Noted artist Manjit Bawa, who revolutionised the Indian painting scene with bold use of vibrant colours, died here on Monday after a prolonged illness. ( Watch ) The 67-year-old painter from Punjab's Dhuri area was in coma for the last three years after suffering a stroke. Bawa, who began his career as a silk-screen printer in London in 1964, breathed his last this morning at his Green Park residence in south Delhi. Educated at Delhi's College of Art and London School of Printing, Bawa started as a figurative painter and attained great heights in the form. One of the first painters to break out of the dominant grays and browns of the western art and opt for more Indian colours like red and violet, the maestro was influenced by nature, Sufi mysticism and Indian mythology. "He wanted to paint the sky red. He loved red. He was a brave painter who had the courage to follow his convictions unmindful of the popular trend. We will remember him for his energy," Ena Puri, author of a biography on Bawa, said. Lalit Kala Akademi Chairman Ashok Vajpayee remembered Bawa as a man of conviction who helped young artists. "He was a versatile person. We will miss him," he said. Birds and animals were a recurrent motif in his paintings, either alone or in human company, besides flute, an instrument which he learnt from Pannalal Ghosh, a doyen in the field of music. He had painted Ranjha, the cowherd from the tragic ballad Heer Ranjha and Lord Krishna with a flute surrounded by dogs and not cows as in mythological paintings. Indian gods Kali and Shiva, whom Bawa considers as "icons of my country", also figure prominently in his paintings.
Collections on paintings of K. G. Subramanyan, a contemporary Indian painter known for his new innovations in painting with that of earlier Indian folk art tradition.
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