An attempt to embellish contemporary art after being a hardcore Indian, late artist Manjit Bawa left his exceptional and widely acclaimed artworks to draw attention of current and coming generations. His style of work portrayed simplicity and spirituality - a fusion that enabled him to create unique art that placed him apart from his contemporaries. The love for painting and affinity towards perusing Hindu Mythology along with the Guru Granth Sahib, had given a new dimension to his paintings.
Born in the township of Dhuri in Punjab on 28th July 1941, Manjit Bawa moved to Delhi when he was around five years of age. At that time, his father suffered severe loss in timber business and decided to stay in Delhi to try his fate once again. As a contemporary artist, he used to portray figures of Gods and Goddesses of Hindu Mythology and animals. In his artwork, his affection for animals is prominently evident. It is interesting to note that Bawa had gained expertise in contemporary paintings under the guidance of Somnath Hore and Abani Sen. In fact; both of them helped him understand the significance of simplicity and spirituality and enabled him to portray illustrations by combining these two elements with colors.
Education & Work
As a noted artist, Manjit studied fine arts at the College of Art, New Delhi between 1958 and 1963 prior to migrating to London in order to pursue higher studies. Though, he had chosen Silk Screen Printing as a specialization in the London School of Painting, but he didn’t favor the idea of deriving concepts from European styles of painting. Instead he harbored meaningful concepts from Indian Mythology and Sufi poetry.
As studious and brilliant student, Bawa had started taking part in solo art exhibitions while pursuing silk screen printing course from the London School of Painting. During his stay in London, his artwork “Terrace” was displayed in London and another work at a private art gallery in Spain. On returning to India, his paintings were showcased in galleries, museums and competitions across the globe. All these creations we widely acclaimed. His mesmerized paintings represented India at Biennales in Tokyo, Ankara, Turkey, and Cuba, not to forget to mention that his work was even displayed at the Royal Academy of Arts and at the Hirsh horn Museums, in Washington DC.
Awards and Accolades
Before departing his soul on 29 December 2008, he was awarded some prestigious awards from art circles ranging from Sailoz Prize in 1963, National Award from Lalit Kala Akademy in 1980, All India Exhibition of Prints and Drawings in 1981 to 1st Bharat Bhawan Biennale in 1986.