• South Asian Modern+Contemporar auction at Christies

    Sale 2194

    South Asian Modern+Contemporary Art

    16 September 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 538

    JAGDISH SWAMINATHAN (1928-1994)

    Untitled

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    JAGDISH SWAMINATHAN (1928-1994)
    Untitled
    signed and dated in Hindi (on the reverse)
    oil and wax on canvas
    57½ x 92¼ in. (146 x 234 cm.)
    Painted in 1991


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    Swaminathan oscillates between lucidity that captures the most abstract ideas into jewel-like analogies and dark obscurity, where the ideas that swarm fail to emerge to the surface in words or in images. (G. Kapur, 'Reaching Out to the Past', Lalit Kala Contemporary 40, March 1995, p. 17)
    In the early 1990s, Swaminathan's paintings underwent a dramatic shift in technique as there was a tremendous growth in his fascination with tribal motifs in Modern Art, which soon led to the abandonment of his typical compositions of Bird, Mountain, and Tree series. The significance in the role of texture gradually increased giving these paintings an energy not previously seen in his oeuvre. The common use of geometric shapes, especially triangles as seen in the present work, take on symbolic significance. On first glance, its structure is similar to a mountain. If explored further in a representational context, the mountain symbolizes the abode of the Hindu god Shiva. The individual elements in his works take on a greater role and imbue the paintings with additional layers of meaning. They take on a totemic role "capable of exercising its magical eternal influence on those who come within its field of vision." (J. Swaminathan, 'The Cube and the Rectangle', op. c Lalit Kala Contemporary 40, March 1995, p. 23)

    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE TIMES OF INDIA GROUP, INDIA