Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tyeb Mehta, M.F. Husain and other modern masters on offer

Masterpieces by Tyeb Mehta and M.F. Husain lead the Saffronart sale of Modern Art, with a rough total estimate $ 2.75 million (Rs 14.62 crore) to $ 3.40 million (Rs. 18.39 crore).

The sale takes place for two days on 18th and 19th December. It features a beautiful Kerala scene from the 1960s by Husain (estimated at $ 113,210-150,945 or Rs. 60,00,000-80,00,000) along with Mehta’s 1961 canvas ‘Untitled’, which was first shown in his solo at London’s Bear Lane Gallery. It’s estimated at $ 301,890-358,495 (Rs. 1,60,00,000- 1,90,00,000). S

Saffronart’s last auction for the year will present 70 modern Indian works by 27 artists at It features exquisite works of art by many other modern masters such as F.N. Souza, Ram Kumar, Manjit Bawa, S.H. Raza, Bikash Bhattacharjee, and Ganesh Pyne among others. A captivating untitled canvas by MF Husain, done in the 1960s, is featured on the auction’s catalog cover. He first went to the scenic in the 1960s, and was struck by the fecundity and beauty of the land and so also its cultural traditions. In this fabulous painting, a sort of tribute to Kerala’s verdant beauty, he represents it through one of his favorite motifs, the fascinating female figure.

Husain paints four of them involved in different tasks and seated in different positions. The figures either tending cooking fish or bathing overlap with several large leaves like those of the banana palms characteristic of the state. Employing a palette of browns, whites and greens, the artist reproduced the "three or four subdued, silent colors of Kerala's enigmatic woman (Kalyani Kutty). Tyeb Mehta’s ‘Untitled’ work is another highlight of the auction. Painted in 1961, it represents the earliest phases of his figuration, before he moved onto the sharper lines, flat expanses of color and bisecting diagonals that later became the hallmarks of his works. This lot is a perfect example of the artist's early oeuvre, a testimony to his preoccupation with the figure.

Souza’s ‘East End Factory – London’ is another important lot in the online sale. It is estimated between $ 80,000-100,000 (Rs. 42,40,000-53,00,000). In this painting from 1957, the composition is largely governed by an eerie stillness. Among the other highlights are Manjit Bawa’s 1976 canvas (estimated at $122,645-160,380 or Rs. 65,00,000-Rs. 85,00,000).

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