian Quin Newell, Mary Ramsden, Tim Stoner and Phoebe Unwin. The exhibition is the third collaboration between GRIMM and Morton, following the exhibitions Recent British Sculpture and Recent British Painting presented by the gallery in Amsterdam in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

GRIMM, 54 White Street, New York, NY (US)

May 2022


7 May — 26 June 2022

This group exhibition, conceived in collaboration with artist Laura Nyahuye, uses the narrative of Coventry writer George Eliot’s Middlemarch to look closely at overlapping stories and histories that bring people together through shared experience.

Paintings from Matthew Krishanu’s ongoing series Interiors feature depictions of his wife (the writer Uschi Gatward) over a 15-year period, alongside their daughter (born in 2010). The paintings detail intimate portraits of wife and child over the years and mark significant events including the first months with their baby, and Uschi and Matthew’s wedding.

Included in Prophecy are four new paintings, completed the week prior to the exhibition’s opening. Three of these latest works capture the final weeks of Uschi’s life, following a terminal cancer diagnosis in September 2021, and show the complexity of the human condition, vulnerability, and grief. The fourth painting looks back to an earlier time, in Bedroom (Mother and Baby).

Featured artists include:
Dineo Seshee Bopape, JJ Chan, Esiri Erheriene-Essi, Marianna Fahmy, Matthew Krishanu, Edwin Mingard, Maria Mahfooz, David Moore, Eleanor Mortimer, Laura Nyahuye, Saskia Olde Wolbers, Khadija Saye, Caroline Walker, Nilupa Yasmin

Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry

April 2022

Matthew Krishanu — Undercurrents, LGDR, New York

7 April — 14 May 2022

Memories of childhood permeate the subtropical world that Matthew Krishanu constructs in his evocative paintings. In these works, the past is distilled and reassembled to create vivid scenes that feel fused to a former time. Tangible environments shape these narratives: powdery pastel terrains are bookended by cloudless blue skies and pools of turquoise water, while interior spaces (particularly churches) incorporate palm trees and other vernacular additions, such as primary-colour streamers that cascade from the ceiling.

Undercurrents text by Allie Biswas

LGDR , 3 East 89 Street, New York, 10128

January 2022

Tate Etc

‘Two prints of Sickert’s paintings are taped to my studio wall: La Hollandaise c.1906 and Portrait of an Afghan Gentleman c.1895.’

Walter Sickert, Portrait of an Afghan Gentleman c.1895, © Jerwood Collection / Bridgeman Images

Matthew Krishanu, Andrew Cranston, Thomas Kennedy, Kaye Donachie, Somaya Critchlow, Merlin James and Louise Giovanelli.

Walter Sickert’s radical paintings pushed British art into the 20th century, transforming the representation of everyday life. Here, before the opening of the first exhibition dedicated to him at Tate since 1960, we ask six leading painters what Sickert’s art means to them today.

Read here: Tate Etc.

November 2021

Arrow and Pulpit, Tanya Leighton, Berlin

6 November — 17 December 2021

Tanya Leighton is pleased to announce the opening of Matthew Krishanu’s ‘Arrow and Pulpit’, an exhibition of the artist’s ongoing exploration of his childhood in South Asia. On view will be selections from the artist’s ‘Another Country’ and ‘Mission’ series, paintings that explore the two realms of Krishanu's memories of Dhaka: that of a boy in the midst of a world of adventure and play and that of a son born to an English priest and a Bengali Indian mother. Tanya Leighton is also excited to announce that ‘Arrow and Pulpit’ marks the first presentation of Krishanu’s work as a new member of the gallery's programme.

His work was the recent focus in Studio International, September 2021. An interview with Krishanu and Ben Luke (Review Editor) at The Art Newspaper is forthcoming  featured this November.

‘Arrow and Pulpit’ will be open Tuesday to Saturday, 11–6 pm.

For further information and images please contact info@tanyaleighton.com or telephone +49(0)3021972220.

Tanya Leighton
Kurfürstenstraße 24/25, Berlin
T +49 (0)30 21 972 220

October 2021

Coventry Biennial, Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum

8 October 2021 — 9 January 2022

Matthew Krishanu’s series In Sickness and In Health features paintings made across a fifteen-year period. These include portraits of his wife who is currently very unwell and regularly in hospital, alongside their daughter, painted as a small baby (in 2010), who features in the centre of the series.

These paintings show significant milestones in the artist’s life taking place within a variety of interior settings. Two of these paintings make reference to the work of other artists. Indeed, paintings of women and children in domestic settings as well as domestic still- life works from the collection of Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum were a crucial starting point for Matthew.

Matthew’s work typically combines autobiography with reference to the canon of art history. He has noted: “I think of the paintings as coming from an interior place. I always have a personal connection to the subject matter.”

Matthew's works resonate with the exhibition Picture of Health: Art, Medicine & the Body, which can be seen in the Main Gallery. Additionally, two paintings on paper by Matthew can be found as part of HYPER-POSSIBLE at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum.

Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum, Royal Pump Rooms, The Parade, Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV32 4AA

September 2021

Mixing It Up, Hayward Gallery, London

9 September — 12 December 2021

Featuring three generations of artists who live and work here, Mixing It Up highlights the UK’s emergence as a vital international centre of contemporary painting.

Reflecting the international character of the painting scene in this country, the participating artists come from a diverse range of backgrounds and nationalities: over a third of the participating artists were born in other places, including countries in Africa, Asia, South America and North America.

Mixing It Up: Painting Today features 31 artists:
Tasha Amini, Hurvin Anderson, Alvaro Barrington, Lydia Blakeley, Gabriella Boyd, Lisa Brice, Gareth Cadwallader, Caroline Coon, Somaya Critchlow, Peter Doig, Jadé Fadojutimi, Denzil Forrester, Louise Giovanelli, Andrew Pierre Hart, Lubaina Himid, Kudzanai-Violet Hwami, Merlin James, Rachel Jones, Allison Katz, Matthew Krishanu, Graham Little, Oscar Murillo, Mohammed Sami, Samara Scott, Daniel Sinsel, Caragh Thuring, Sophie von Hellermann, Jonathan Wateridge, Rose Wylie, Issy Wood and Vivien Zhang.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue with original texts by Jeremy Atherton Lin, Martha Barratt, Ben Eastham, Emily LaBarge, Rosanna Mclaughlin, Rianna Jade Parker and Ralph Rugoff.

Mixing It Up is curated by Hayward Gallery Director Ralph Rugoff, with Assistant Curator Phoebe Cripps and Curatorial Assistant Thomas Sutton.

Mixing It Up, The Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX

Exhibition catalogue available.

September 2021

The Anomie Review of Contemporary British Painting 2

Sixty contemporary painters born or living in Britain discussed through national and international solo exhibitions of their work.

Following the success of ‘The Anomie Review of Contemporary British Painting’ in 2018, a second volume has been created to showcase solo exhibitions that have defined contemporary painting in Britain since the first volume. This new, larger anthology presents the work of sixty artists born or living here through documentation and discussion of solo exhibitions of their work in museums and galleries around the UK and internationally. Featuring artists at different stages of their careers, from senior figures exhibiting at major museums to emerging artists presenting some of their first commercial gallery exhibitions, ‘The Anomie Review of Contemporary British Painting 2’ offers an overview of recent activity in the medium of painting in this country.

Artists and venues featured in this new volume include Hurvin Anderson at Rat Hole Gallery, Tokyo; Frank Bowling at Tate Britain; Lisa Brice at Stephen Friedman Gallery, London; Gareth Cadwallader at Josh Lilley, London; Denzil Forrester at Nottingham Contemporary; Sophie von Hellermann at Pilar Corrias, London; Matthew Krishanu at Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham; Joy Labinjo at BALTIC, Gateshead; France-Lise McGurn at Simon Lee, London; Jenny Saville at Gagosian, New York; Anj Smith at MOSTYN, Llandudno; Tim Stoner at Modern Art, London; Phoebe Unwin at Towner Eastbourne, and many more.

The Anomie Review of Contemporary British Painting 2
ISBN: 978-1-910221-27-3
Published by Anomie Publishing, London/p>

September 2021

Studio International, interview by David Trigg

Studio International spoke to Krishanu as he prepared for a busy season of exhibitions, including his participation in the Hayward Gallery’s ambitious survey of contemporary painting Mixing It Up: Painting Today, a commission for the Coventry Biennial and a solo exhibition at the Tanya Leighton Gallery in Berlin.

Matthew Krishanu. Photo: Peter Mallet.

May 2021

Drawing Biennial, Drawing Room, London

21 May — 5 July 2021

Brother, 2018, oil on paper, 30x21cm (photo Paul Tucker); Drawing Biennial 2021 (photo Dan Weill)

Featuring new and recent works on paper by leading international artists, the Biennial showcases every imaginable technique and represents artists from a range of generations, backgrounds, and heritages. The exhibition culminates in an online auction taking place over its final two weeks, with all works available to purchase – it’s your chance to own works by established greats and discover emerging talent.

For many, 2020 was the year for drawing – its absorbing immediacy, its accessibility to all and its capacity for processing ideas, thoughts and emotions made it a vital tool for navigating uncertain times. The multiplicity of drawings on show reveals sparkling gems, a glossary of the challenges and the opportunities afforded by a global pandemic that has affected us all in different ways.

Figure and Ground:
Drawing Biennial 2021 artists Phoebe Boswell, Mandy El-Sayegh, Jake Grewal and Matthew Krishanu in conversation with Isabel Seligman, Monument Trust Curator of Modern and Contemporary Drawing at the British Museum. Four artists who use figuration in their work, or different interpretations of the corporeal, examine the drawn body from different perspectives and in different contexts, including as site of memory, resistance and desire.

Watch here.

Drawing Biennial, Drawing Room, 1-27 Rodney Place, London SE17 1PP

March 2021

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery acquires Procession of Priests

Procession of Priests, 2020, oil on board, 51x76cm (photo: Damian Griffiths)

Procession of Priests enters the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery permanent collection.

February 2021

John Moores Painting Prize, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

12 February — 27 June 2021

Riverboat, 2020, oil on canvas, 200 x 270cm (photo: Peter Mallet)

Riverboat is included in the John Moores 2020 exhibition (viewable online; gallery reopens 17 May – 27 June 2021).

John Moores Painting Prize, Walker Art Gallery, William Brown St, Liverpool L3 8EL

December 2020

Government Art Collection acquires two paintings

Mountain Tent, 2019, oil on canvas, 60 x 50cm and Two Boys in a Tree, 2019, oil on board, 61 x 46cm enter the Government Art Collection.

September 2020

Picture Plane (solo), Niru Ratnam Gallery

16 September — 24 October 2020

Mission School, 2017, oil on canvas, 150 x 200cm

Matthew Krishanu’s solo exhibition ‘Picture Plane’ consists of paintings where subtle shifts in register between different parts of the painted surface imbue his subject matter with a sense of ambiguity and detachment. Through this Krishanu questions the position of his subjects in relation to traditions that were largely the legacy of European colonialism.

In ‘Mission School’ (2017), twelve children are seen looking at a copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’ which is propped on an easel. The children occupy the very bottom of the picture plane. Flatness and a lack of pictorial depth give way only in one part – the reproduction of ‘The Last Supper’. Christ is at the centre of the work, the viewer’s gaze directed by the diagonal of his left arm. This is a sudden appearance of the conventional perspective associated with Renaissance and pre-modern canonical art history, puncturing the rest of the picture plane.

In the House of God series, Krishanu paints together areas of flattened space, rendered in layers of one or two particular colours, with half-remembered figures and buildings that are pushed towards the edges of the painting. The surface of works such as ‘Church, Tree and Field’ (2020), and ‘Church Tower and Field’ (2019) are predominantly taken up by a large painted area of colour that might plausibly be read as a field (with reference to the respective titles of each work). But it is also possible to read these areas as a field in a different sense; a colour field, the term that writers sometimes used to describe abstract painting. These ‘fields’ are almost wholly abstract and the “subject matter” of this series, the churches, towers and crosses, is very much at the margins.

Krishanu’s work questions where the space is for subjects who find themselves within a foreign, imperial narrative, an afterthought to the great ‘civilising’ mission. Often this is to be an observer rather than a participant, perhaps indeed observing the decline of that mission. His subjects might only be allowed marginal and precarious subject positions but there is a tenuous security in those positions, watching as imposed traditions slowly sink into the unforgiving land, serenaded by crows.

Niru Ratnam Gallery

First Floor, 23 Ganton Street, Soho, London, W1F 9BW

Wednesday to Friday, 11am to 6pm | Saturday, 12pm to 5pm

September 2020

Hayward Gallery / Southbank Centre

01 September — 01 November 2020

Taking place across Southbank Centre, Everyday Heroes is an outdoor exhibition that celebrates the contributions that key workers and frontline staff have made during the pandemic.

Many of the contributing artists and writers have chosen to portray family members, friends, or people in their local communities. Often disarmingly intimate, each portrait – whether originally rendered in paint, charcoal, photography, collage, or with language – is vividly imaginative and emotionally compelling in its own way.

Together, they highlight the sheer scale of the collective response to this crisis, and the many different ways that people across the country have come together to support one another, and find a way through it.

Featured artists: Michael Armitage, Lydia Blakeley, Jeremy Deller, Laura Grace Ford, Mahtab Hussain, Evan Ifekoya, Matthew Krishanu, Ryan Mosley, Janette Parris, Alessandro Raho, Silvia Rosi, Benjamin Senior, Juergen Teller, Caroline Walker and Barbara Walker.

Featured poets: Romalyn Ante, Raymond Antrobus, Simon Armitage, Jackie Kay, Vanessa Kisuule and Roger Robinson. 

Southbank Centre, London

Matthew Krishanu focuses on four female religious workers who, along with religious workers across the country, continued to find ways to serve their community throughout the crisis. The subjects are Rehanah Sadiq, a Muslim chaplain for two Birmingham NHS hospital trusts; Eve Pitts, Britain’s first black female Church of England vicar; Margaret Jacobi, a rabbi at a progressive Jewish synagogue; and Deseta Davis, a pastor and prison chaplain. All four live in Birmingham, a city that Krishanu knows well, and are pictured at work, sometimes dressed in ceremonial clothes, or personal protective equipment. 

Watch: Matthew Krishanu on his works for Everyday Heroes ↗

Watch: Curators Ralph Rugoff and Cedar Lewisohn discuss Everyday Heroes ↗

In this video, Ralph Rugoff, Hayward Gallery Director, and Cedar Lewisohn, Curator: Site Design, introduce Everyday Heroes, and discuss some of the challenges of producing a large-scale outdoor exhibition that responds to our current moment.

March 2020

Jhaveri Contemporary:
Art Basel Hong Kong 2020

20 March — 1 April 2020
Online Viewing Room

Jhaveri Contemporary is delighted to present paintings by British artist Matthew Krishanu from three ongoing series, Another Country, Expatriates, and Mission, bringing together multiple narrative threads. Another Country is a deeply personal and emotive body of work that takes as its main subject the artist’s childhood in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Expatriates considers the complex politics that accompany expat communities in developing countries, and Mission explores the life of the church in South Asia.

Coracle, 2018, oil on canvas, 50 x 40cm

Krishanu’s work skilfully negotiates memory, using an expansive and technically diverse painting style as a lens for recollection. The paintings rely on a brevity and directness that come from a cerebral and scholarly approach to painting practice, and a deep engagement with art history. Krishanu’s paintings combine Western and indigenous traditions of painting to create a language that is as personal as it is particular.

Much like a film, Krishanu’s paintings are populated with recurring characters and locations: the artist and his family, church congregations, expatriates in suits and saris, and the lush landscapes of Bangladesh, all painted in a palette that evokes a faded polaroid or a hand-coloured photograph from another era.

January 2020

A Rich Tapestry, Lahore Biennale 02

26 January — 29 February 2020

Crow (orange), 2018, oil on board, 15 x 20cm

Ikon presents an exhibition curated by Jonathan Watkins and Aisha Khalid at Lahore Biennale 02.

Work by Mahtab Hussain, Matthew Krishanu, Farwa Moledina and Osman Yousefzada, all of South Asian British heritage, will be shown alongside that of two prominent Pakistani artists, Ali Kazim and Imran Qureshi.

December 2019

The CAS acquires three paintings for Huddersfield Art Gallery

The Contemporary Art Society has acquired three paintings by London-based artist Matthew Krishanu for Huddersfield Gallery.

Huddersfield Art Gallery holds a significant collection of 19th and 20th century painting including the first Francis Bacon to enter a public collection, a work also gifted by the Contemporary Art Society. Krishanu was born locally and had his first solo show at the Huddersfield Art Gallery in 2018. The acquisition of his work builds on the existing legacy of painting while incorporating contemporary and global perspectives.

November 2019

New Figurations: Matthew Krishanu and Sosa Joseph, Mumbai

Thursday 14 November — Saturday 28 December 2019

New Figurations: Matthew Krishanu and Sosa Joseph, Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai, 2019
(Photo: Mohammed Chiba)

A preoccupation with people, more than their painterly aesthetic, starts an intriguing conversation between Matthew Krishanu and Sosa Joseph. Beyond their shared affinity for broad brushstrokes, translucent layers of colour and washed out hues is their inquisitive nature. With something of an anthropologist’s eye, both Krishanu and Joseph create a visual ethnography, capturing habitual routines and profiling their subjects. But where a classical anthropologist would value distanced observation, these artists make emotions their mainstay.

View text by Cleo Roberts and list of works here

Jhaveri Contemporary
3rd Floor Devidas Mansion
4 Mereweather road
Apollo Bandar Colaba
Mumbai 400 001

September 2019

Corvus: a painting installation, Iniva, Stuart Hall library, London

Thursday 12 September — Saturday 30 November 2019

Corvus, Iniva
Photo: George Torode

Iniva presents: Corvus. A painting installation by Matthew Krishanu

Crows, rooks, jackdaws and ravens: corvid, corvus, and corvidae. They are considered to be cosmopolitan creatures endowed with a preternatural intelligence. Over 120 species exist and the genus Corvus makes up over a third of the entire family. They are legion and amongst us every single day.

Matthew Krishanu’s crows could be described as relatives of sorts, sharing similarities of pose and abstracted form, always painted singly and never in flight. Standing on twin legs gives them an anthropomorphic quality, looking directly at the viewer or stepping awkwardly away. Krishanu has been documenting London crows for over seven years and painting their intimate portraits in oil on canvas board. He has captured the minutiae of their lives - perching, feeding, pacing or standing - that only a sustained period of observation could reveal.

12 September — 2 November 2019,
Monday (10—5pm) to Saturday (10am—4pm)
Artist talk: 30 November, 2—3pm

The Stuart Hall Library, 16 John Islip St, London SW1P 4JU

March 2019

House of Crows, Matt's Gallery, London

Saturday 30 March — Sunday 7 April 2019

House of Crows, 2019, installation view.
Photo: Jonathan Bassett. Courtesy of the artist and Matt's Gallery, London.

This exhibition centres around two series of images that the painter has been developing over a number of years: House of God, which depicts landscapes punctuated by the crosses of churches, and Crow, a series begun in 2012.

Krishanu’s crows are painted at small scale in oil or acrylic on board. Never caught in flight, they stand, stride and perch, at times in profile, at others facing you down head on. The paintings are stark, often comprised of densely worked tonal textures of black on black, with shades of darkest blues and browns worked in, set against pale washes of background. Their close cropping gives the skeletal forms of the birds an abstract quality; when grouped, the paintings reveal their individual idiosyncrasies.

Krishanu sees parallels between his Crow and House of God series, both of which are devoid of humans. In House of God, the focus is brought to the simple form of the Christian cross. Krishanu is interested in the ambivalent relationship we may have to this symbol. As with the crows, its symbolic quality is loaded, evoking a multitude of potential reactions in the viewer.

Krishanu has been invited to install a number of works from these series in response to the 3x3x3 metre cubic gallery space at 92 Webster Road.

30 March — 7 April 2019, daily 12—6pm
Preview: Friday 29 March 2019, 6—9pm

House of Crows, Matt's Gallery
92 Webster Road, London, SE16 4DF

March 2019

Childhood Now, Compton Verney, Warwickshire

Saturday 16 March — Sunday 16 June 2019

Furthering the conversation initiated in Painting Childhood: From Holbein to Freud, this sister-exhibition brings together the works of three contemporary figurative painters – Chantal Joffe, Mark Fairnington and Matthew Krishanu.

Drawn to the subject of children, each of these British artists depict childhood in very different ways. Fierce, tender and highly personal, Chantal Joffe’s expressive paintings chart the growth of her daughter Esme from birth to adolescence, in relation to her own changing role as a mother. Mark Fairnington’s approach turns a scientific eye to the depiction of his twin sons with hyper-realistic precision, while Matthew Krishanu’s radiant paintings reveal memories of his own childhood in Bangladesh. Together, these three artists present fresh perspectives on what constitutes childhood today.

Childhood Now, Compton Verney, Warwickshire CV35 9HZ

Exhibition dates: 16 March — 16 June, 2019

Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday, 11am — 5pm, last entry 4pm

Ticketed: £14.50/£13.50

March 2019

Too Cute! Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

26 January 2019 — 12 May 2019

Boy and Mask, Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre London

Artist and filmmaker Rachel Maclean examines the world of cuteness by curating works from the Arts Council Collection and Birmingham’s collection to reveal how objects and images can have the unique ability to be simultaneously sweet and sinister.

Too Cute! presents a range of artworks that show different takes on cuteness. The works in the exhibition range vastly in age and intention, moving from contemporary based issues to 19th-century oil paintings. Maclean’s fascination is with the elusive moment where cute objects slip into their opposite and instead of inspiring care, insight fear and disgust.

Too Cute! Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, B3 3DH

Exhibition dates: 26 January — 12 May 2019

Opening times: Monday — Thursday 10am — 5pm | Friday 10.30am — 5pm | Saturday & Sunday 10am — 5pm

Admission free.

March 2019

Made in Britain, The National Museum, Gdańsk, Poland

14 March — 2 June 2019

Made in Britain | 82 Painters of the 21st Century

Curated by Robert Priseman, Anna McNay, Małgorzata Taraszkiewicz-Zwolicka and Małgorzata Ruszkowska-Macur

Artsits: David Ainley, Iain Andrews, Amanda Ansell, Louis Appleby, Richard Baker, Karl Bielik, Claudia Böse, John Brennan, Julian Brown, Simon Burton, Ruth Calland, Emma Cameron, Simon Carter, Maria Chevska, Jules Clarke, Wayne Clough, Ben Coode-Adams, Ben Cove, Lucy Cox, Andrew Crane, Pen Dalton, Alan Davie, Jeffrey Dennis, Lisa Denyer, Sam Douglas, Annabel Dover, Natalie Dowse, Fiona Eastwood, Nathan Eastwood, Tracey Emin, Geraint Evans, Paul Galyer, Pippa Gatty, Terry Greene, Susan Gunn, Susie Hamilton, Alex Hanna, David Hockney, Marguerite Horner, Barbara Howey, Phil Illingworth, Linda Ingham, Silvie Jacobi, Kelly Jayne, Matthew Krishanu, Bryan Lavelle, Andrew Litten, Cathy Lomax, Paula MacArthur, David Manley, Enzo Marra, Monica Metsers, Nicholas Middleton, Andrew Munoz, Keith Murdoch, Paul Newman, Stephen Newton, Gideon Pain, Andrew Parkinson, Mandy Payne, Charley Peters, Ruth Philo, Alison Pilkington, Narbi Price, Robert Priseman, Freya Purdue, James Quin, Greg Rook, Katherine Russell, Stephen Snoddy, Ben Snowden, David Sullivan, Harvey Taylor, Molly Thomson, Ehryn Torrell, Judith Tucker, Philip Tyler, Julie Umerle, Marius von Brasch, Mary Webb, Sean Williams and Fionn Wilson

The National Museum, Gdańsk, The Green Gate, ul. Długi Targ 24, 80-828 Gdańsk, Poland

Exhibition dates: 14 March — 2 June 2019

Summer season: 1 May — 30 September | Tues — Sun 10.00 — 17.00 | Mon — closed.
Winter season: 1 October — 30 April | Tues — Sun 9.00 — 16.00 | Mon — closed.

Supported by the British Council and The Academy of Fine Arts, Gdansk

March 2019

The Sun Never Sets Catalogue

14 March — 2 June 2019

A catalogue featuring texts by Jenni Lomax (curator, writer and former Director of Camden Arts centre), and Ruxmini Choudhury (assistant curator at Dhaka Art Summit), is available to buy from Cornerhouse Publications.

January 2019

The Sun Never Sets (solo), MAC, Birmingham, 2019

Saturday 12 January 2019 — Sunday 10 March 2019

The Sun Never Sets, Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham

London-based painter Matthew Krishanu takes inspiration from his childhood spent in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka to produce his dream-like, reflective paintings.

Matthew’s British father and Indian mother completed theological training in Birmingham, then relocated their family to Dhaka in the early 1980s, working for the Church of Bangladesh. His work explores his eleven years living in Bangladesh, while capturing his distinctive bond with his brother. His paintings explore the childhood gaze of the boys, depicting experiences of an atmospheric yet complex world of expatriates, missionaries and expansive landscapes.

Matthew Krishanu says: “I want the viewer to sense the complications: that the scenes depicted are not always ones of innocence, that there are historical and cultural currents at play, and that the childhood world is easily punctured by adult constructions and beliefs.”

Jenni Lomax (former director of Camden Arts Centre) writes in her introduction to the exhibition catalogue: “Autobiography plays some part in all Krishanu’s work, whether populated by figures or uninhabited like his landscapes. However, his paintings are given a deliberate edge of uncertainty that folds reality in with the collapsing of time.”

The show includes two paintings recently acquired by the Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London.

Join us to celebrate the launch of ‘The Sun Never Sets’ at the opening event on Saturday 19 January from 2pm - 4pm, where you can see the work and meet artist Matthew Krishanu.

There will also be an Artist Talk and Tour on Thursday 21 February from 6pm-7.30pm in the gallery – a chance to join artist Matthew and MAC Visual Arts Producer Jess Litherland for a private evening tour of ‘The Sun Never Sets’.

An associated exhibition, ‘Matthew Krishanu: A Murder of Crows’, is showing throughout the Ikon Gallery building during the run of ‘The Sun Never Sets’.

A catalogue is available to buy featuring texts by Jenni Lomax and Ruxmini Choudhury (assistant curator at Dhaka Art Summit).

The Sun Never Sets, Midlands Arts Centre, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, B12 9QH

January 2019

Matthew Krishanu — A Murder of Crows, Ikon Gallery, 2019

Tuesday 8 January — Sunday 10 March 2019

Crow (pink and green), 2016, oil on board, 20 x 15cm

Dozens of Matthew Krishanu’s painted crows will be displayed throughout Ikon’s neo-gothic premises. Always painted singly and never in flight they appear almost anthropomorphic on their twin legs, whether looking directly at the viewer or stepping away.

Mischievous, malevolent and sometimes comical, Krishanu’s birds are partly inspired by crows in art and literature; for example, ‘Crow’ by Ted Hughes, Edgar Allan Poe’s raven, or the mythical crows of trickster tales. Inspired by bird watching in England, they are also signifiers of Krishanu’s childhood in Bangladesh where crows were always close by, cawing in trees or pecking at rubbish dumps.

The exhibition coincides with Matthew Krishanu’s exhibition The Sun Never Sets at MAC Birmingham (12 January – 10 March 2019)

Opening event: Saturday 19 January 5 - 7pm.

A Murder of Crows, Ikon Gallery, 1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace, Birmingham, B1 2HS

July 2018

John Moores Painting Prize, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 2018

14 July — 18 November 2018

Mission School, 2017, oil on canvas, 150 x 200cm (photo: Peter Mallet)

This is the UK’s longest-established painting prize, founded in 1957, and open to all UK-based artists working with paint.

The competition culminates in an exhibition held at the Walker Art Gallery every two years, forming a key strand of the Liverpool Biennial. 2018 will mark the prize’s 60th anniversary and its 30th exhibition. Although the appearance of each exhibition changes, the principles remain constant: to support artists and to bring to Liverpool the best contemporary painting from across the UK.

This year’s entries deal with a range of subjects from Amazon parcel collection lockers to da Vinci’s The Last Supper. Materials as diverse as aluminium, cardboard and compostable food recycling bags have replaced canvas for some artists, and found objects, coins and felt tip used in addition to paint.

Past winners of the art prize include David Hockney (1967), Mary Martin (1969), Peter Doig (1993), Keith Coventry (2010), Sarah Pickstone (2012) and Rose Wylie (2014). The winner of the prestigious first prize in 2016 was Michael Simpson with his painting Squint.

July 2018

In the City, East Gallery, Norwich; Stephen Lawrence Gallery, London, 2018

Tuesday 24 July — Saturday 1 September 2018: East GalleryNUA, Norwich

7 September — 24 October: Stephen Lawrence Gallery, University of Greenwich, London

Crowd, 2018, oil and acrylic on canvas, 120 x 200cm (photo: Peter Mallet)

In the City brings together dynamic work by nine established painters working with imagery of the city and ideas around urban space in locations ranging from the UK, Canada, and the USA to Bangladesh, Myanmar, and India.

Trevor Burgess, Stephen Carter, Mark Crofton Bell, Marguerite Horner, Barbara Howey, Matthew Krishanu, Lee Maelzer, Jock McFadyen, Tanmoy Samanta

More than half of the world’s population now lives in cities and artists have long represented city life in their work, from the painters of Dutch street scenes and interiors, to twentieth century British artists such as Bomberg and Sickert.

In this exhibition, the ever-changing contemporary urban environment is captured through the practice of painting, transforming and combining source material from different media such as photographs, images from newspapers, the internet as well as drawings and sketches.

The exhibition’s international scope registers the impact of global mobility and communications on artists’ sense of place. The artists give us oblique glimpses of their experience of different urban environments across three continents: Toronto and New York, Bangladesh and India, the UK and France, conveying real, imagined and remembered spaces. Commercial and residential buildings, transportation, and the natural world are all represented, as are the inhabitants of the modern city.

The exhibition includes a display of preparatory material that offers an insight into the artists’ working methods.

June 2018

Matthew Krishanu — The Sun Never Sets, Huddersfield Art Gallery, 2018

Saturday 23 June 2018 — Saturday 15 September 2018

Matthew Krishanu — The Sun Never Sets (installation view), Huddersfield Art Gallery (photo: Olivia Hemingway)

The Sun Never Sets is London-based artist Matthew Krishanu’s first solo show in a public-funded gallery. The exhibition brings together over 30 paintings, including ten large-scale works, exploring figuration, place, and memory. The works centre on two boys (the artist and his brother) growing up in Bangladesh, and their experience of a complex world that includes expatriates, missionaries, and expansive landscapes.

Matthew Krishanu says: “I want the viewer to sense the complications: that the scenes depicted are not always ones of innocence, that there are historical and cultural currents at play, and that the childhood world is easily punctured by adult constructions and beliefs.”

The show includes four paintings recently acquired by the Arts Council Collection, to be exhibited together for the first time. Skeleton (2014) depicts two boys standing with the bones of a cow, which is missing its forelegs – its skeleton was washed up on the banks of a river, during the severe floods in Bangladesh in 1988. In Boy and Mask (2017), a boy stands in front of a tiger’s mask – the mask seems animated or alive, while the boy has closed eyes. Ordination (2017) portrays a church scene (part of the artist’s ‘Mission’ series of works) in which a new priest is being ordained. In Girl with Book (2012), a person sits alone on a bed, an open book behind her. Questions of costume, symbol and status are raised in all these paintings – whether of adults seen performing ceremonial roles, or children posing in shorts and t-shirts.

The Sun Never Sets is accompanied by a free publication with a text by independent writer and curator Matt Price.

Matthew Krishanu – The Sun Never Sets (installation view), Huddersfield Art Gallery (photo: Olivia Hemingway)

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 4pm

Address: Huddersfield Art Gallery, Princess Alexandra Walk, Huddersfield, HD1 2SU

Panel discussion: Painting – People and Places, Saturday 21st July 1.30 – 3pm

Lindsey Bull, Matthew Krishanu, Cara Nahaul, Narbi Price, Judith Tucker (chair)

Closing event: Matthew Krishanu in conversation with Amanprit Sandhu, Saturday 15 September 2 – 3pm

Free – all welcome

The Sun Never Sets is supported by funding from Arts Council England

April 2018

Arts Council Collection acquires four paintings

The Arts Council Collection is the UK’s largest national loan collection of modern and contemporary art. 47 works by 25 artists were acquired for the nation in 2017-18.

Recommendations to purchase innovative works of art that reflect artistic practice in Britain today are made by a changing group of external advisors to the Arts Council Collection Acquisitions Committee. For 2017-18 they were: Brian Cass, Head of Exhibitions, Towner Gallery, Eastbourne; Anthea Hamilton, artist; Helen Legg, Director, Spike Island, Bristol and Morgan Quaintance, writer and curator. The chair of the Acquisitions Committee for 2017-18 was Maria Balshaw, Director of Tate Galleries. The three permanent members of the acquisitions committee are: Jill Constantine, Director, Arts Council Collection; Peter Heslip, Director, Visual Arts, Arts Council England; and Ralph Rugoff, Director, Hayward Gallery, London.

July 2017

Contemporary Masters from Britain, Yantai Art Museum; Artall Gallery & Jiangsu Art Gallery, Nanjing; Tianjin Academy of Fine Art, Tianjin, 2017 - 2018

Between 7th July and 10th January 2018, 80 works of art drawn from the Priseman Seabrook Collection of 21st century British Painting will go on display in 4 Chinese art museums for the very first time. The host institutions are the Yantai Art Museum, Artall Gallery, Nanjing, Jiangsu Art Gallery, Nanjing and the Tianjin Academy of Fine Art, Tianjin.

David Ainley, Iain Andrews, Amanda Ansell, Louis Appleby, Richard Baker, Karl Bielik, Claudia Böse, Day Bowman, John Brennan, Julian Brown, Simon Burton, Marco Cali, Ruth Calland, Emma Cameron, Simon Carter, Jules Clarke, Ben Cove, Lucy Cox, Andrew Crane, Pen Dalton, Jeffrey Dennis, Lisa Denyer, Sam Douglas, Annabel Dover, Natalie Dowse, Fiona Eastwood, Nathan Eastwood, Wendy Elia, Geraint Evans, Lucian Freud, Paul Galyer, Pippa Gatty, Terry Greene, Susan Gunn, Susie Hamilton, Alex Hanna, David Hockney, Marguerite Horner, Barbara Howey, Phil Illingworth, Linda Ingham, Matthew Krishanu, Bryan Lavelle, Laura Leahy, Andrew Litten, Cathy Lomax, Clementine McGaw, Paula MacArthur, Lee Maelzer, David Manley, Enzo Marra, Monica Metsers, Nicholas Middleton, Andrew Munoz, Keith Murdoch, Paul Newman, Stephen Newton, Gideon Pain, Andrew Parkinson, Mandy Payne, Charley Peters, Ruth Philo, Barbara Pierson, Alison Pilkington, Robert Priseman, Freya Purdue, Greg Rook, Katherine Russell, Wendy Saunders, Stephen Snoddy, David Sullivan, Harvey Taylor, Ehryn Torrell, Delia Tournay-Godfrey, Judith Tucker, Julie Umerle, Mary Webb, Rhonda Whitehead, Sean Williams, Fionn Wilson

July 2017

The Immediacy of Paint: Surface Symposium

Friday 7 July 2017

Works by Matthew Krishanu, Chris Hawtin and Glenn Brown

The Immediacy of Paint: Surface symposium focuses on questioning how artists are currently exploring surface and the materiality of paint in contemporary art.

Immediacy of Paint: Surface is a one day event focused on how artists are currently exploring surface and the materiality of painting in the digital. This is the second symposium to be held at The University of Suffolk to include talks and a panel discussion presented by artists and academics. By bringing together artists, academics and art students in our region whose practice focus is on painting in the contemporary moment, the symposium explores the immediacy of paint through surface.Immediacy of Paint: Surface is a one day event focused on how artists are currently exploring surface and the materiality of painting in the digital. This is the second symposium to be held at The University of Suffolk to include talks and a panel discussion presented by artists and academics. By bringing together artists, academics and art students in our region whose practice focus is on painting in the contemporary moment, the symposium explores the immediacy of paint through surface.

Special Guest Speaker: Glenn Brown, International Artist

Speakers include: Kim Anno, International Painter, Photographer, and Filmmaker/video Artist Chris Hawtin, Artist, Dr. Matthew Bowman, Art critic and Lecturer at the University of Suffolk and Colchester School of Art Shaun Camp, Chair, Artist and Leader Year 0 Pathways at Norwich University of Arts Matthew Krishanu, Artist, Curator, Lecturer

Opening statements by Dr Lisa Wade, Head of the Department of Arts and Humanities at The University of Suffolk.

Closing statements by Matthew Krishanu


October 2016

Matthew Krishanu — Expatriates, Westminster Reference Library, London, 2016

27 October — Saturday 05 November 2016

Magenta Sari, 2016, oil on canvas, 35 x 25cm (photo: Peter Mallet)

Expatriates is a solo exhibition of paintings of English expatriates in India and Bangladesh. The portraits are shown alongside fragmentary landscapes that depict trees, overgrown ruins, and old missionary buildings. A colonial history of cultural power and exchange is evoked – represented in the poses the expatriates assume, the clothes (or costumes) they wear, and the buildings and scenery they inhabit.

Matthew Krishanu was born in Bradford, UK, and spent his childhood in Bangladesh. Expatriates is the first of a series of solo shows programmed by Contemporary British Painting, an artist-led organisation which explores and promotes current trends in British painting.

Preview: 6 — 8pm Wednesday 26 October 2016

Dates: 27 October — Saturday 05 November 2016

Opening Times: Monday to Friday: 10am — 8pm, Saturday: 10am — 5pm, Sunday closed

Address: Westminster Reference Library (1st floor), 35 St Martin’s Street, London, WC2H 7HP The exhibition is curated with Anneka French.

Matthew Krishanu will be in conversation with writer and curator Hamja Ahsan at 3pm on Saturday 05 November 2016.

May 2016

Selected Works from the Priseman Seabrook Collection, The Minories, Colchester, 2016

Saturday 14 May — Saturday 9 July 2016

Girl with Book, 2007, acrylic on canvas, 50 x 40cm

A unique art collection dedicated to 21st century British Painting, the Priseman Seabrook Collection holds over 100 paintings produced by leading artists practicing in Britain today. It first went on museum display between November 2014 and March 2015 at Huddersfield Art Gallery.

Containing work of international significance, artists include European Sovereign Painters Prize winner Susan Gunn, East London Painting Prize winner Nathan Eastwood, John Moores Prize winner Nicholas Middleton, Academy awardee James Quin, John Player Portrait Award Winner Paula MacArthur, 54th Venice Biennale exhibitor Marguerite Horner, Griffin Art Prize exhibitor Matthew Krishanu, Colin Self and Tracey Emin as well as works on paper by Peter Blake, Graham Sutherland, Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, Alan Davie and David Hockney.

Download the pdf catalogue here

Exhibition Dates: Saturday 14 May to Saturday 9 July 2016 at The Minories, Colchester Open to the public and admission is free.

*Mon-Fri 9—5, Sat 9—4 (Sun closed)

April 2016

Aviary, Transition Gallery, London, 2016

23 April — 21 May 2016

Rose Wylie, Acorn and Jay, 2009, watercolour and collage on paper, 84 x 118cm

Franki Austin | Sutapa Biswas | Adam Bottomley | Frances Cowdry | Annabel Dover | Nathan Eastwood | Jennifer Hooper | Matthew Krishanu | Mehrdad Rashidi | Alli Sharma | Alice Sielle | Susan Sluglett | Chiz Turnross | Rita White | Aubrey Williams | Rose Wylie

Aviary is an exhibition of paintings, sculptures and drawings of birds. The aim is to create an Aviary of artworks of birds that feel ‘alive’ (without necessarily being realistic looking). In a way the birds function as self-portraits (or familiars) for the artists: they are cultural signifiers as well as stand-ins for memories and emotional states.

The works come from a wide range of artists – canonical and outsider, contemporary and historical, and a broad sweep of nationalities and ages. Three of the artists in Aviary (Sutapa Biswas, Aubrey Williams and Rose Wylie) have works in the Tate collection.

Aubrey Williams’s Tick Bird belongs to a wider series of paintings of tropical birds – documenting the birds of Guyana (where Williams was born), the Caribbean and South America. Rose Wylie’s large drawing Acorn & Jay incorporates text, collage and paint to create a playful narrative of two halves.

Other works include Sutapa Biswas’s watercolour birds, Franki Austin’s glass work, paintings from Frances Cowdry, Nathan Eastwood, Jennifer Hooper, Matthew Krishanu, Alli Sharma and Chiz Turnross, porcelain bird sculptures by Annabel Dover, drawings and printing from Adam Bottomley, Mehrdad Rashidi, Alice Sielle and Rita White, and large scale drawing ‘scrolls’ by Susan Sluglett.

Aubrey Williams, Tick Bird, 1979, oil on canvas, 460 x 610cm

Aviary is co-curated by Matthew Krishanu and Niamh White

Matthew Krishanu is a painter based in London. He recently co-curated The London Painting Survey (2015), and has curated collaborative exhibitions for English Heritage, Iniva and RIBA. Niamh White is an independent curator based in London. She is co founder of Hospital Rooms, which commissions contemporary art for mental health hospitals, curator of the Dentons Art Prize, and curator of The Pierrot Project.

Transition Gallery Unit 25a Regent Studios, 8 Andrews Road, London E8 4QN


Studio Visit, Resonance FM: A curator round table featuring Helen Nisbet and Marie D’Elbée on Opensource; Matthew Krishanu and Niamh White on Aviary; and Hansi Momodu-Gordon and Orla Houston-Jibo on Future Assembly. Presented by Morgan Quaintance. Download here: Curator Round Table_Studio_Visit

December 2015

Contemporary Drawings from Britain, Xi’an Province, China, 2015

42 of my works on paper will be showing as part of Contemporary Drawings from Britain, Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts Gallery, Xi’an Province, China, 1 — 6 December 2015.

Michael Ajerman | Gemma Anderson | Adam Bainbridge | Karl Bielik | Phoebe Boswell | Jessie Brennan | James Brooks | Julian Brown | Matthew Burrows | Simon Burton | Marco Cali | Gary Colclough | Jane Dixon | Susannah Douglas | Geraint Evans | Luci Eyers | Jonathan Farr | Lucian Freud | Joy Gerrard | Thomas Gosebruch | Ross Hansen | Lesley Hicks | David Hockney | Olivia Jones | Matthew Krishanu | Catherine Linton | Cathy Lomax | Steven Lowery | Alan Magee | Mark Melvin | Paul Newman | Simon Parish | Robert Priseman | Jo Stockham | Marianne Walker | Rose Wylie | Mary Yacoob