Untitled (Mother)

Untitled (Mother)
signed in Bengali and numbered '4/9' (on base)
13½ x 15 x 10½ in.(34.2 x 38.1 x 26.6 cm.)
Executed in 1975; number four from an edition of nine
Formerly from the Estate of the artist
R. Sivakumar, Sensibility Objectified:The Sculptures of Sarbari Roy Choudhury, Ahmedabad, 2009, (unpaginated illustrated)
Mumbai, National Gallery of Modern Art, Contours & Volumes, September - October 2013

Lot Essay

Indian sculpture has an immense, varied and exceptional legacy.
Adorning walls of caves, temples, palaces and institutions for eons, it has transformed ordinary spaces into realms of wondrous beauty, worship and power.

The onset of the 20th century, however, marked the advent of the 'modern' in Indian sculptural practice, which was rooted in the western realist style, and grounded in mid-Victorian ideas of naturalism under the British Raj. It was only in the 1940s that a change began to be noticed in modern Indian sculpture, with artists finally freeing themselves from the constraints of Victorian style and developing their own unique idiom.

Sculptors such as Sankho Chaudhuri and Pradosh Dasgupta, a founding member of the Calcutta Group, were some of the pioneers of this change. Following in their footsteps were artists such as Sarbari Roy Choudhury, Somnath Hore and Meera Mukherjee.

These artists endeavored to conceive an aesthetic that celebrated the
indigenous social consciousness and spirituality, by weaving them into a narrative along with a global artistic vocabulary. Experimentation in materials, styles and techniques, in combination with traditional approaches were characteristic of this period. Besides drawing from classical tradition, the modernists also looked to folk and tribal sources for inspiration.

"The influence of scientific and materialistic culture has given rise in the country to new concepts of art. Many sculptors in India today tend to push forward logical, mathematical or scientific harmonies and pure abstract form. This attitude has enlarged our concepts of sculpture, which today ranges from the emotionally charged to the rationally controlled, as also the working processes which combine many industrial and pre-industrial techniques." (Janak Jhankar Narzary, 'Modern Indian Sculpture: A Brief History', Lalit Kala Contemporary 41, 1995, p. 11)

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