MANJIT BAWA (1941-2008)
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MANJIT BAWA (1941-2008)


MANJIT BAWA (1941-2008)
signed and dated 'Manjit Bawa 2000' and further signed in Punjabi and Urdu (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
35 7/8 x 34 in. (91.3 x 86.3 cm.)
Painted in 2000
Bombay Art Gallery, Mumbai
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2002
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"The image fills the picture frame as sculpture confronts the viewer with its material reality. It energizes the space within which it is seen with a mode of stillness specific to Manjit's form-making manoeuvres."
(K.B. Goel, 'Manjit Bawa', Center for Contemporary Art Annual, New Delhi, 1990-91)

Manjit Bawa (1941-2008) pared figuration to its most essential elements, giving primacy to line whilst simultaneously exploring the saturated and gem-toned hues of miniature painting. The artist's style was also inspired by his experience as a silk screen printer which saw him utilise simplified, uncluttered modes of expression. Bawa's work demonstrates a preference for form over narrative, eliminating all extraneous detail in favour of an ambiguous, horizon-less space reliant upon vivid chiaroscuro to indicate volume.
Bawa continually sourced from visual memory, artistic experience and pure imagination. Similarly, in Untitled the upward-gazing figure gathers the artist's finely graded tonalities in service of a pristine, elegant simplicity. At once capable of being both god and mortal, the partially disembodied figure provides a central focus for the viewer's meditation and defies absolute categorisation.