South Asian Art
September 16, 2010
Zara Porter-Hill, Sotheby’s International Head of Department, South Indian Art, with (Front), Lot 75, “Untitled (Head),” by Ravinder Reddy, 2003, Resin and fiberglass, 44 by 24 by 42 inches; (Rear), Lot 76, “Ok MILI,” by Subodh Gupta, 2005, Stainless steel tiffin boxes, armature, CD; dimensions as displayed
By Michele Leight
With a pre-sale estimate
in the range of $6 million to $8.8 million, Sotheby’s will offer 112
Contemporary artworks in its sale of South Asian Art during Asia Week
York on September 16, which is lead by a magnificent painting by
Husain “Cinq Sens,” with a great story attached to it. Contemporary
whose superb work will be offered in this sale include Subodh Gupta,
Reddy, Arpita Singh, Jitish Kailat, Thukral & Tagra, and Bharti
The Asia week series of
auctions at Sotheby’s
Lot 20, “Cinq Sens” was previously in the Collection of Roberto Rossellini, the legendary Italian film director whose first wife was Ingrid Bergman, (parents of Isabella Rossellini), and at the center of the intrigue surrounding Rossellini’s second marriage to Sonali Dasgupta. Half his age, she was in the process of divorcing her husband at the time of their romance, so it was difficult for them to meet surrounded by gossip and suggestions of scandal. Husain acted as a go-between and friend to the lovers, until they finally were able to marry. He was a frequent guest at the home of the Rossellinis, where he painted “Cinq Sens” in 1958, which he gave to them as a gift. Maqbool Fida Husain will be 95 years old on September 17, 2010, and he is still painting. A record 16 works by the artist are offered in this sale.
in “Cinq Sens” is reminiscent of Pablo Picasso’s “Boy Leading a Horse”
Lot 16, “Untitled,(Woman With Pitcher), 1960s, watercolor on paper, 24 by 16 1/2 inches, left; Lot 23, Untitled (Horse), by Husain, 1960s, oil on canvas, 70 by 35 inchesAnother stunning painting by Husain features a horse, a recurring subject, influenced by his childhood memories of them.
Lot 16 is a untitled watercolor by Husain of a woman with a pitcher that was also executed in the1960s. It has an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000. It sold for $37,500.
Lot 18, “Peeli Doop,” by Maqbool Fida Husain, 1964, Oil on canvas, 25 ½ by 35 ½ inches
18, “Peeli Doop,” by Husain (estimate $80,000-120,000/It
was painted in 1964,
after he began traveling throughout
Sotheby’s catalogue notes that in his introductory essay to "M. F. Husain, Early Masterpieces 1950s-70s, Asia House, London, 2006, Yashodhara Dalmia wrote that that Husain “drew from the classical, the miniature and folk, and attempted to meld it into a language which formulated the present. It allowed him to express a perceived reality, while being seamless, mythical and vast, was at the same time hurtling towards industrialization and modernization.”
Lot 21,”Untitled,” by Maqbool Fida Husain,1960s, oil on canvas, 37 ½ by 20 inches.
Lot 21 is an untitled oil on canvas by Husain from the 1960s that measures 37 1/2 by 20 inches. It has an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. It passed.
Lot 46, “That Obscure Object of Desire,” by Maqbool Fida Husain, is a diptych inspired by the film by the same name by Luis Bunuel that depicts the final scene in which the lovers are killed by a bomb blast. It has an estimate of $400,000 to $600,000 and sold for $482,500.
Lot 28, “Untitled,” by Jagdish Swaminathan, (1928-1994), 1971, oil on canvas, 50 inches square
Lot 28 is an
untitled oil on canvas by Jagdish Swaminathan (1928-1994) that was
created in 1971 It is 50 inches square and has an estimate of
$120,000 to $180,000. It sold for $134,500.
Lot 28 is an untitled oil on canvas by Jagdish Swaminathan (1928-1994) that was created in 1971 It is 50 inches square and has an estimate of $120,000 to $180,000. It sold for $134,500.
Left: Lot 43, “Untitled (Barbara),” by Francis Newton Souza, 1971, oil on board, 21 ½ by 16 ½ inches; Right: Lot 32, “The Prophet,” by Francis Newton Souza, 1961, oil on canvas, 36 by 23 ¼ inches,
Lot 43 is
an untitled oil on board by Francis Newtown Souza. It
measures 21 1/2 by 16 1/2 inches and was executed in 1971. It
has an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. It sold for $35,000.
Lot 43 is an untitled oil on board by Francis Newtown Souza. It measures 21 1/2 by 16 1/2 inches and was executed in 1971. It has an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. It sold for $35,000.
Another Souza is Lot
32, "The Prophet," an oil an canvas that measures 36 by 23 1/4 inches.
It was excuted in 1961 and has an estimate of $100,000 to
$150,000. It sold for $158,500.
Another Souza is Lot 32, "The Prophet," an oil an canvas that measures 36 by 23 1/4 inches. It was excuted in 1961 and has an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. It sold for $158,500.
Other Modern Masters represented at this sale are Syed Haider Raza, Jagdish Swimanathan, Akbar Padamsee, (Lot 29, “Untitled Metascape,” estimate $300,000-400,000/Sold for $458,500), Tyeb Mehta, Manjit Bawa, Francis Newton Souza, Ram Kumar and Sadequain from Pakistan. In June 2010, a painting from the 80s by Syed Haider Raza, “Saurashtra,” made history in London when it fetched $3,486,965, a world auction record for the artist, and a new world auction record for any Modern Indian work of art.
This motif appears once
again in dazzling
Left: Lot 51, “Route De Chomerac,” by Syed Haider Raza, 1962, Oil on canvas, 26 by 32 inches; Right: Lot 52, “Bindu,” by Syed Haider Raza, 1986, Oil on canvas, 19 ½ by 19 ½ inches
Left: Lot 84,
“Remains,” by Adeela Suleman; Center:
Above, Francis Newton Souza’s “Untitled,” Lot 33, is flanked by two contemporary art works in Sotheby’s galleries: on the left is Lot 84, “”Remains,” by Adeela Suleman, center; on the right is Lot 64, “Munna Apa’s Garden,” by Arpita Singh. Lot 33 has an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000. It sold for $68,500. Lot 84 has an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000. It passed. Lot 64 has an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. It sold for $506,500.
Lot 58 has an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. It sold for $50,000. Lot 30 has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000. It sold for $218,500.In a blue/green color palette, (not illustrated), is Bhupen Khakar’s “Muslims Around a Mosque,” that was included in his first European Retrospective at The Lowy Center in
Born in 1934, Khakar died in 2003. The artist said:
“My interest is something
which is part of my life,
the things that I see. Most artists don’t do (similar) subjects as they
taboo, and I think, let me do it.” (Sotheby’s catalogue: “
Lot 3, “Untitled,” by Jamini Roy, (1887-1972), Tempera on woven paper, 15 by 25 inches
traditional-yet-innovative style is becoming widely appreciated, which
manifesting in higher prices for his work. His paintings are considered
national treasures, and have not been allowed out of
South Asian Contemporary Art gets more exciting each season; some lots pass because their audience has not yet formed, or because that one special collector was not present at the auction. It is not a reflection of the art. Van Gogh sold almost nothing during his lifetime.
Front: Lot 80, “Imposter,” by Bharti Kher, 2004, Fiberglass, skin, gold plated necklace, 24 by 41 by 26 inches; Rear: Lot 79, “Sat Samunder Par,” by Subodh Gupta, 2003, Oil on canvas, 44 by 90 inches
80, “Imposter,” by
Bharti Kher, who
set a new auction
record in London in June 2010 for an Indian female artist for “The Skin
a Language Not It’s Own.” Lot 79, “Sat Samunder Par,” by Subodh Gupta
personal favorite because I have witnessed countless passengers with
luggage during my travels in
Lot 76, “OK Mili (EDITION 2 of 2),” by Subodh Gupta, illustrated at the top of this story was created in 2005, and is an imposing installation of stainless steel tiffin boxes. It has an estimate of $250,000 to $350,000. It sold for $266,500. Of the stainless steel utensils that have become signatures of his work, Subodh Gupta says:
“The objects I pick already have their own significance. I put them together to create new meanings...All these things are part of the way I grew up. The (utensils) are used in the rituals and ceremonies that were part of my childhood.”
catalog notes: “Born in the
Front: Lot 75, “Untitled (Head),” by Ravinder Reddy, 2003, Resin and fiberglass, 44 by 24 by 42 inches; Rear: Lot 29, “Metascape,” by Akbar Padamsee, 1977, Oil on canvas, 59 ½ by 59 ½ inches
Reddy’s marvellous super-sized
display behind Reddy’s “head” in the gallery is
Lot 77, “Metropolis 1 (Diptych),” by Thukral & Tagra, 2007, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 72 by 144 inches
Left to Right: “Lot 78, “I Like My Man Covered Too,” by Thukral & Tagra; Lot 82, “White Sweat/Inherited Allergy,” by Jitish Kallat; Lot 70, “Muslims Around a Mosque,” by Bhupen Khakar; Lot 75, “Untitled (Head),” by Ravinder Reddy
&Tagra are represented by two wonderful paintings, Lot 77,
(Diptych),” estimated at $30,000 to $40,000 (It passed) and Lot 78, “I Like
My Man Covered Too,” (estimated at $20,000 to $30,000 (It sold for $35,000),
“...that was part of T & T’s first exhibition in New York that
the problem of HIV and AIDS in India. The title itself is a play on
imitating the slogans of contemporary advertising. The project
range of probable solutions for dissemination of information to the
Lot 108, “Lotus Picchavai:
Krishna and Radha amongst
108, (estimate $50,000 to $70,000/It sold for $37,500), “Lotus Picchavai:
Krishna and Radha amongs Lotuses,” is a gorgeous 19th Century wall
hanging, painted in a similar blue palette to Lot 64, “Munna Apa’s
(estimate $100,000 to $150,000/It sold for $506,500). It is a magnificent
contemporary work painted in 1989, illustrated with a Modern painting
Francis Newton Souza, (Lot 33) and a contemporary work by Aeela
Lot 103, “A Portrait of
Maharaja Jagat Singh Seated on an Elephant,”
Paintings are lead by “
Lot 85 “An
Illustration to the Gita Govinda: Radha proceeds to her Tryst with
Lot 90, “An Illustration to a
Ragamala series: Gaudi
are so much a