• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2270

    South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art

    19 March 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 1010

    RAMESHWAR BROOTA (B. 1941)

    Face

    Price Realised  

    RAMESHWAR BROOTA (B. 1941)
    Face
    signed, inscribed, and titled 'R. Broota 73 - R. BROOTA -FACE -TRIVENI KALA SANGAM, -N. DELHI' (on the reverse)
    oil on canvas, scraped with blade
    25 x 25 in. (63.5 x 63.2 cm.)
    Painted in 1993


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    As a young painter Rameshwar Broota's anguish at the suffering he saw in society was forcefully expressed in early works like Transplantation, via colourful and humorous depictions of anthropomorphic apes representing the pillars of society. Broota's imagery later shifted from the 'Gorilla Man' to the 'Primordial Man'. In the 1980s the artist embarked on the existential "Man" series, exploring an almost Darwinian study through the ages which charts the struggle for survival.

    The male figure has played a central role throughout the artist's career, becoming a site for conflict and its resolution in Broota's themes. Face produced in 1993, is one of the last from his "Man" series which plays tribute to an injured man, perhaps a warrior, whose brooding stance and statuesque quality appears fossilized; frozen in time and space. The figure exudes strength against the odds and looms from its dark surroundings with a translucence of dignity.

    Rameshwar Broota's reverse technique of 'extracting' forms and imagery from the canvas began in the late 1970s. This unique, subtractive process involves scraping away painted layers of monochromatic hues by nicking the blade across the canvas to create nuanced tones and textures.