• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2025

    South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art

    16 September 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 115

    K. G. Subramanyan (b. 1924)

    Midnight Blues 1, Midnight Blues 2, Midnight Blues 3

    Price Realised  

    K. G. Subramanyan (b. 1924)
    Midnight Blues 1, Midnight Blues 2, Midnight Blues 3
    signed in Malyalam (lower center); signed, inscribed, titled and dated 'K.G.Subramanyan 2003 reverse painting on plastic sheet in gouache + oils MIDNIGHT BLUES 1 Keep this paper in place as it protects the painted surface (16)' (on the reverse);
    signed in Malyalam (lower center); signed, inscribed, titled and dated 'K.G.Subramanyan 2003 reverse painting on plastic sheet in gouache + oils MIDNIGHT BLUES 2 Keep this paper in place as it protects the painted surface (17)' (on the reverse);
    signed in Malyalam (lower center); signed, inscribed, titled and dated 'K.G.Subramanyan 2003 reverse painting on plastic sheet in gouache + oils MIDNIGHT BLUES 3 Keep this paper in place as it protects the painted surface (18)' (on the reverse)
    reverse painting with gouache and oil on plastic sheet
    11¾ x 8¼ in. (29.8 x 21 cm.) each
    Painted in 2003
    set of three paintings (3)


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    Often autobiographical and intensely narrative, K.G. Subramanyan's paintings draw from his experiences as an accomplished writer, designer, and educator. Employing an artistic style indicative of Indian folk art much as the cubistic styles of Western Modernism, Subramanyan addresses complex political and social issues often touching upon gender, sex and the inherent tension between public and private life.
    Speaking on this series, critic Kamala Kapoor draws the viewer's attention to the highly animated nature of these works saying, "the subjects appear fictionalized, their emotional ramifications opened up. There is a plot, a dialogue, and a sense of drama that takes us inside the characters. In numbers 1, 3 and 4 of the "Midnight Blues" series, for instance, the drama turns more overt with the dynamics that support ostensible subject matter in the enactments verging on the sado-masochistic where, masked men brandish knives as women hurtle for cover. Throughout there is a sense of the erotic limned with dark menace, but the physical contortions appear to emanate as if from the theater of the absurd." (K. Kapoor, K.G. Subramanyan, Exhibition Catalogue, The Guild, Mumbai, December 2003)

    Provenance

    The Guild, Mumbai


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION IN AUSTRALIA


    Literature

    K.G. Subramanyan Recent Works, Exhibition Catalogue, The Guild, 2003, illustrated, upaginated


    Exhibited

    Mumbai, The Guild, K.G. Subramanyan Recent Works, December 2003