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Whispered Intimations

Whispered Intimations
signed and dated 'Sabavala '80' (lower left)
oil on canvas
54¼ x 40 1/8 in. (140.2 x 102 cm.)
Painted in 1980
Private New York Collection
Christie's New York, 17 September 2003, lot 175
Acquired from the above by the present owner
R. Hoskote, The Crucible of Painting: The Art of Jehangir Sabavala, Bombay, 2005, p.139 (illustrated)
Mumbai, Jehangir Art Gallery, 1983
Calcutta, Calcutta Art Gallery, 1983
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VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.

Lot Essay

Jehangir Sabavala's works have a strong lateral balance thereby allowing space to extend infinitely away from the viewer. This is one of a series of paintings created by Sabavala in the early 1980s, where his trademark 'landscape' recedes into the background and the figure takes over - monumental and capturing the viewer's full attention. Lacking a concrete horizon, an air of mystery surrounds the work. The figures emerge out of a sulfuric miasma which rises in the foreground, but clears midway, to reveal the draped woman in deep communion. The choice of palette in gray and ochre tones compliments the ephemeral, subtle feel of the entire work.

In Sabavala's paintings, "Man's chief achievement... has been to arrive and depart in silence... Sabavala's figures seek sanctuary in a terrain that is all possible home, even as it is all minatory fastness." (Ranjit Hoskote, Pilgrim, Exile, Sorcerer - The Painterly Evolution of Jehangir Sabavala, Mumbai, 1998, p. 136)

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