Overview

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MEERA MUKHERJEE (1923-1998)
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF ABHISHEK AND RADHIKA PODDAR
MEERA MUKHERJEE (1923-1998)

Untitled (Platform)

Details
MEERA MUKHERJEE (1923-1998)
Untitled (Platform)
bronze
13 x 14 x 4 in. (33 x 35.6 x 10.2 cm.)
Executed circa 1980s
Provenance
Acquired directly from the artist, circa late 1980s

Brought to you by

Umah Jacob
Umah Jacob

Lot Essay

One of the artists in Calcutta with whom Abhishek Poddar forged a close personal relationship was the sculptor Meera Mukherjee. When he first visited her small home with its makeshift studio on the verandah in the late 1980s, the young collector was bowled over by the body of work he saw. Over the course of further visits, Mukherjee impressed the young man deeply, not only through her work, but with the strength of her character and her artistic philosophy as well.

One visit to Mukherjee that Abhishek clearly recalls was just after he and Radhika were engaged. The artist had made a small figure of a dog in bronze, and since Radhika loved dogs, he felt this would be the perfect gift for her. Mukherjee, unfortunately, did not want to sell the piece. On his next visit, however, the dog had disappeared from the studio. Curious, he asked her about it, and to his surprise was told that she had to melt it down for bronze to cast her new pieces in, prioritizing her creative process over everything else, even sales. Abhishek will always remember Mukherjee’s integrity and passion for her work.

On their various meetings Abhishek would record Mukherjee speaking about her work and sometimes singing, another passion she shared with him. Once, the artist even took him along with her to the village where she cast her works. On the occasion of their wedding, Mukherjee gave Radhika a kantha dupatta she had meticulously hand-embroidered with detailed scenes from rural life. After the family moved to Bangalore in 1990, Abhishek and his mother Sushila, kept up their friendship with Mukherjee through letters, corresponding until her death in 1998.

The four sculptures by Mukherjee offered from the Poddar collection bear all the hallmarks of the artist’s signature style, capturing the energy of particular urban moments with tenderness and deep reverence for the struggles of the common man.

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