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Avtar Krishan Raina
August 10, 1938
Srinagar, Kashmir, India
|Alma mater||College of Fine Arts Trivandrum|
|Known for||Painting, Drawing, Design|
|Spouse(s)||Sheela Raina partner =|
|Awards||State Annual Art Exhibition, Srinagar(1967,69,73 and 76)
Lalded award, Srinagar(1979) Senior fellowship Ministry of culture, govt. of India (2000) Mira Kala Samman, Indore(2004)Kalhan Award for life time achievement award Kashmiri Samiti, Indore(2004)
Avtar Krishan Raina (born August 10, 1938) is an artist from Kashmir, India. He started painting in 1965, and was a founder member and secretary of Kashmir Artist Guild(KAG) in 1974. He was selected by National Institute of Design for a training program of "craft design" in 1981. His work has been exhibited many times in notable art galleries such as Lalit Kala Akademi, Bombay Art Society, Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata, Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, South of Market, San Francisco, National Museum of Damascus, Dhoomimal Gallery in New Delhi and Pritamlal Dua Gallery in Indore.
Early life and education
Avtar Krishan Raina was born in Srinagar, Kashmir in 1938. At the age of 16, he dropped out of college in Kashmir to join College of Fine Arts Trivandrum, Kerela (then known as school of arts, Trivandrum).
He started his career as a craftsman in 1959 at the age of 22 in School of Designs, Srinagar and started painting in 1965. His paintings have been exhibited at Kashmir Artist's Association in Srinagar(1970), Kashmir Artists Guild Exhibition in Srinagar(1974), Shridharani Gallery, New Delhi(1986), Dhoomimal Gallery in New Delhi(1987), Vadhera Art Gallery in New Delhi(1991), National Museum of Damascus(1995), South of Market, San Francisco, USA(2002), Devlalikar Art Gallery in Indore(2004), Dhoomimal Gallery in New Delhi(2005), Pritamlal Dua Gallery in Indore(2011), Dhoomimal Gallery in New Delhi(2012). On 29 June, 2018 A.K. Raina was part of an exhibition of 60 Kashmiri artisits from all over the world gathered at Srinagar, the exhibition was inaugurated by then governor of Jammu and Kashmir.  Today he continues to paint in his studio in Indore.
A.K. Raina in 1990 was forced to leave Kashmir during the Exodus of Kashmiri Hindus, and his house in Harwan, Srinagar was burnt down. An article in The Tribune (Chandigarh) in 2005 said: "There is an element of poignancy in his paintings as they also in a subtle way point out how he misses his homeland. Which he was forced to leave due to the strife there.". About Kashmir, A.K. Raina has said:
The Kashmir valley has provided me not only sensuous pleasure but also inspired me to be a painter with quest. Though away from home, I am always conscious of the inspiring nature and it influences every aspect of my mind. I've been cradled by nature in her(Kashmir) lap in my childhood. My surroundings made me a painter with quest, compelling me to give expression to the intense, bright and clear surroundings created by nature around me. I paint vivid recollections of life. I left Kashmir 16 years ago and it pains to visit my motherland as a guest. However this does not affect me, as the paradise is not lost in my subconscious. My valley will always be green.I am not a propagandist. For me paintings come from within, in 1992, I did feel wronged and it reflected in my work then, but not now. The recent earthquake(in Kashmir) moved me and there is a painting in the exhibition that shows my feelings(points towards a painting, an abstract executed in dull colors)Lalded's poetry on nature and Kashmir, the philosophy behind them, have strongly inspired me. I came closer to nature after reading her philosophy. This is reflected in my art.
One of his exhibition in Delhi was titled Exhile 23 years during this exhibition he said(in an interview):
I do not try to define my work, that's why all the works displayed here are untitled. I also do not consciously move my paintbrush, so all you see is my subconscious mind delving into my experiences in Kashmir. But, let me tell you, I'll not go back to Kashmir now. We can't be entering our own homes like thieves.
Keshav Malik art critic for the Hindustan Times and Times of India wrote about A.K. Raina's work:
if you 'hear' his work closely, it comes a speech from the soughing of the chinars, of winds and waters of a soil blessed by the immortals.
Artist K.Khosa wrote about him:
...Most of his recent paintings give me the feeling of the present turmoil, the divided minds, the shattered windows, the abandoned houses and the beauty turned into ugliness.
Artist Pankaj Agarwal, commended Raina's work by saying
his work is an unstoppable expression of:
"Agar Firdaus bar rōy-e zamin ast,
hamin ast-o hamin ast-o hamin ast"(If there is a paradise on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here.)
...Raina's work is a perfect blend of beauty, radiance, purity and freshness.
- "A.K. Raina profile".
- "Facebook post on newspaper clipping in The Times of India". 19 March 2011. Archived from the original on 14 July 2020.
- "Dhoomimal Gallery's Facebook post". 18 December 2012. Archived from the original on 14 July 2020.
- "A.K. Raina news clippings".
- "A.K. Raina news clipping hindustan times on 'Exhile 23 years'".
- "K.Khosa artist profile on saffronart.com".
- "Pankaj Agarwal artist profile on mojarto.com".
- "Famous inscription in Persian in Shalimar Bagh, Srinagar".
- A K Raina on Twitter
- Buy A K Raina Paintings Online - View Prices and Size at mojarto
- AK Raina - Kashmiri Pandit Network
- A.K.Raina, Dhoomimal Gallery, Delhi | Indian contemporary art
- A.K. Raina - Artmajeur
- AK Raina - Kashmiri Overseas Association
- A. K. Raina's art work on display... - Dhoomimal Gallery
- Belonging, exile and nostalgia for home
- Muslim, Pandit artists meet in Kashmir after 25 yrs, cry, laugh together for real dialogu
- Dhoomimal Gallery | My Art Guides
- abstarct - Shodhganga