From the beginning of independence until today: Sotheby's second sale paints the history of Indian art

New Delhi, November 4 () From the bright space painting of VS Gaitonde to an offering of works from the Bhupen Khakhar estate, from the reinterpretation of FN Souza from The Last Supper to the socially attractive Cyclist of Sudhir Patwardhan, the second auction Sotheby's in India captures The journey of Indian art that covers more than half a century of artistic production in the country.

Titled Boundless India 2019, the sale on November 15 will feature more than 60 lots in various categories, including paintings, drawings, sculptures and design.

Following the recent Delhi preview of the auction, London-based Yamini Mehta, vice president of Indian and South Asian art at Sotheby's, said in an email interview that they hoped to tell the history of art in India from the beginning from the nineties to the present. day.

There are works of art created during the beginning of Independence, there are works by innovative artists that emerged after the Raj, and the best of contemporary art is also created today.

The works of art of the most famous artists in India sit side by side with those who have not yet become known names but who have long deserved attention to them. We want to show the fantastic diversity of what India has to offer, he said.

Leading the sale is the 1974 Gaitonde work with suspended orbs, floating like yellow suns and black moons that can be seen within the universe and the solar system at a time when India was on the edge of the space age.

This radiant painting is a testament to the genius of Gaitonde's painting style. Here we see the beginnings of the appearance of Gaitonde's fascination with the circle that came to worry much of his later work; It forms a perfect prologue for a greatly celebrated phase in his career, he said.

The sale of Sotheby's occurs at a time when the country is dealing with an economic slowdown, but Mehta said the world of Indian art is in a strong position in the future.

There is a lot of momentum behind the art world in India. In recent years, gallery owners, businessmen, curators and auction houses have expanded the conversation about art together and have attracted international attention in the process, he said.

He added that in addition to the long-standing collectors, the Indian art market is also seeing a new generation eager to collect and interact with the art world.

We are also seeing a growing number of new faces entering our galleries and bidding on our sales.

Last year, 40 percent of shoppers in our sales of 'Modern and Contemporary Art of South Asia' (London) were under 40, and in 'No Limits: India', more than 20 percent of Bidders were under 30, Mehta said.

The next sale of Sotheby's will also feature a collection of works of Khakhar's heritage that will be used for the first time.

The star lot of this selection is Tiger and Stag, which was last seen in the main retrospectives of the artist in Mumbai and London, and offers a visual commentary on the turbulent state of the world in which the artist lived when it was painted in 1970 .

It is estimated at Rs 3-5 Rs.

The selection of oils, watercolors and ceramics shows the breadth of his talent and offers a vision of the works of art he chose to keep with him throughout his life, Mehta said.

Another highlight of the sale is the monumental reinterpretation of Souza from Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper.

The 1990 work goes on sale from Japan, where it has been in the Glenbarra Museum of Art collection near Osaka for two decades.

The painting that encapsulates Souza's unique technique developed over 50 years, is estimated at Rs 3.5 - 5 million rupees.



Another work that returns to India for sale is the ethereal 'The Hooded Day' by contemporary painter Jehangir Sabavala.

This comes from the collection of the Italian friend of the artist Cesare Rossi, who moved to India in 1953 and became instrumental in the development of Bisleri water in India, as well as in many other bottled drinks.

It is estimated at Rs 1.5 - 2 million rupees.

There is also a special section of the sale dedicated to modernist sculpture, which Mehta said was intended to illuminate Indian sculptors such as Sankho Chaudhuri, prodosh das Gupta, Sadanand K Bakre, Dhanraj Bhagat, Himmat Shah and Amar Nath Sehgal.

A 1959 bronze sculpture titled Bakre's Red Shoe, which achieved a new record at the inaugural Sotheby's auction in India last year, is part of the next sale.

Inherited directly from the artist in 2007, it is estimated at Rs 10-15 lakh.

The inaugural sale of Sotheby's in India in November last year reached a total of Rs 55.40 million rupees, setting a new auction record for Amrita Sher-Gil in India, among others.

Boundless: India 2019 will be held at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Colaba in Mumbai. It will be preceded by a public visit on November 14.



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