A feature of Google News that I am enjoying is the ability to look at what is making news in other countries. Due to my keen interest in India I enjoy keeping an eye on the headlines there. Manjit Bawa, a well-known contemperary artist died today in Delhi. I had never heard of this artist until now. Here is a little about him from a contemporary indian art website.
Manjit Bawa was born in Dhuri in Punjab in 194 1, studied at the College of Art. Delhi, and did his diploma at the London School of Printing, Essex in Silk Screen-Printing. From 1967 to’71 he worked in London as a silk screen printer. A figurative painter from the beginning of his career. Manjit has achieved a summary simplicity of figuration, which is remotely reminiscent of Kalighat Pat’s and linear flow and modernist remolding of form we find in Jogen Choudhury. Yet his treatments of form is essentially tonal in contour closed and compact, without any trace of the gestural application of pigments in thick layers, unlike the mode mist practice. Perhaps the delicately graded tonalities possible in silk serene forming opened a new possibility of treating form and colour for Manjit, who worked it out in oil, giving his paintings an extra smooth porcelain glow. There is an undercurrent of Sufi mysticism in the choice of his subjects the idyllic scenes of love and peace and pristine innocence, the flute- playing Krishna and the cattle, predatory animals and men appearing together, etc. Manjit not use landscape elements, although his pictorial space is flat he defines the figure’s positions by visually relating them at different distances. The main charm of his paintings is the sense -saturating expanse of colour-fields which create space and define the contour of figures. During 1967-7 1, Manjit had one-man shows in London and St.Sebastian in Spain. He returned to India in 1972, and was for some time on the visiting faculty of the College of Art, Delhi. Later he had a number of solo shows in India and abroad and participated in ‘Contemporary Indian Art’ at the Royal Academy of Arts, London in 1982, “Modem Indian Painting’ at Hirschom Museum, Washington D.C in 1982, ‘Contemporary Indian Art’ at the Grey Art Gallery, New York, in 1986, and ‘Coup de Coeur’ at Halles de Ulle, Geneva, 1987., Manjit Bawa lives and works in New Delhi.
Here are some of this works. I espcially like his history of unifying Sufi mysticism with Hindu mythology.