Krishen Khanna grew up in pre-partition Lahore, before moving to England, to study at the Imperial Service College on a scholarship. Thereafter he returned to India and became a part of the Progressive Artist Group (PAG) with whom he would hold his first exhibition in 1949. In 1962 was awarded the Rockefeller Fellowship and was Artist-in-Residence at the American University in Washington in the years 1963-64. Since then, he has exhibited widely in India and abroad. He was awarded the Padma Shree in 1996.