Manjit Bawa

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Manjit Bawa's paintings, artist Manjit Bawa, indian painter - Famous artist

Manjit Bawa is yet another well known painter of India. He was born in 1941 in a small town called Dhuri in Punjab. As a child, Manjit was not really encouraged to be an artist. His mother would often deject him saying that art cannot fetch one a living. However, painting and art was where Mantis’s heart lay. He had no doubt about becoming an artist. Manjit always believed that art should bring some freshness with it. It should portray something that one has never seen before.
Manjit’s elder brothers supported him and motivated him to further his career in art. From 1958 to 1063, Manjit studied fine arts at ‘The School of Arts’, New Delhi. His professors were his source of inspiration then. Bawa gained an identity under the great Abani Sen, who pushed him to make almost fifty sketches a day but most of them were rejected. As a result, Bawa started to work even harder for longer hours.
His passion for painting immerged and grew with each passing day. Manjit started to admire and move towards the figurative art when most of the art world was in favor of the abstract works. He truly credits his teachers and Sen without whom he believes that he wouldn’t be able to create such styles that we see in his work today. Bawa studied art as well as worked as a silkscreen printer in Britain from 1964 to 1971. After returning from Britain, Bawa was in a fix as he could not figure out what should he paint. Bawa just did not want to be typical European style painter. In his childhood, Bawa was exposed to a lot stories from Indian mythology like the Mahabharata and the Ramayana He had also been taught a lot about Sufi poetries. He brought these to his paintings.
Manjit Bawa's canvases are very discernible in their colors especially the yellow color of sunflowers, the green color of the paddy fields, red of the sun and the blue of the mountain sky. Bawa opted for more traditional Indian colors like pinks, reds and violet. He was one of the first painters to break out of the clichéd grays and browns. Initially there was a lot of criticism on Bawa’s work but he still persisted his own way. Manjit believes that bright colors are closer to the heart of most Indians. They are also familiar with the shades of bright colors.
Nature has inspired Bawa to paint the countryside landscape. As a young boy, Bawa would travel by foot or hitch hike to places like Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat. He would then spread his sheet pf paper and draw beautiful landscapes. The colors and the simplicity of people fascinated him a lot. One would always find birds and animals in his paintings. Besides nature, flute was something that one would get to see in his paintings often.
The main charm of his paintings is the feel that one gets of saturating expanse of color fields which create space and define the curves of figures. Manjit Bawa lives and works in his studio in Himachal Pradesh, and also in Delhi, where his family lives.



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