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Christie's Asian Art Week New York,
Fall 2014
A Pioneering Vision: Works from The Collection of Shumita and Arani Bose
Wednesday, September 17 2014, 10AM
Sale No: 3860
South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art
Wednesday, September 17, 10 AM, immediately following A Pioneering Vision
Sale No: 2869
Indian and Southeast Asian Art
Tuesday September 16, 2014
Sale No: 2870

aranibosemandala

Left: A Pioneering Vision:  Works from the Collection of Shumita and Arani Bose: Arani Bose with Francis Newton Souza's (Lot 416), "The Butcher;" Right: Indian and Southeast Asian Art Sale: Lot 288, "A Painting of
Vajravarahi of  Thirty-Seven-Deity Mandala," Tibeto-Chinese, Quianlong Period, Circa 1740-1763

All Photos by Michele Leight

By Michele Leight

A husband and wife team, pioneers of Contemporary Indian art, and co-owners of the renowned gallery Bose Pacia, are offering part of their own collection for sale at Christie's this Asian Art Week in a designated sale entitled "A Pioneering Vision: Works from the Collection of Shumita and Arani Bose. Among the paintings are two treasures: Vasudeo Gaitonde's "Untitled," (Lot 408), painted in 1971, and a powerful and unsettling work that Arani Bose chose to pose with, illustrated above, entitled "The Butcher," (Lot 416), by Francis Newton Souza. A lovable piece, layered with meaning is also from the collection: Bharti Kher's bindi baby pachiderm, "I've Seen an Elephant Fly." Arani and Shumita Bose are also founders of the non-profit +91 Foundation, which strives to further ongoing discourse between the South Asian avant-garde and global art world. For more information, please see below.
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Lot 408, "Untitled," by Vasudeo Gaitonde, sold for $965,000. Lot 416, "The Butcher," by Francis Newton Souza, sold for $1,685,000.

The South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art sale includes a beautiful painting by Manjit Bawa, Lot 513, "Untitled (Durga)," Lot 501, "Untitled," a pin drawing by Zarina, and beautiful paintings by SH Raza, MF Husain, and Ram Kumar, veteran Indian Modernists.


Lot 513 has an estimate of $380,000 to $450,000.
It sold for $425,000. Lot 501, "Untitled," by Zarina, has an estimate of $12,000 to $18,000. It sold for $37,500.

Going far back in time, the Indian and Southeast Asian Art sale includes gorgeous thangkas and mandalas, such as Lot 288, "A Painting of Vajravarahi Thirty-Seven-Deity Mandala," illustrated at the top of this review, Tibeto-Chinese, from the Quianglong Period, circa 1740-1763, and an imposing group of Gandharan and Indian sculptures.

Lot 288 has an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000. It sold for $413,000, far exceeding its high estimate.


A Pioneering Vision: Works from the Collection of Arani and Shumita Bose


deepanjana

Deepanjana Klein, Christie's International Head of South Asian Art Department, with Lot 408, "Untitled), by Vasudeo Gaitonde, from "A Pioneering Vision: Works from the Collection of Arani and Shumita Bose," in Christies galleries


Deepanjana Klein, Christies International Head of South Asian Art, is shown above with Vasudeo Gaitonde's beautiful "Untitled," (Lot 408), whose subtle power exerts itself the more you look at it. This reclusive artist did not make many paintings, averaging six or seven a year. He was influenced by the New York School, especially by Mark Rothko, and was the only artist to do his study abroad - a Rockefeller Fellowship - in America, while other Indian Modern masters like Raza and Souza - went to study in Paris and London,  to name two heavyweights.  

Gaitonde's technique was painstaking, involving scraping away and repainting areas of the canvas to achieve amorphous shapes that appear to float on an endless sea. The artist will be the focus of a solo show at the Guggenheim in the Fall. Gaitonde said:

"A painting always exists within you, even before you actually start to paint, You just have to make yourself the perfect machine to express what is already there." (Christie's catalogue for this sale)

Lot 408 has an estimate of  $750,000-$900,000.
 Lot 408 sold for $965,000.

pachiderm

Lot 415, "I've Seen an Elephant Fly," by Bharti Kher, acrylic, felt and vinyl bindis on fiberglass



detailpachiderm

Detail of Lot 415, featuring sperm-like bindis

Lot 416, "The Butcher," by Francis Newton Souza is a masterpiece by the artist, and the painting Arani Bose chose to pose with. Eerily contemporary in its depiction of  a butcher with a knife, and typically despairing of the human race, the artist does not depict the protagonist slicing a beast, it holds the knife in judgment and indictment of mankind, "...famously claiming that unlike the artists of the Renaissance who painted men and woman as angels, he painted men and women to show angels the true depravity of our race..." (Christies catalogue for this sale).

"The Butcher represent the apex of the raw, expressionist style tht characterized Souza's works in this series. Influenced by the works of El Greco and Goya as well as the Romanesque paintings and Catalonian frescoes he saw on an earlier visit to Spain, Souza seems to draw on their apocalyptic visions of hell and its monstrous inhabitants in paintings like this one. Weilding a cleaver larger than his own disfigured head, the menacing subject of this monumental, disturbing painting stares directly at the viewer as he prepares to strike. The gruesomeness of this scene is accentuated by the bloody animal leg he holds in his other hand, and the fresh, red spatter on his vest and chopping block. Distinct from the slaughterhouse scenes painted by artists like Carracci, Rembrandt, Bacon, Soutine and Tyeb Mehta, Souza's painting focuses on the agent of butchery rather than the animals being butchered, casting him as a sign of the direction in which he sees society heading..." (Christie's catalogue for this sale)


Lot 416 has an estimate of $1,500,000 to $2,000,000. Lot 416 sold for $1,685,000.


bosel402

Deepanjana Klein, Christies International Head of South Asian Art, talks about works of art from Arani and Shumita Bose's collection that will be offered for sale. Featured above are two paintings by Bhupen Khakhar; Left: Lot 401, "At New Jersey", 1986, oil on canvas; Right: Lot 402, "Waiting for Darshan," 2000, oil on canvas



Bharti Kher was recently the subject of a major solo exhibition at Shanghai's Rockbund Museum, "Bharti Kher: Misdemeanors, " and her baby pachiderm, "I've Seen an Elephant Fly," dominated Christie's galleries in the preview. Re-purposing the bindi, the traditional painted dot worn on the forehead of Indian women for centuries, Kher saturates the surface of a baby elephant with the contemporary, plastic variety, symbolizing her commentary on the commercial transitions India has encountered recently, and the new identity of millions of aspirational Indian women. Those who visit India regularly will note the substitution of the conveniently mass produced for the hand-made in every aspect of society, and the formerly hand-painted bindi is no exception. They also change the identy of the elephant, once associated with temple ritual rituals and mundane labor like log-lifting, now romanticized as a symbol of timeless India.

The shape of the bindi's that cover the surface of this baby elephant are sperm-like:

"Considering for a moment the symbolism of sperm [...] one quickl realizes that these forms not only represent the biological act of procreation but also bear a wealth of other meanings, of which virility, sexuality, life and energy are but a few. Sperm are also symbolic of every single living creature on the planet, along with our vices and virtues, our existence, ideas, ambitions, and destiny. In other words, in the hands of Kher, bindis become a sort of second skin, which once applied to an object has the power to transform it into a new life [...]." (Z. Ardalan, 'Second Skin that Speaks of Truth', Bharti Kher, exhibition catalogue, Parasol Unit, London, 2012, pp.15-16)

Lot 415 has an estimate of $500,000 to 700,000. It passed.


Lot 401, At New Jersey," by Bhupen Khakhar, and Lot 402, "Waiting for Darshan," also by Khakhar are wonderful narrative paintings by an artist trained and employed as a chartered accountant, self-taught, until he was in his thirties:

 "He arrived at a hybrid idiom, in which [Henri] Rousseau, [David] Hockney, Sienese pedellas, the oleographs of the Bazaar, the temple maps of Nathdwara and awkward observations of 'Company' painters, are all fused together, And with this idiom a new world opened, which no painter had ever dealt with before; the vast expanses of half-Westernized modern, urban India." (T. Hyman, A Critical Difference, London, 1993. p. 3)

Lot 401 sold for $87,500. Lot 402 sold for $461,000.


dodya

Lot 414, "Kalki," by Atul Dodiya; exterior: oil, varnish, gold powder and brass letters on metal roller shutter with iron hooks; exterior: acrylic and varnish with marble dust on canvas



Illustrated here are several wonderful works of art from "A Pioneering Vision: Works from the Collection of Shumita and Arani Bose" that reflect the scope of Indian creativity since Independence.

Above is Lot 414, "Kalki," by Atul Dodiya, a three-in-one work of art, with only the outer screen - a storefront roller-shutter - visible in this photograph. The "screen," commonly the storefront of millions of small shops in India, is transformed into a work of art in three layers by Dodiya, one of India's most acclaimed and beloved artists: "...Dodiya grapples with the legacies of a range of modernisms, ranging from the Indian film poster art and store signage to the more institutionalized histories of Photorealism and Dadaism. By using the roller shutter as his mode of expression, Dodiya joins the high and the low in art, eloquently challenging the epistemological terrain of  'high art' and its problematic location in Western Modernity..." (Christie's catalogue for this sale.


Lot 414 has an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. It passed.

Below is a strong and gorgeous triptych by Nalini Malani, Lot 412, "The Ecstacy of Radha," a reverse painting in watercolor, acrylic and enamel. Christie's catalogue for this sale states that Malani has become one of the representative voices of Contemporary South Asian Art around the globe. Her work is currently on view at the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, and at the Asia Society, "Nalini Malani: Transgressions. She has also exhibited at Tate Modern (2001), The new Museum of Contemporary Art in New York (2003), Peabody Essex Museum (2005-2006), and the Irish Museum of Modern Art (2007).


Lot 412 has an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000. It sold for $81,250.


l412

Left: Lot 403, "Dhari - 0 KM" by Atul Dodiya, 1988, oil on canvas; Center Left: Lot 407, "Bleu D'ete," by Syed Haider Raza, 1963, oil on canvas; Center: Lot 412, "Ecstacy of Radha," by Nalini Malani, 2004, reverse painting in watercolor, acrylic and enamel reverse painting on mylar, triptych;
Far Right: Lot 406, "Untitled," by Ram Kumar, 1963, oil on canvas


Another - very different, photo-realist work - by Atul Dodiya, Lot 403, "Dhari - 0 KM," is shown on the far left in Christie's galleries.

Lot 403 has an estimate of $50,000 to $70,000. It sold for $90,000.

Lot 407, "Bleu D'ete," by Syed Haider Raza, an oil on canvas painted in 1963, has an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000. It sold for $52,500.

Lot 406, ""Untitled," by Ram Kumar, is illustrated on the far right. This beautiful oil on canvas, painted in 1963, has an estimate of  $30,000 to $50,000. It passed.

Lot 410, "Untitled," by Arpita Singh is an exquisite, tender painting, described in Christie's catalogue for this sale:

"Singh typically depicts women in moments of duress, surrounded by objects that are mundane or otherworldly. Through such juxtapositioning she invests commonplace items, such as planes and automobiles (both being recurring motifs in her works) with layers of meaning. In this painting, these elements seem to be populating the dreams of Singh's protagonist, an unclad middle-aged woman who is shown seated on the lower right of the painting. The plane represents the notion of passage both physical and temporal. The violence that the departures of loved ones and the aging process wreak, particularly on women, has historically been among Singh's concerns. Motifs like planes embody these ''comings and goings, the inevitability and implicit danger of separation and reunion, and the inescapability of death. She makes the past and the faraway co-present, in the anticipation of separation, by travel or death." (S. Bean, 'Now, Then, Beyond, Time in India's Contemporary Art', Contemporary Indian Art, Other Realities, Mumbai, 2002, p.54)

Lot 410 has an estimate of $70,000 to $90,000. It sold for $81,250.

There is a strong showing of female artists in this collection, including works by Zarina, Nilima Sheik, Anju Dodiya, Jayashree Chakravarty, and Nalini Malani, Bharti Kher, and Arpita Singh,  illustrated here.

The sale of works from this important collection is part of a continuum of "firsts" associated with Bose Pacia. Far from resting on their laurels, Arani and Sushmita Bose are now deeply involved in a new, non-profit venture, called the +91 Foundation, best explained by one of its founders, Arani Bose:

" We see the +91 Foundation as a vehicle for us to continue the work we started at Bose Pacia and then personally, to better integrate the art practice in the region to the global contemporary art world. When we started the gallery in the early 1990s, there was a huge need for a global commercial platform for South Asian art, but now, 20 years later, that need has been met so to speak. However, there remains a very real need for an international non-commercial platform in this space"

*The mission of the +91 Foundation strives to further ongoing discourse between the South Asian avant-garde and global art world. +91 will create platforms for exhibition, education and documentation that foster the international exchange of ideas. This is facilitated through three interrelated programs. +91 Initiaves, +91 Files, and +91 Archives.

+91 INITIAVES facilitates creative endeavors worldwide, collaborating with partners within institutions and in interstital spaces removing barriers between viewers and art. Our Initiatives promote artistic and intellectual exchange through our visual artists' workspace program based in New York City and collaborations with local and international art institutions.

+91 ARCHIVES promotes the scholarship of South Asian Contemporary Art by documenting, preserving and improving access to visual arts collections, archival material and educaitonal resources. We strive to provide unique insight into contemporary South Asian art practice by adding to our digital repository of important visual arts collections and archival material. The +91 Archives will focus on three important modes of programmng to fulfill its mission: Acquisitions & Collections Management, Documentation and Outreach & Access.

+91 FILES is a repository of information documenting the practice of established and emerging artists. The +91 Files consists of existing artist files fom Bose Pacia with updates. We have been collecting artist images since 1994, which has transitioned into a database this is physically accessible by scholars, researchers and the general public.

The sale, "A Pioneering Vision: Works From the Collection of Shumita and Arani Bose achieved $3,605,375.


South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art

bawa
Lot 513, "Untitled," by Manjit Bawa, 2004, oil on canvas, Formerly from the Estate of Manjit Bawa


A knock-out painting by Manjit Bawa that literally exploded off the wall in Christie's Galleries, illustrated above, contrasts with a subtle masterpiece by Zarina, Lot 501, "Untitled," an all-white, minimialist pin drawing that evokes the exquisite kantha embroidery work of India (not illustrated). These wonderful contrasts - that reflect South Asia - played out in vignettes of luminious and uplifting color, as well as more restrained compositions, and sculptures, such as Riyas Komu's winsome, anxious painting "Borivaly Boy II," and Jitish Kallat's laughing youngster, "Untitled (Cavity)," rendered in black lead on fiberglass, illustrated below .

Lot 513, "Untitled (Durga)," by Manjit Bawa, is as mystical as it is contemporary: "Bawa was heavily influenced by the power of ancient mythology and Hindu literature stating: 'They remain to me basically mythical icons - as Durga, Kali, Shiva, Krishna, or even Heer Ranjha, Mirza Sahiba or Sohni Mahwal. In my world of imagination they are very real. I have known them from childhood tales and fables narrated to me by my father. As I grew up, I met them again in literature, music, poetry and art. What else can I paint? Or draw?" (Artist Statement, I. Puri, Lets Paint the Sky Red: Manjit Bawa, p. 47).

 Lot 513 has an estimate of $380,000 to $450,000.
It sold for $425,000.

Lot 501, "Untitled," by Zarina, has an estimate of $12,000 to $18,000. It sold for $37,500.


2husains

Left: Lot 535, "Portrait of Pinnawela Dhirananda," by George Keyt, 1932, oil on canvas; Center: Lot 569, "Untitled (Totem Masks)," by MF Husain, 1963, oil on canvas; Right: Lot 570, "Untitled (Elephants)," by MF Husain, circa 1960s, oil on canvas


Lot 535, "Portrait of Pinnawela Dhirananda," by George Keyt has an estimate of  $25,000 to $35,000. It sold for $30,000.

Lot 569, ""Untitled (Totem Masks)," and Lot 570, "Untitled (Elephants)," both by Maqbool Fida Husain, are extremely sophisticated paintings executed in the 1960s. Lot 569 has an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000. It sold for $167,000, far above its high estimate.

With Bharti Kher's bindi elephant, Husain's Lot 570, "Untitled (Elephants)," is another version of the beloved animals, that so many associate with India:

"Maqbool Fida Husain imbues this painting of a family of three elephants with the warmth and energy which he came to associate with the Keralan landscape following his visits there in the 1960s. 'On Kerala's sands and in its elephant-inhabited jungle and among its people Husain heard a cry.' (R. Bartholomew and S. Kapur, Husain, New York, 1971, p. 55) Husain uses gestural brushstrokes and warm almost Fauvist use of color to portray this tender family portrait, This painting presents three embracing elephants as they revel in a pure and primal playfulness surrounded by the atmospheric dense green jungle." (Christie's catalogue for this sale)

Lot 570 has an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. It sold for $173,000.


raza
Lot 547, "La Terre," by Syed Haider Raza, 1971, acrylic on board 

Lot 547, "La Terre," by Syed Haider Raza, is a sophisticated rendition of the artist's famous landscapes in black, "For black was the mother of all colors and one from which all others were born. It was also the void from which spranc the manifest universe." (Y. Dalmia, Raza: A Life In Art, New Delhi, 2007, p, 197) Punctuated by flashes of white an earthy hues of brown and red, black pervades and suffuses this landscape with otherworldly beauty" and "La Terre reflects Raza's experiences growing up in the densely forested village of kakaiya, in the state of Madhya Pradesh. 'The most tenacious memory of my childhood,' Raza observed, 'is the fear and the fascination of the Indian forest. Nights in the forests were hallucinating; sometimes the only humanizing influence was the dancing of the Gond tribes. Daybreak brought back a sentiment of security and well-being. On market day, under the radiant sun, the village was a fairyland of colours. And then, the night again'" (R. Bartholomew, The Art Critic, New Delhi, 2012, pp. 81-82)

Lot 547 has an estimate of  $250,000 to $350,000. It passed.


Lot 544,"Untitled (Midnight Sky," by Syed Haider Raza, a beautiful painting, has an estimate of $200,000 to 300,000. It sold for $221,000.



souza

Left: Lot 516, "Untitled (Crawford Market)," by Francis Newton Souza, 1961, mixed media on paper, laid on canvas; Right: Lot 543, "Jerusalem," by Sadanand Bakre, 1969, oil on canvas


Lot 516, "Untitled (Cawford Market), by Francis Newton Souza, is a refreshing, spontaneous cityscape, with all the painterly flourishes associated with the artist. It has an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000. It sold for $75,000.

Lot 543, "Jerusalem," by Sadanand Bakre, is a beautiful and luminious, cubist inspired portrayal of this famous biblical city. The artist said: "I paint as I like. It is a compelling passion with me to keep alive and I cannot help painting or sculpting. I am traditionally trained and perfectly capable of accomplishing completely realistic work. But my interests in forms has gone far beyond the dull imitations of subject matter, which to me is almost unimportant.

Lot 543 has an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000. It sold for $28,750.

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komu

Left: Lot 554, "Borivali Boy II," by Riyas Komu, 2007, oil on canvas: Right: Lot 555, "Untitled (Cavity)," by Jitish Kallat, 2007, black lead on fiberglass


Illustrated above are two renditions of boyhood, by two compelling artists, both with reasonable estimates. On the left is Lot 554, "Borivali Boy II," by Riyas Komu, and on the right is Lot 555, "Untitled (Cavity)," by Jitish Kallat, black lead on fiberglass.

Lot 554 has an estimate of $5,000 to $7,000. It sold for $6,250.

Lot 555 has an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000.


jaminiRoy

Lot 525, "Untitled (Hanuman and Jatayu)," by Jamini Roy, gouache on card

Lot 525,"Untitled (Hanuman and Jatayu)," the painting by Jamini Roy, illustrated above, is reminiscent of Paul Klee and Howard Hodgkin, with an interesting provenance. Formerly in the collection of Dr. Edward C. Dimock, Jr.,  "...This painting was a gift from the artist to Dr. Dimock who was an influential scholar of Indian languages, the first to teach Bengali literature in the United States and professor emeritus of the University of Chicago. He was awarded the Desikottama, honorary doctor of letters in1992. Dr. Dimock first travelled to Calcutta in 1955 and this painting was presented to him at that time. Dr. Dimock returned to the USA with the painting in 1957. (Christie's caralogue for this sale).

Lot 525 has an estimate of $6,000 to 8,000. It sold for $10,000. All the Jamini Roys in the sale performed well.


shilpa

Lot 550, "There is No Explosive In This," by Shilpa Gupta, 2007, C -print on archival paper
, three works on paper


Illlustrated above  is Lot 550, "There is No Explosive in This," by Shilpa Gupta, a set of three works on paper, C-print on archival paper.

It has an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000. It sold for $3,750.

The South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art sale achieved $2,708,000.

Christie's sales of South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art, including A Pioneering Vision: Works from the Collection of Arani and Shumta Bose,  achieved $6.3 million. Deepanjana Klein, International Head of South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art said:
"Works from the Collection of Shumta and Arani Bose saw great works selling to major collectors and institutions, including Francis Newton Souza's monumnetal masterpiece, The Butcher, which achieved the second highest price for the artist at auction. The sale of South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art demonstrated international interest, with clients bidding aggressively for works across all mediums. The enthusiasm and energy in the room, on the phone and via Christie's LIVE affirmed this strong and buoyant market."

The next sale at Christie's in this category will take place in Mumbai on December 11, 2014


Indian and Southeast Asian Art


buddha

Left: Lot 286, "A Monumental Painting of Dharmakirti," Ribet, Circa 18th century; Right:  Lot 252, "An Important Gilt Bronze Figure of Buddha Shakyamuni," Tibet, Circa 14th Century


In a gallery devoted to classical Indian and Southeast Asian Art ablaze with the sumptuous colors of hand-painted thangkas, a Gandharan sculpture, Lot 204, "An Important Gray Schist Figure of a Bodhisattva," 2nd to 3rd century, and Lot 246,"A Monumental Granite Figure of Shanmukha," from South India, Chola Period - 11th/12th Century, evoked temples and grandeur of ancient times on an unparalleled scale.

Lot 246 depicts Shanmukha," shown below with Sandhya Jain-Patel, Christie's Head of Department, Indian and South East Asian Art:

 "Shanmuka is  seated on an enormous peacock named Parvani, who has large tail feathers and holds the tail of a snake in his beak while the serpent's head supports his pendant foot. The flaming aureole that rises up around them deliberately recalls that of his father, Shiva Nataraja, when he dances the world in and out of existence..." (Christie's catalogue for this sale)

Lot 204 has an estimate of $250,000 to $350,000. It sold for $305,000.

Lot 246 has an estimate of $250,000 to $350,000. It sold for $269,000.

Lot 252, "An Important Gilt Bronze Figure of Buddha Shakyamuni," created in Tibet in the 14th century, depicts the moment at which Buddha Shakyamuni achieves enlightenment. "Faced with the threats and temptations of Mara, Buddha overcomes all and touches a single finger to the Earth so that She may bear witness to his achievement." (Christie's catalogue for this sale).

Lot 252 has an estimate of $150,000 to $200,000. It sold for $149,000.

 
shakyamuna

Sandha Jain-Patel, Christie's Head of Department, Indian and Southeast Asian Art, with Lot 246, "A Monumental Granite Figure of Shanmukha," South India, Chola Period, 11th/12th Century


detailMandala

Detail of Lot 288, "A Painting of Vajravarahi of  Thirty-Seven-Deity Mandala," Tibeto-Chinese, Quianlong Period, Circa 1740-1763


A detail of Lot 288, "A Painting of Vajravarahi of Thirty-Seven-Deity Mandala," is illustrated above, and in two other photographs, because it is so spectacular - a bright star of this auction and in the pantheon of thangkas. With vibrant pigments, and the fine execution, the artist depicts the deity with auspicious characters arranged around a lotus blossom within the walls of a palace, "all above an enormous lotus with flaming border with flying garland bearers and charnel ground scenes, all set within a mountainous and watery landscape..." ..."This exquisite painting would have been part of a larger set of likely forty-four paintings depicting the mandalas of the Vajravali compendium. An inscription at the bottom of the painting indicates that it was  commissioned by Uintao, Prince Lu, the twelfth of twenty sons of the Kangxi Emperor, and iconograpically designed by Changkya Rolpa'i Dorje, the personal Buddhist teacher of the Quianglong Emperor and head lama in Beijing during the 18th century...."

"In 1734, Rolpa'i Dorje was allowed to accompany the 7th Dalai Lama, who had been visiting Beijing, back to Tibet. While there, he also traveled to Shigatse, where he studied under the Panchen Lama and was ordained as a full monk. His time in Tibet was short, however, as upon the death of the Yongsheng Emperor in 1736, he was recalled to Beijing by his childhood friend, the Quianglong Emperor. He was put in charge of Buddhist affairs in the capital, and acted as religious preceptor to the emperor. Throughout his career, Rolpa 'i Dorje had an enormous influence on the relations between the Quing court and the buddhist institutions of Tibet, He advised Quianlong to recognize the Dalai Lama as the spiritual and secular leader of Tibet, promoting the Gelug sect over the other Tibetan Buddhist schools, and was even involved in recognizing the next incarnation of the Dalai Lama after the 7th passed in 1757. Rolpa'i Dorje also encouraged the Panchen Lama to visit Beijing for an official audience with Quianglong in 1779. A set of paintings depicting the previous incarnations of the Panchen Lama were commissioned for this grand ceremony, nine of which were sold at Christie's New York on 18 September 2013 (lot 256)..." and "The present painting was almost certainly commissioned between 1736, when Yintao passed. However, his work on systematizing Buddhist iconometry suggests the present painting was likely created from the 1740s onwards..." (Christie's catalogue for this sale)

This beautiful painting, is illustrated three times. Lot 288 has an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000. It sold for $413,000.



lot286

Left: Lot 265, "A Gilt Bronze Figure of Suryaprabha," Mongolia, 18th century; Right: Lot 289, "A Painting of Loden Chogse," Tibet, 19th Century

Lot 265, "A Gilt Bronze Figure of Suryaprapha," has an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000. It failed to sell.

Lot 289, "A Painting of Loden Chogse," created in Tibet in the 19th century has an estimate of $12,000 to $18,000. It sold for $23,750.



GandharaCase

Glass cabinet of with Gandharan sculptures in Christie's galleries, including Lot 210, "A Group of Five Stucco Male Heads," Gandhara, 4th Century

Asia's unique mix of old and new is visible in the works on offer in the sales during Asian Art Week in New York, and some treasures are available at a reasonable price. In the glass cabinet above, (left), "A Group of Five Stucco Male Heads," crafted in Gandhara in the 4th century, has an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000. It sold for $4,750.

The Indian and Southeast Asian Art sale achieved $3,779,625. 93 of the 112 lots sold. The sale was 83% sold by lot and 75% sold by value.

The top lot of the sale was Lot 212, "An important gray schist figure of Buddha, Gandhara, 2nd/3rd century, that sold for $509,000, followed by Lot 288, "A painting of a Vajravarahi thirty-seven-deity mandala, that sold for $413,000. 

Sandhya Jain-Patel, Specialist Head of Sale of Indian and Southeast Asian Art, New York, said: "Today's sale of Indian and Southeast Asian Art realized the highest sell-through ever for the category. The interest in classical field was apparent during the well-attended exhibition and in thepacked saleroom, with buyers from all over the world. Leiko Coyle, Specialist Indian & Southeast Asian Art, added: "This sale showed strength across the category, as evidenced by Gandharan art, Himalayan art, as well as Indian sculpture represented in the top ten sales results. We look forward to the continuous and strong market demand for next season.



flowers

Exquisite orchids complement the exotic works of art in Christie's galleries in New York


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