Manjit Bawa: Kala Bagh: D-40 Defence Colony, New Delhi

26 April - 18 June 2022

Manjit Bawa enjoyed spontaneously drawing his compositions without any definition of their utility within the scheme of painting and considered drawing an integral process in his practice. These drawings would naturally evolve into oil paintings. The artist describes his drawings to be "a more effective medium, capturing easily the movement and expression of the subject…While the rough sketches, often just strong lines in charcoal, have a flow about them, the finished work, despite its flowing movements become formalised and expressive of my style, of what has become synonymous with my art." 

Bawa’s repertoire is replete with imagery of folk theatre, of mythic beings cut off from the circulation of existential modernistic concerns and encircled within the enigma of their own being, of experiences and memories of canonical stories and myths. His figurations thus challenge the well-worn trope of voyeuristic or cultural reportage; instead, Bawa sets out to unite disparate limbs or parts by an enchanting centripetal force that imbues symbolism into his curvature. His playing with form and colour is a hallmark of his painterly practice, yet it is his drawings and preparatory works that reveal the momentum of his thinking. He identified with the Zen genre of creating, devoting oneself to perfecting the representation of a figure, not only in form but also in essence. For Bawa, the artist’s voice or signature is encapsulated by the line, aiding the imagination in its persuasive proclamation of such and such thing.