PROPERTY OF A DISTINGUISHED COLLECTOR
Oil on canvas
35 1/2 x 29 7/8 in. (90 x 75.8 cm.)
Signed and dated 'Manjit / 90' lower right
One of the main themes of Manjit's oeuvre, as seen here, is the emotional interaction between the subjects he portrays. 'The balance of whimsical forms, shows Bawa's control of the problems of illusionistic space, figure ground relationships and narrative tension... Like his human figures, his animals, hybrid, fantastical and sometimes realistic and even phantasmic, function as autonomous entities with regard to overall composition. The artist has developed a vocabulary for his images, both human and animal, that enables him to carry the narration and metaphors on their own.' (Kamala Kapoor, 'Manjit Bawa', In Transit III Manjit Bawa Ravinder Reddy, exhibition catalogue, Alexander Ochs Galleries, Berlin, 2005, p. 6)
The current lot, depicting two of Manjit Bawa's favourite animals, the goat and the squirrel, captures the tender bond between the two animals. The treatment of both the background and the animals in this work is markedly different from other works of a similar period. Bawa's trademark flat fields of bold, bright colours and fluid outlines have been replaced by a shaded pale lilac background, with two naturalistically rendered animals. His goats, usually depicted with minimal detail and flat, shaded bodies, have been replaced by a far more realistic white and brown dappled figure with several visible tufts of hair on his furry coat. Even the tiny squirrel appears to have a fuller, more bushy tail as compared to the stylised forms that usually appear. However, the overall mood of animals co-existing in harmony has not been compromised. '...I intend to reiterate my Sufi beliefs and paint flora, fauna, animals meek and mighty living in peaceful coexistence through the work.' (The artist in conversation with Ina Puri, Manjit Bawa, exhibition catalogue, Sakshi Gallery, London, 2005, unpaginated)
This change in technique could well be attributed to the reason Bawa painted this work. It was especially commissioned for a charity exhibition in 1990 held by People for Animals, a non-profit organisation that was raising awareness and funds for the shelter and care of animals.
# Import duty at 11% will be charged on the hammer price and GST will be applicable on the total amount of the hammer price plus the import duty.
The background colours are slightly lighter and have a greater tonal variation than the catalogue illustration. Minor spots of discolouration on the four edges of the work, not visible in the catalogue illustration. Two spots of abrasion beneath the goat's tail visible in the catalogue illustration. One spot of retouching to the left of the goat's head in the background visible under UV light. Painting would benefit from a light clean. Overall good condition.
About The Artist:
MANJIT BAWA (1941 - 2008)