- Manjit Bawa
- Oil on canvas
Contemporary Indian Paintings, from the Chester and Davida Herwitz Charitable Trust, Sotheby's New York, 3 April 1996
ART India, April-June 1996 (first issue), illustrated on the front cover
Bawa's distinctive use of colour is grounded in his training as a silk-screen printer and his study of Rajput and Pahari miniature paintings. 'He enjoys the delicious green of the Kangra miniaturists, but will select only the colour as a trace of the tradition; he does not feel obliged to relay the painstakingly delineated, thousand leafed Kangra trees in his painting... Colour itself becomes a resonant variety of space: a luminous and neutral field, virtually unmarked by a specific sense of place, in which is isolated dream-figures can operate without labouring under the burden of allegiance to any single history.' (Ranjit Hoskote, 2000).
His subjects often inspired by icons and myths represent the dual polarities of the human and animal world, although they share the same environment they 'occupy separate mental universes'. Bawa's works question the dynamics of these relationships, how one communicates with the other. Some of his works display an erotic undertone through his treatment of the figures; their voluminous bodies, full lips and wide eyes contrasting with a sharpened beak of a bird or claw of a cat.