London – At Christie’s on June 11 cutting edge contemporary artists from across the subcontinent will see their works sold at auction alongside those of the great modern masters in a sale of South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art. The sale will be part of ‘Indian Art Week’ at Christie’s in London and will build on the success of our New York sales in March.
The sale is led by a pivotal work by Vasudeo S. Gaitonde (1974-2001), Untitled, which is also the largest canvas by the artist to be offered at auction and dates from the mid-1960s, recognised as the artist’s prime period. From an important private collection, and offered a year before an exhibition of works by the artist at the Guggenheim Museum in New York., it is estimated at £500,000-700,000 (shown above).
The sale also includes a rich selection of works by the modern master Maqbool Fida Husain (1913-2011). A fitting tribute to the centenary of his birth, the works celebrate the key periods of Husain’s oeuvre and show the evolution of his career. From the Bhownagary Family Collection comes Husain’s Ganga Jamuna of 1971 estimated at £400,000-600,000 (shown here). Jehangir ‘Jean’ Bhownagary was the Indian government’s film advisor and producer of Husain’s award-winning 1967 film ‘Through the Eyes of a Painter’.
Six works by the great Sri Lankan modern master, George Keyt (1901-1993), are among the most outstanding masterpieces by the artist and leading works in the sale. Highlights include Courtship (1973), illustrated on the cover of Keyt’s essential monograph (estimate: £25,000-35,000), and Gopika Vastra Paharana (1952) expected to sell for £40,000-60,000 (shown here). This beautifully documented selection is offered for sale by European collectors Rene Margies and Matthias Servais who were close friends of the artist while they were living in Sri Lanka.
A jewel in the sale is Francis Newton Souza’s Rome (1960) acquired from Gallery One, the dealership that first represented the artist in London in the early 1950s, and thus much sought after by serious collectors. It is estimated at £40,000-60,000.
Exciting contemporary photography incudes a lenticular print by Farida Batool (b. 1970) and a pair of photographs by Yamini Nayar, whose work is being offered for the first time at Christie’s. Batool's lenticular works (similar to a hologram in effect) depict nostalgic scenes from everyday life in Pakistan (shown here). Showing an innocent child skipping on a dilapidated street in Lahore, it is estimated at £3,000-4,000. A pair of photographs by Yamini Nayar (b. 1975) is typical of her work which documents the miniature installations built in her studio from raw and found materials, (estimate: £2,500-3,500 sold as a pair). A rare example of photography by renowned artist Subodh Gupta captures a crowded train station—a quintessential element of Indian culture (estimate: £2,000-3,000).
Generations of Indians have grown up on the comic-book images of the Amar Chitra Katha and the New York-based artist Chitra Ganesh has created a complete series, in an edition of five, based on these stories which take mythological scenes from Indian legend as their inspiration. These witty, highly coloured, pop-art images are estimated at £8,000-12,000 (for all 21 works). The sale will feature additional contemporary works by internationally acclaimed artists including Subodh Gupta, mentioned above, represented by his iconic airport trollies (estimate: £70,000-90,000), Jitish Kallat Rickshawpolis (estimate: £60,000-90,000), Ravinder Reddy with a beautiful golded head of a woman (estimate: £25,000-35,000 – shown here), and Rina Banerjee.
Sale: June 11, 2013 at 11am
Public Viewing: June 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 – check website for exact details
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