Friday, May 31, 2013

Growth trajectory for art market

The more meticulous and serious art lovers get about collating a classy collection, the more finicky and careful they must become about their end choices, experts feel. Raj Sharma, a known private wealth adviser at Merrill Lynch with a string of high net worth clients (worth $25m plus), thinks when aware investors put aside 10-20 percent of their overall portfolio to art 'the collection can be termed a sub-asset class' in itself.

Opting to venture into the segment of fine art & collectables demands immense caution as well as specialized advice from experienced experts in the field. “You might love a piece at the first sight but the broader marketplace might not. The better idea would looking at it both as a choice of passion and as an investment. What should come first and what will come later, is anybody's conjecture.

Contemporary art tends to go in and out of public favor, cautions another expert. “When you're dealing with popular contemporary artists, keep in mind the fact that their career and popularity graph can change rapidly, and so also their work. Still, market appreciation is not the primary motivation of investors or it shouldn't be so, advisers state.

Even though we classify art as an attractive class, not all art looks and performs the same way as an asset class, a research report by Credit Suisse last year emphasized. While capital markets continue to remain in some stress world over, auction marks in the modern and contemporary art market are scaling new peaks, moving from one level to the next. Demand for quality artworks should keep up rising, with the emergence of new institutional and private buyers coupled with growing global wealth, according to the study by Dan Scott and Marc Häfliger.

The various subsectors and categories of the art market, like contemporary art, modern art, old masters, European 19th century art, European and North American sculpture, contemporary Chinese art, and of course, contemporary Indian art have displayed varying performances, as well as in their characteristics and returns.

Though deemed more a ‘passion investment’ with emotional value as the key factor, not only has art as an asset class clearly outperformed bonds and equities, it also enjoys a low correlation with these asset classes. Apart from creating an attractive diversification opportunity, it’s also ‘tangible’ in nature, making it ideal for hedging against stiff inflation to some extent.  To sum it up, art is a completely justifiable and attractive mode of investment that offers good scope for return.

Works by top contemporary artists and modern master of India on offer

At Christie's auction house (London), some of the most cutting edge and dynamic contemporary artists drawn from across the Asian subcontinent will witness their exquisite artworks being on offer at a major sale along with those of the several renowned modern masters on June 11, to make it a truly memorable and important one in this particular category.

It’s led by Vasudeo S. Gaitonde’s untitled work, also among the largest canvases ever by him to be presented at any auction, dating from the period of mid-1960s. The piece is from this recognized as the celebrated yet reclusive artist's peak artistic phase. From a credible collection, and on offer just a year before a show of art by the Indian artist at New York’s Guggenheim Museum, it’s estimated in the range of £500,000-700,000. Among the most noteworthy works in the prestigious sale is ‘Rome’ by Francis Newton Souza  (estimated at £40,000-60,000) acquired from Gallery One,. 

The sale includes a vast selection of pieces by Maqbool Fida Husain (1913-2011), India’s internationally most recognized modern master. An apt tribute to mark the centenary of the late artist’s birth, the showcase belongs to the key periods of his oeuvre. It shows the evolution of Husain’s illustrious career. His ‘Ganga Jamuna’ (1971) from the Bhownagary Family Collection is estimated in the rage of £400,000-600,000. Jehangir 'Jean' Bhownagary, incidentally, was the government's film advisor-producer of 'Through the Eyes of a Painter', the artist's award-winning film in 1967.

Works by George Keyt, the Sri Lankan modern master are considered among the outstanding pieces by him. Highlights include ‘Gopika Vastra Paharana’ (estimate:£40,000-60,000) and ‘Courtship’ (£25,000-35,000). This well documented selection is on offer for sale courtesy Rene Margies and Matthias Servais, the European collectors, among Keyt’sa close friends.

The sale will also feature contemporary works by acclaimed contemporary Indian artists including Jitish Kallat's Rickshawpolis (estimate: £60,000-90,000), Ravinder Reddy’s golded head of a woman (estimate: £25,000-35,000), and Subodh Gupta’s iconic airport trollies (estimate: £70,000-90,000). The scope of this upcoming sale will make it one of the major events involving South Asian Modern & Contemporary Art in recent times. It forms part of Christie's 'Indian Art Week' in London aimed at building on its success of New York sales held in March 2013.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Works by Jitish Kallat, Bhupen Khakhar, Sabavala and Krishen Khanna

The latest Indian art Auction by Sotheby’s includes exciting works by the likes of late Bhupen Khakhar, Jehangir Sabavala and senior master Krishen Khanna, apart from significant works by top contemporary artists like Jitish Kallat.

Done in 1972, Bhupen Khakhar’s 'Air, Steam and Speed' (price estimate: £100,000-150,000), makes its appearance on the market for the first time in over 30 years from an English collection. While in London, he formed an eminent artistic circle of friends, which included David Hockney and Sir Howard Hodgkin. These relationships influenced more and more of his paintings at the time. He often used multiple narrative episodes across a single picture plane.

The artist chose to portray ironic depictions of social types, mocking the tastes and aspirations of the Indian middle-class. He was one of the first artists from India to be celebrated in the West with major museum exhibitions and retrospectives at the Tate in Britain and the Museo Nacional Centre de Arte Reina Sophia in Madrid. On the other hand, Jehangir Sabavala’s Untitled of 1977 is coming to auction for the first time (price estimate of £100,000-150,000). His oeuvre is unique amongst Indian artists practicing during the Modernist era. The sky and sea dominate the subject matter of his canvases from this period.

A painting by senior master Krishen Khanna is being offered for the first time at auction for an estimate of £100,000-150,000. Acquired directly from the artist, this moving and emotional Pieta from 1978 is painted with subtle hues of blues and ochres. The expressionistic brushstrokes and Khanna's mastery of light and tonality imbues the work with an otherworldly aura reminiscent of Dutch Master Paintings.

Jitish Kallat’s seminal work ‘Conditions Apply’ has been exhibited as far and wide as Beijing and South Korea. Conceived between 2004 and 2006 (price estimate: £80,000-120,000), it comprises a series of images of rotis (daily bread) been eaten away to imitate the different phases of the moon. This alludes to both the earning of daily bread and the fast of Ramadan, the conclusion of which relies upon the sighting of the new moon.

Vasudeo S. Gaitonde’s exquisite works up for grabs

Among the major highlights of Sotheby’s Indian art Auction next month is a just recently discovered exquisite work by Vasudeo S. Gaitonde’s, ‘Painting No.1’, earlier in the collection of John D. Rockefeller III, the renowned international supporter of Indian art apart from some important works of art by Francis Newton Souza, Jehangir Sabavala and Bhupen Khakhar.

The sale will feature great works by several contemporary Pakistani and Indian artists, like the Deutsche Bank Contemporary Artist of the Year winner, Mohammad Imran Qureshi. Sotheby’s International Head (South Asian Art, Indian & South Asian Art), Yamini Mehta, states: “We’re thrilled while presenting a remarkable sale of works, which have been very carefully curated with some wonderful museum-quality works very fresh to the market, from private collections in Europe, America and India. Many of the works are genuine masterpieces originating from their first owners for the first time into the market.”

Coming to the sale for the first time ever in last five decades, Gaitonde’s painting (price estimate: £250,000-450,000) was acquired during the 1960s in New York. It’s believed to have been in celebrated collector-philanthropist John D. Rockefeller III collection, previously. The oil on canvas work, painted in 1962, carries the hallmark candescence and radiance of the master’s key works from a important year in his own career.

It has quite a few similarities to another 1962 work, Painting No.4, in the New York-based Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection. During this particular period, he moved away from his geometric works and started experimenting with a paint roller & palette knife, choosing to scrape away and reapply layers of pigment – his artistic concern no longer with mere representation, instead the painted surface.

Considered one of our most celebrated albeit reclusive modern painters, he will be the subject of an upcoming retrospective at New York’s Guggenheim Museum. Due to his meticulous and slow style of working, Gaitonde did not a whole lot of canvases during his career, so this work will offer the perfect opportunity for a collector to buy an outstanding artwork by him.

Masterpieces by Maqbool Fida Husain

Followed by the significant Amaya Collection sale, its first ever Indian art’s Evening Auction, Sotheby’s has now sourced a very impressive line-up of works - many of them fresh to the art market and also with great provenances - for its upcoming Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art auction in London.

The event to be held on 11th June will include two magnificent artworks by late Maqbool Fida Husain (the centenary year of his birth) offered at any auction for the first time – one of them from a former Indian Ambassador’s collection.

Being offered is Husain’s 1961 oil on canvas work, titled ‘Jhoola’, for the first time in (price estimate: £220,000-250,000) acquired directly from the legendary artist during the 1960s. It’s a perfect example of his unique blend of post-Impressionist and post-Independence painting. The work, illustrated in the 1972 monograph Husaini, is evocative of classical traditions and distinctly Modern flavor of India at the same time. It shows two women perched atop a swing (jhoola) that hangs from a tree. And a dark sun, quite a familiar motif from his early work, is there dominating the background.

Husain happened to visit the India Independence exhibit in 1948 with FN Souza that was a turning point in his own career, serving as a timely catalyst for his world-class visual vocabulary, as well exemplified in the work. It combines the early and medieval Indian sculpture’s voluptuous curves and fluid postures with the palette of the Indian miniature.

A second work by him, titled ‘Elephants One’ (price estimate: £100,000-150,000) is being offered for any sale for the first time since acquired in 1964 by the owner’s husband in New York, where he was posted as the Indian delegation representative to the UN. Later an Ambassador to Switzerland, France and Spain, he and many other diplomats befriended and helped the artist during his subsequent visits to America. Elephants appear in several of his work from this particular period, in part drawn from Husain’s interest in the portrayal of Lord Ganesha.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Raza’s ‘Black Moon’ and ‘Christ on Palm Sunday’ by Souza

Their upcoming Indian art Auction, Sotheby’s International Head (South Asian Art, Indian & South Asian Art) Yamini Mehta, claims, will offer something for everyone - exciting estimates as well as opportunities for both new and established art collectors for collecting fine examples of Pakistani and Indian art drawn from the 20th and 21st centuries. Here’s a quick look at the wonderful works to watch out for:

‘Christ on Palm Sunday’ by Souza

Francis Newton Souza’s ‘Christ on Palm Sunday’, (price estimate: £200,000-300,000) was done in 1956. Influenced by his devout Roman Catholic upbringing, Souza made regular artistic references to Christian iconography in his work - Jesus and his disciples, the Madonna and a litany of Popes, prophets and saints. In this work, the maverick artist depicts the head of Christ encircled by palm leaves – appearing to foreshadow the crown of thorns which would later be placed on his head.

This painting is a brutalist take on Christ‟s passion and a consequence of his conflicted religious ideals. The composition of this work is highly reminiscent of Byzantine icons, a common feature in many of Souza‟s paintings from this period. It also bears a strong relationship to the mask-like tribal artifacts which formed influenced artists such as Pablo Picasso and Constantin Brancusi.
SH Raza’s ‘Black Moon’
Throughout his career SH Raza has been influenced by the mystical power of nature. Untitled of 1980 (right, estimated at £120,000-180,000) belongs to a series of landscapes from the 1970s and 1980s which were inspired not only by the French countryside, but which represented a visual expression of his own meditations, evoked by his childhood memories. Raza declared: “Paintings done between the 80s and now appear to me the most convincing part of my work. I was suggesting an inner climate which I experienced at the centre with the sum total of living experience that could come out on the canvas.

Offered for sale for the first time since it was acquired by a Dutch collector in Paris in 1968, Raza’s ‘Black Moon’ (price estimate: £50,000-70,000) is a remarkable painting produced during an important transitional period in the artist’s career following his visit to America, where he encountered Abstract Expressionism for the first time. It was at this point that he abandoned his Post-Impressionist style of landscape for a new Expressive technique of brushwork. The title of this work is the germination of the artist‟s life-long fascination with the notion of the Bindu and also evokes memories of his childhood spent in the forests of Madhya Pradesh.

Exploring ideas of belonging, alienation, history and memory

Cutting right to the heart of cultural relations in 21st century, a new thematic show looks to grapple with the fragile relationship existing between restless self and place in a complex world of transitory identities alongside contested geographies. Gathered from the vast collection of the British Council, it’s conceived as a unconventional take on contemporary British art. Curated by Latika Gupta, it includes over 80 works by 28 renowned modern & contemporary artists from that country.

‘Homelands’, as a press release explains, has already led to a multi-layered program that is comprised of public exhibits in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata,. It includes artist talks, seminars, outreach activities, workshops, curator-led walks etc. The event is backed by a network of public-private partnerships courtesy the British Council. It epitomizes a new funding model for development of public art in India. Partners assisting to hold the pan-Indian exhibit include Kotak Mahindra Bank, Jaguar and Christie’s.

The outreach program, additionally supported by Outset India, is also focused on developing and cultivating unique, local partnerships and encouraging collaboration and dialogue between institutions in Indi and the UK. The exhibition was first held in Delhi at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) in January 2013, followed by Kolkata’s Harrington Street Arts Centre in March. It has opened at Mumbai’s Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum and will move to Bengaluru in the last week of June.

From the participating group of artists, there are no less than 8 Turner Prize winners and nominees like Jeremy Deller, Richard Long, Grayson Perry, Gillian Wearing, Mona Hatoum, Langlands & Bell, George Shaw and Cornelia Parker. Four of the artists Were invited to India, namely Mona Hatoum, Zineb Sedira, Suki Dhanda and Anthony Haughey to engage with audiences, deliver public talks and hold workshops.  

The works together essentially try to excavate the unique concept of a ‘homeland’ and unveil a rich plurality of meaning; specific ideas of belonging, alienation, history and memory.

Political and social connotations of our existence

The artists featured in i‘Homelands’ show courtesy British Council, being exhibited across India, are Angus Boulton, Fabien Cappello, Lisa Cheung, Nathan Coley, Jeremy Deller, Suki Dhanda, Jimmie Durham, Paul Graham, Graham Gussin, Mona Hatoum, Anthony Haughey, Tim Hetherington, Susan Hiller, David Hockney, Anthony Lam, Langlands & Bell, Richard Long , Rachel Lowe, Haroon Mirza, Raymond Moore, Bob and Roberta Smith, Cornelia Parker, Martin Parr, Grayson Perry, Zineb Sedira, George Shaw, David Shrigley, and Gillian Wearing.

Capturing plight of homeless people
Angus Boulton’s project documents the plight of more than a thousand homeless people who sleep in temporary shelters or ‘bashes’ across London on any given night. Policy changes in the benefit system for the unemployed appeared to have led to a sharp increase in the number of homeless between 1995 and 2000. The photographs focus on the environment and the traces of transient inhabitation instead of using people as the central subject.
Mapping indigenous creative practices
Six designers and practitioners including Fabien Cappello worked together on a project that responded to the city of Lisbon, with its particular location and identity. The focus was on supporting local and indigenous creative practices and skills. Artists engaged with communities through conversations and physical actions.
Search for identity and religious motifs
Lisa Cheung asserts her identity by exaggerating a gesture which is commonly used as a negative racial slur. She subverts this notion through a series of posed photographs of her friends which are transferred on to found china plates. Nathan Coley is deeply interested in religious architecture and produced Urban Sanctuary, a commission that stemmed from the refurbishment of the Stills Gallery's Edinburgh premises.
Tracing brass bands tradition
In 1997, Jeremy Deller engaged one of England’s leading brass bands, the Williams Fairey Brass Band, and persuaded the musicians to play specially arranged acid house music, resulting in Acid Brass, a fusion between two cultural traditions that emerged in specific socio-political conditions in industrialized England.
Understanding mindset of minority groups
Shopna, a 15 year old Bangladeshi-British girl, was photographed with her friends and family by Suki Dhanda over the course of a year in order to explore nuances of the public and private lives of British-Muslims in the UK. Through individual experiences, broader political and social realities of minority groups have been explored.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A critique of ‘hassled’ urban life and wandering

The Works by 28 of known contemporary international artists from the rich British Council Collection are being showcased at the ‘Homelands’ show currently in Mumbai, slated to travel to Bangalore in June 2013.

Jimmie Durham was active in theatre, performance and literature in the US civil rights movement through the 1960s. Between 1973 to1980, he was a political organizer in the American Indian Movement. Durham uses text to transform a child-like drawing into a potent political comment on relationships between individuals, communities and countries. His work often offers a scathing critique of urban life in cities.

Gillian Wearing's work demonstrates a complex understanding of the alternately comic and tragic experiences of everyday life. She uses the techniques of documentary photography, film and television to frame the concerns, words and actions of ordinary people, often in everyday situations, slightly and often subtly displaced in context.

By combining such diverse media with the language styles of alternative protest movements, folk and punk, Bob and Roberta Smith attempts to challenge established authorities and values, and encourage creativity in people. Many past projects and performances have involved participatory elements, sharing similarities with the Fluxus movement of the 1960s.

David Shrigley’s works are at once poignant, shrewd and very droll. Shrigley has been disfiguring the Glasgow landscape for years with his absurd signs, transforming a public lavatory with a gaudy symbol designating it as a pub called 'The Ship' or annoying his neighbours by displaying a neon sign 'slum' in front of his home.

The series ‘Scenes of the Passion’ records the places of George Shaw’s childhood and youth. Painted in a photo- realistic style, the images are not representations of ‘real’ places but instead landscapes that are recollected through the artist’s memory. Mother Tongue by Zineb Sedira explores the notion of language as it is spoken by three generations of women of her family. The three women and three languages – Arabic, French and English – also represent the past and present relationship between three countries – Algeria, France and England.

Grayson Perry uses the seductive qualities of ceramics and other art forms to make stealthy comments about societal injustices and hypocrisies, and to explore a variety of historical and contemporary themes.

Getting up close with a top contemporary art collector and patron

Harsh Goenka, possessing one of India’s largest private art collections, is equally proud of his annual art camp's success. His rich collection embraces a wide array of genres and styles of art. It transcends several generations of Indian artists. His initial acquisitions included works on the great saint Mother Teresa. He purchased `Mother Teresa' by M. F. Husain when she was extremely unwell. It was his first painting he acquired for Rs. one lakh.

Throwing light on the intriguing relationship Harsh Goenka shares with is art collection, a news report had quoted him as saying: “I didn't even know that Mother Teresa and I have a special connect, it emerged much after I got to know her. She came to my office here, which then had a Husain painting featuring Mother. She touched my hand and I sensed compassion."

His exquisite collection comprises abstract art, figurative works, installations, new media art and, of course, the portraits that transcend several key milestones of Indian art history. The R.P. Goenka collection of miniatures is among the most coveted and treasured ones in India.

Taking the glorious tradition ahead, Harsh Goenka launched the RPG Academy of Art & Music. It has been organizing an annual art camp in Mumbai, for almost two decades. Traversing the boundaries of business, RPG Enterprises has enhanced its reputation as a socially committed organization. The group generously contributes toward the welfare of various meaningful social causes. It is actively simultaneously involved in promotion of the sports and arts through RPG Academy of Art & Music.

Once asked why he has not yet opened an art gallery, he attributed it to his relationship to paintings comes from the heart and not the mind. He had stated: “I cannot see myself trading in paintings. Perhaps a museum at a later stage could be a possibility. I can’t see myself trading. Perhaps a museum (will come) at a later stage...”

Monday, May 27, 2013

A great treat for art lovers

Catalonia at Venice courtesy Institut Ramon Llull; ‘About Turn: Newfoundland in Venice’ by Galleria Ca' Rezzonico, Dorsoduro; and Ai Weiwei's new work are among the collateral events as part of the 2013 Venice Biennale. Here’s a glance at them:

Representing a wider social spectrum
Eight unemployed individuals are chosen, to represent the widest social spectrum (a Senegalese without papers, a young and highly qualified woman architect, a woman scientific researcher, and a blue collar in his fifties..) all of them to be photographed by Francesc Torres during a period of cohabitation with the artist who will document their daily lives.

In addition to the visual documents on their everyday life, Torres makes an official portrait of each of them. After this first phase where the routine activities and the economic situations of all characters has been documented, the filmmaker Mercedes Álvarez makes shootings where every character expresses his/her opinions on the role of art in their lives. So, the eight unemployed people become active subjects of the exhibition.
Cantieri Navali, Castello 40 (San Pietro di Castello) - June 1st – November 24th

Works bordering between abstraction and narrative
‘About Turn: Newfoundland in Venice, Will Gill & Peter Wilkins’ presents new bodies of work by the two contemporary artists based in Newfoundland, Canada. The exhibition is spurred by complementary explorations of mundane narratives. The work, which spans video, photography, and painting, deftly plays within the boundaries of abstraction and narrative; the recognizable and the intangible. Gill’s works blend a feigned naïveté with formal control, lifted from family life and fleeting dreams. Wilkins’ images bridge the art historical and contemporary, employing subtle, distilled abstractions of duration and form.
Terra Nova Art Foundation   May 29th – November 24th

Ai Weiwei’s new work

Ai Weiwei is known internationally for his work reflecting present-day China and his concern with human rights and freedom of expression. This large scale and site-specific presentation for the 55th International Art Exhibition at Zuecca Project Space, presents us with an immediate sense of the drama of an event which underlines the contradictory development of contemporary China.

He will present ‘Straight’, the first project developed using the long steel reinforcing bars recuperated from the schools which collapsed during the Sichuan earthquake in 2008. This work, a version of which was first presented at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C. in 2012, is here installed in a larger scale at Zuecca Project Space.
Zuecca Project Space - May 29th – September 15th

Quarto '13 at Art Musings

Quarto '13 at Mumbai-based Art Musings galley showcases works by 4 prominent artists from the country, namely A Ramachandran, KG Subramanyan, Anjolie Ela Menon and Satish Gujral.               

A Ramchandran makes a strong case for Indian aesthetics and for the use of classical Indian images to articulate an ideological position. The painter converted to using archetypal Indian imagery only after years of painting in the modernist vein. His chosen medium of painting is oil on canvas, and bronze sculptures. Several books have been published on the artist and his work. The artist lives and works in New Delhi and Kochi.

KG Subramanyan studied art at the Kala Bhawan Shantiniketan in 1944-48, followed by a stint in London at the Slade School of Art in 1955-56. As a professor and dean of painting he has taught at the faculty of Fine Arts in Baroda in 1966-80. His long association with Kala Bhawan Shantiniketan has spanned several years first as visiting fellow in 1977-78, and then as a professor of painting in 1980-89. He has held in several solo shows in India and all over the world.

Anjolie Ela Menon is well known for experimentation and innovation, and in an exhibition titled Mutations, New York, in 1996, Menon affected a major change in medium, being the first Indian painter to create computer-aided images resulting in a permutation of visuals from her own earlier paintings. She has participated in several landmark exhibitions including the Algiers Biennale, the Sao Paulo Biennale, and three Triennales in New Delhi.

Entombed in silence in his early years as a result of his hearing being impaired, Satish Gujral drew inspiration from Urdu literature, and in 1939 joined the Mayo School of Art in Lahore. In 1944 he joined the JJ School of Art in Mumbai. Gujral has had shows all around the world and has won numerous national and international awards including the Belgian Government’s the Order of the Crown for designing the Belgian Embassy; National Awards and the Padma Vibhushan.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

‘A view to infinity’ at KNMA

In Indian Modernism’s history, Nasreen Mohamedi sure is a special figure who opted to move away from the mainstream practice of the first few years of post-Independent art. She chose the less explored non-representational trajectory. The artist was impulsively drawn to ‘space’ sans engaging in reconfiguring the realm in images’. Her works were often inspired by both the underlying structures evident in Nature and man-made environs, architecture in particular, geometry as well as.

A Retrospective of the celebrated practitioner’s vast oeuvre curated by Roobina Karode takes place at KNMA, Delhi. This exhibit collates a vast body of work, looking to draw strong connections between her works of art from the early 1960s right to the 80s. It intends to highlight the singular vision running through the notes from her personal diaries, to her early paintings, photographs, drawings and collages.

An accompanying note elaborates: “The optical, metaphysical and mystical is overlapped in her quest for a non-material, non-objective world. Her artistic journey, marked by rigors of self-restraint and self-discipline, involved acts of renunciation- of objects, figures, decoration, narration and excess.

Nasreen Mohamedi gradually arrived at an interiorized vision that was articulated in a sparse aesthetics as well as frugal means of art making, utilizing pencil and ink pen so as to plot a phenomenological experience. This breathed life into her lines, which often was restless and always at the edge for embracing a view to infinity.

While studying under her at the Faculty of Fine Arts, MS University of Baroda, and also as her neighbor, Roobina Karode came to know the artist closely through several interactions with her for over a decade from 1977 to 1990. The former spent a lot of time at her studio-cum-home, and shared the sensitive artist’s persona with art lovers through rare insights and personal anecdotes noted by her into Nasreen’s self-evolving discipline, regarding to both, her life and art. The interaction is first in the series of talks at KNMA on her art pedagogy, practice and oeuvre.

Essence of Nasreen Mohamedi’s works

Nasreen Mohamedi's austere drawings as well as photographs evoke an atmospheric and delicate sensibility.

While the influence of first- and second-generation European modernism s a vital foundation of her practice, no less significant is the intersection of her formal training with her own cultural heritage, bringing to bear an appeal to meta-physicality, the influence of Islamic design and architecture, and the sensations of her environmental landscape.

Careful and deliberate compositions of lines carefully drawn with an intuitive sense of translation are laid on the structural foundations of repetitive systematic forms and intertwining grids. Tight, formal pencil grids, and fluctuating mark-marking on an intimate scale are characteristic elements of her drawings – elements that have frequently led to comparisons with the work of Agnes Martin (whose work was unknown to the late artist until very late in life).

Nasreen Mohamedi was born in Karachi in 1937 and passed away in 1990. During her lifetime she created a rich body of work. In the post-independence phase, she was regarded as one of the leading artistic voices of her generation. In spite of her singular and cohesive body of work being wholly unsigned and undated, phases of developmental chronology and traces of evolutionary thinking are apparent.

A major exhibition of her works was hosted at Stuart Shave/Modern Art gallery in London a few years ago. It brought together a special selection of her drawings and photos of the late artist. Bringing out the essence of her practice, a gallery note stated, “Her creative output was not prolific. Her body of work is modest, spare, and restrained – yet characterized by a total and coherent commitment to the languages of abstraction.

"Until recently little-known outside her home country, her unique and singular body of work is now belatedly establishing its place within the context of the Modern canon and art history’s international avant-garde.”
The works presented an essence of her amazing art practice in which a sense of the artist’s sublime personal vision was expressed with humility, grace and assured belief.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Global art market and ‘passion for investment’

Among ostensible investment avenues of ‘passion’, fine art is the one that has appreciated by almost 200 percent in the past decade or so, suggests the Luxury Investment Index of Knight Frank. The same is calculated on basis of the weighted performance of different indices for total nine classes of collectables, comprising fine art, classic cars, coins, Chinese ceramics, furniture, jewelry, watches, stamps, and fine wine. Investors are clearly taking a much closer look at all these real assets going beyond their emotional and aesthetic values.

“What’s changing is the subtle investment angle perhaps,” a recent essay by the FT, UK columnist, Mariana Lemann quotes Knight Frank’s Wealth Report editor, Andrew Shirley, as saying, “Previously, people would like to collect so as to possess beautiful things and have the best possible collection. Traditional investments, however, have lost much of their intrinsic value and that the earlier neglected investments of passion are becoming attractive.”

Appreciation of fine art pieces to go with recent wealth creation spree, especially in the emerging markets, has infused fresh money flow into art. “There’ve been several new buyers who are coming into the art market,” New York-based art expert and advisor, Mary Hoeveler, points out: “What apparently comes with that, sadly, is some amount of speculation. The Wall Street sure takes notice; people enter the market solely as investing.”

The global art market’s sheer size makes it appear large and liquid in nature. It totaled nearly $61 bn in 2011, estimated Clare McAndrew of Arts Economics, but it can still get topsy-turvy. The touch of allure carries its own high risks. Take the British artist, Damien Hirst, whose artworks often include dead animals that are preserved in formaldehyde or a skull sculpture that is encrusted with over 8,000 diamonds. A few of his pieces have fallen in market value by no less than 30 percent in the last five years.

Significant showcases that sum up global art trends

Pedro Cabrita Reis, one of the leading Portuguese artists of his generation, shows an in-situ intervention, entitled ‘A Remote Whisper’, which covers the entire 700 sq.m. exhibition area of Palazzo Falier’s ‘piano nobile’ courtesy Direção-Geral das Artes.

A remote whisper flows through the rooms, embracing the walls, doorways and floors with aluminum tubes, fluorescent lights and cables like drawings in space. On the other hand, in the Monumental Room of the prestigious Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana (San Marco Square) Lore Bert exhibits 5 mirror sculptures into a paper environment along with 11 large format works, in an exhibition entitled Art and Knowledge – The spirit of the place in the Platonic Solids. The 5 Platonic Solids represent 5 elements: earth, water, fire, air and universe.

‘The Back to Back to Biennale’ project is a cultural event, which from a certain collective and generation-wise point of view is characterized by performances that the artists deliver, with no filter whatsoever from a Curator or a thematic point of view, there is freedom of expression, as the subtitle claims.

An accompanying note elaborates: “Contemporary art, from the post-war period to date, has theorized and explained the many and different manners of self expression. Writers are a phenomenal, artistic movement which has arisen from the ashes of the highly urbanized societies, where peripheries are considered ghettoes and where being a citizen means seeing the city as a great palette through which to interpret one’s notion of reality.”

‘Bart Dorsa. Katya’ is an exhibition of collodion and silver glass photographic plates and bronze sculpture presented in a specifically organized dark space. The project delivers an intimate story of a Russian girl discovered in Moscow by the American artist. ‘The Starry Messenger’ by Bedwyr Williams takes its name from a study published by Galileo Galilei about his discoveries through a telescope. Shirazeh Houshiary presents a four channel video first conceived in 2003, in a remastered version and as part of a new and unique, site-specific installation.

Another exhibition by a group of outstanding Chinese artists courtesy New York-based Global Art Center aims to juxtapose the cultural impact, appropriation, reflection, and reinvention existing in the Chinese culture through the lens of globalization. In a time when artists generally reflect upon individual empiricism as the main body of their artistic practice, they have returned to their cultural heritage after acquiring the knowledge of Western art.

The Vatican Pavilion at modern art’s sacred cow

For most, the relationship existing between the Vatican, abode of some greatest ever masterpieces, and contemporary art is akin to oil & water; both simply don't mix.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, ‘culture minister’ of the Vatican wishes to alter that very perception. So the Holy See for the first time will have an exclusive pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale, considered modern art’s sacred cow.
But do not expect anything, according to Reuters, which appears remotely liturgical or religious at the world-class exhibit, launched in 1895, taking place every alternate year on the Venice lagoon. Ravasi, formally the Pontifical Council for Culture’s president, and the Vatican Museums have opted to award contemporary art commissions, around a theme, allowing the artists work to their imaginations freely – sans any strings attached, moral or otherwise.

Ravasi has been quoted as saying, "They were not handed any specific themes like Mary or Jesus but just asked to artistically reflect on the first 11 chapters of Genesis since they’re essentially an apt portrait of humanity." It recounts the man and woman creation, Cain’s killing of his brother Abel, the Great Flood and also the scope for humanity to begin afresh after the water levels receded and the rainbow resurfaced.

The commissions were given to Studio Azzurro cooperative in Italy, Lawrence Carroll, an Australian-born American painter, and Josef Koudelka, a Czech photographer. Each of them produced works of art on the subject matter of ‘creation’, ‘un-creation’ and ‘re-creation’. The Vatican Museums director, Antonio Paolucci stated, "These are sentiments, which can be shared not just by believers, Roman Catholics, but also by members of other faiths and non-believers."

He added, "There’s no person who in her or his lifetime has not experienced high times, times of falling, defeat, depression, and phases of having to get back up and then start hoping again. These elements are indeed universal." The Vatican Pavilion at modern art’s sacred cow will be the one to watch out for…

Friday, May 24, 2013

A perfect blending of art and faith

While there’re a few modern religious art works in possession of the Vatican Museum, the institution is largely known for its Renaissance masterpieces like ancient Egyptian/Roman treasures and Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel among others.

Now the Vatican pavilion at the upcoming Venice Biennale (to be opened on June, lasting six months) will add a new touch to the sacred body’s foray into art. The cost of the pavilion is roughly 750,000 euros ($973,700), fully covered by corporate sponsors from Italy, a Reuters news report reveals.

The Church eager to work with contemporary artists

Ravasi said he hoped the Vatican's new initiative would be a ‘seed’ for the Church's future collaboration with contemporary artists, reminiscent of the times when it commissioned works from masters such as Michelangelo, Raphael and Giotto. His department in the Vatican has been holding gatherings called ‘The Courtyard of the Gentiles’ to promote dialogue among believers, non-believers, atheists and secular humanists. He said he sees the Church's reaching out to contemporary artists as an extension of this dialogue. "Art and faith, art and religion, can be very productive," he said.
The works chosen for Venice Biennale

They have no outwardly religious content. Indeed, they would look more at home in a white-walled gallery in New York's Soho than even the most modern of Catholic churches. One of the works inspired by the theme of creation is a multi-media work that shows a tangle of outreached hands on video screens while the viewer hears the sounds of children and animals. Josef Koudelka's 18 photos, some of them as large as 2.6 meters (8.5 feet) by 1 meter (3.3 feet) shows the destruction brought about by war and environmental neglect. He became famous in photography after taking pictures of the Soviet invasion of then-Czechoslovakia in 1968.
One of Lawrence Carroll's artworks as part of the re-creation section is in the form of a large panel with some empty light bulb sockets (while some carry light bulbs) and electrical wires "It's importnt we’ve a dialogue between cultures, religions and people. I think it's good the Vatican is doing this," he said.

‘This Infinite World’ at Fotomuseum Winterthur

'This Infinite World’ courtesy Zurich-based Fotomuseum Winterthur will mark its 10th Set exhibit that captures the museum’s 20-year history in a special way. Renowned photographer from New York, Paul Graham was invited for curating this exclusive 2nd anniversary show that follows ‘Concrete – Photography and Architecture’.

The solo, entitled ‘New Europe’, by the then less-known British photographer was juxtaposed with Fotomuseum Winterthur’s grand opening in 1993. Now the very same Paul Graham, recognized for his photographic achievements almost two decades later with the prestigious Hasselblad Award, has returned as guest curator with a carte blanche. He presents his personal artistic perspective on the 4,000 works that comprise the Fotomuseum Winterthur Collection.

With 21 selected works by artists ranging from Diane Arbus to Bertien van Manen, from Lewis Baltz and Luigi Ghirri to Boris Mikhailov, Graham not only examines the creative process behind photographic works, but also questions the position of the photographer in our infinite world by mentioning: ‘Painters as well as writers confront a void they have to fill with their efforts, summoning from imagination and recollection faces, dialogue, imagery, characters, and even colors. But photography from the world?”

“It seems sometimes we have the opposite, but equally difficult prospect: the world is so full of matter, so brimming with potentially significant moments, objects, people, land, skies, light – all moving, shifting, second by second – that we are burdened with not an empty page, but an overflowing one.”

Meanwhile, the work of American photographer and sociologist Lewis Hine (1874–1940) is also on view at the venue. Hine was adamant in his wish that Americans become aware of the injustice in their nation’s legal system. A firm believer that every human being deserved full respect, he saw photography as the best tool to make this both visible and compelling. To fulfill his mission,

Hine traveled 75,000 km throughout the US, taking photographs of children at work in agriculture, in mines, industrial factories, garment factories, and on the streets. His images not only contributed to a new awareness and the first reforms against child labor. They are also some of the earliest and most important contributions to the genre of social documentary photography. Fotomuseum Winterthur presents this comprehensive retrospective with almost 170 works.

Passionate portrayal of female forms and concerns

B. Prabha is best known for her inimitable and instantly recognizable style of fascinating figures mostly of ubiquitous rural womenfolk. Rather pensive looking, their graceful elongated features invariably holds your attention.

Indeed, a significant aspect of the artist’s body of work was her effort to portray the plight of women from different strata of society, who silently suffered without raising a murmur. She tried to give voice to them. Her representation of the fisherwomen of Mumbai was indeed unique.

B. Prabha portrayed these simple, rustic women and their immense willpower to struggle and survive against all odds. Their appearance with distinctive hairstyles and bright sarees accentuating their distinct persona depicted in her inimitable style formed the core of her practice.

As she matured as an artist, she developed an elegant, formal style, which was very much characteristic of her artistic excellence that she reached through her immense perseverance and intense observation. Her career graph, encompassing her journey from a humble village to hustle-bustle of a city was quite interesting. She dreamt to become an artist at a time when there were not that many successful women artists around in India.

Her paintings covered a wide gamut of subjects and themes, from languid landscapes to pressing social issues like hunger and homelessness. But the core theme of her paintings was always women and their sufferings. Over time, her yearning for simplicity, even as she dealt with the complexities of life, drew her to oils. Particularly moved by the struggles of rural women, who soon turned the core theme of her oeuvre, the sensitive artist developed an elegant, formal style.

The subject matter and the style remained her trademark. The prevailing social realities, the hardships and oppression that women faced and their unexpressed sentiments as they faced life with a sort of numbness influenced her practice. She made a strong statement on the same through her art akin to odes to their spirit and the endless plight.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

An artist driven by Keen observation and meticulous processes

Summing up his processes, Ratnadeep Adivrekar has once stated: “I'm more interested in the associational nature of thinking itself and a deliberate act of misunderstanding sometimes, which can become poetry since you then have to carefully imagine its elements. Systematic-chaos or chaotic-both work for me. I am self contradicting in quest of knowledge .”

The artist received immense applause after an exhibition in Singapore - a major step ahead for the passionate painter in his promising artistic journey.  ‘Proverbial in(er)vention (2009)’ at the NUS Museum proved to be a major milestone in his career. The works that formed part of it revolved around a set of proverbs, as the title suggested. They formed interpretative traps for the viewer, and set them thinking.

Providing an insight into his oeuvre, independent writer-curator Abhijeet Gondkar had mentioned in an essay: “His work stems from a kind of visual synthesis, layered with scientific documentation, allegories, mythology, symbolism, documentary footages and history. Leading one to revert to narratival explanations as a way of grasping the status of the art work and its gestures as a socially symbolic act or illustrate a series of overlapping and over determined social constraints, reasons and responsibilities.”

Among his other selected shows are a solo at Crimson- The Art Resource, Bangalore (2010); ‘Refraction of ideas’, Artists Centre, Mumbai (2004); an exhibition at Crimson (2002); ‘Souvenirs from Journeys Within', Kala Academy, Panaji (2000); a show at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai (1999), and ‘Memoirs of the Unreal City and Findings through Journeys', Y.B. Chavan Art Gallery, Mumbai (1998).

His group exhibitions include ‘Future and Present’, National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai (2005); ‘Indian contemporary art’, Chelsea Art College, U.K. (2005); ‘Ardhanareshwar’, Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai (2005). He has participated in Golden Jubilee Exhibition of Jehangir gallery (2002); 44th National Art Exhibition, (LKA), Ahmedabad (2001); 43rd National Art Exhibition, LKA, Bangalore (2001) and the 'Harmony Show' (2000-05).

Carrying forward a rich artistic legacy

Achievements and recognition that his father - also his guide, mentor and teacher, got have been a constant source of inspiration, albeit bringing with it an added sense of responsibility, for Ratnadeep Adivrekar. Art lovers obviously have high expectations from him. And he hasn’t let them down, gradually creating an identity for himself, in the process.

Gopal Adivrekar, a master painter, was renowned for captivating canvases that drew from the beautiful coastline of scenic Konkan - its pristine sea, black rocks glistening in the glowing sun, golden sands, clouds, and birds. An eminent abstract painter of his times, he took the genre of non-figurative art to a new high with his imagination and innovation. His son Ratnadeep, on the other hand, has achieved specialization in post-modern art.

The upcoming and talented artist carries a proud legacy that he wants to stay true to, as he has said: “Being his son, people do have certain expectations from me. I, however, through my work have managed to build my own identity."

The artist did his Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting) from Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai, in 1997. His ‘Memoirs of The Unreal City’ won him the ‘Emerging Artist of the Year’ award at the Harmony show in 2003. The panel of judges, which comprised eminent personalities like Dr. Sarayu Doshi, Harsh Goenka, Dilip De, Vickram Sethi, Tina Ambani and Mala Singh, lauded him as an artist ‘with a distinctly unique style that captures the viewer's attention.’

He won the Bendre Hussain Scholarship in 2002 and received the Maharashtra State Art Award in the same year apart from securing National Scholarship by Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi (2001). Among other awards won by him are The Governors Prize, The Bombay Art Society (1999), and Merit Certificate at The Bombay Art Society exhibitions (1994, 96).

Work out your approach towards collecting art

A key to become a successful investor is to work out your approach towards collecting art. This implies understanding what type of a buyer you are. There are two broad types of buyers in the art market. There’s a category of buyers for whom the idea is to buy art purely to harness their passion and love for art. In this case, fascination and fondness for art inadvertently results in adding colour and richness to one’s precious portfolio.

Rightly or wrongly, this breed of investors is now rather less common. Most buyers, in the contemporary art market, originate from an aware financial background. This is the dominant sophisticated class of buyers that increasingly drives the market. This second class of buyers wants to support its buying decisions purely based on financial parameters. It’s not hard to understand why art increasingly forms part of the balance sheet of prestigious private clients of many portfolio advisors and wealth management firms.

Keeping aside the moral side of the debate on investing for passion or money, you need to honestly assess your buying behavior and temperament apart from reasons for which you want to buy art. Is it really advisable to fall in love with your holdings (in this case, artworks) acquired from a pure investor’s perspective? This can be decided by paying attention to two simple facts.

You need to decide whether you do not mind considering the art world and its movements similar to the way you look at the way the stock market works and behaves – part speculative and part value and fundamental driven. The second thing to consider is whether you perceive the price boom as a cyclical one, or you see it as part of a long-term trend that will sustain itself, resulting in prices of art pieces you hold scaling new peaks.

Of course, the answers may not be definitive, but it is vital to keep them in mind before following the footsteps of new breed of buyers with the idea of making quick bucks. Remember, patience pays.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dealing with uncertainties of the art market

The markets for fine art and other collectable items are very much fragmented, highly unregulated and rather opaque. Yet they’ve richly rewarded investors, fetching nearly triple-digit returns in less than ten years. In this backdrop the FT, UK columnist, Mariana Lemann, explains in detail how the ‘investments of passion’ have their own rewards as well as high risks. The essay makes following observations:
  • Liquid art market does not imply it’s always easy to sell individual pieces. To address these liquidity concerns, banks that serve wealthy and extremely wealthy investors, such as Citi Private Bank and US Trust, have units that structure loans against art pieces.
  • These loans can help investors extract liquidity from their art assets, says John Arena, a senior vice-president and credit executive at US Trust. “From a planning point of view, (clients) need to plan for the art,” he says. “If they just buy the art and they hold on to it, there are tax consequences that need to be considered.” During the financial crisis, he says, these loans came in handy for investors stuck in other loans. “We were able to use the financial aspect of an art collection to offset the value of a margin loan.”
  • Planning is more important because the market is characterized by ‘sheeplike behavior’ and susceptible to passing trends, New York-based art expert and advisor, Mary Hoeveler says. “For people collecting contemporary art and fine art at a high level, it is a lifestyle, not just a hobby. You can call a collector in another part of the world, whom you’ve never met before, and introduce yourself. It is quite rare that you’d be turned down.”
  • “People indeed derive great satisfaction from (art pieces) but it is also an investment,” another fine art expert and investment advisor states, having experienced first-hand both the investment as well as the aesthetic and emotional aspects of collecting art. Raj Sharma, a private wealth adviser at Merrill Lynch, is a collector of Indian miniature paintings from the 1500s and 1600s. “These things have quadrupled in price,” he states. “It’s exciting to see that.”

A doyen of contemporary Indian art who turned it on its ‘head’

Best known for his inventive and stark, strong and bold human forms especially the heads, legendary artist FN Souza’s work is often evaluated and analyzed within the context of many of his great Indian contemporaries, the Progressives in particular - a group of which he was also a founding member.

It is important to recognize their shared passion to break away from conservative teachings following India’s Independence in 1947. And when his work is placed alongside those of such doyens as Raza, Akbar Padamsee and MF Husain, the similarities are palpable. It does not sit within any one single frame of thought.

Like many other great artists of the 20th Century, Souza was never daunted by clutches of tradition. Instead of becoming wary of contemporary visual culture, he skillfully adopted various notions and diverse visual references from such sources as the old masters, and commercial imagery – deftly appropriating them to create his own unique works.

Born in Goa in 1924 he joined Sir J.J. School of Art from where he was expelled for taking part in the Quit India Movement in 1942. The rebel artist made London his home in the time period of 1949-67, with intermittent stays in Paris and Rome, after which he moved to the US, settling in New York where he lived till his death in 2002.

The social context within which the legendary artist lived and created his art and his immense strength of character imparted a different dimension to his work. From the early childhood, with the death of both his father and sister, he struggled against adversity. He fought against conservatism to achieve international fame.

Souza’s zest for new ideas and newer techniques never abated, reflecting in his usage of light boxes to project images onto canvases, and also his initial experimentation with curious chemical solvents, acrylics and monochrome painting. Apart from being a prolific painter, he was also known as a capable writer, poet and philosopher.

Important moments of a celebrated Modernist's life journey

The core concern in Ram Kumar’s work remains the pathetic human condition. A sense of alienation in crowded cities disturbs him as an artist. A visionary link seems to exist between his paintings and his stories. If his landscapes appear remote and alien, his stories are troubled, sad and brooding. Though hailing from a large middle-class family sans any creative environment, he and his brother developed interest in literature. In 1945, he happened to visit an art exhibition, and he almost immediately joined art classes.Below are many other important moments of this celebrated Modernist's life:
  • As his passion for painting grew, Ram Kumar decided to travel to France. Fortunately, he received the French Cultural Council scholarship (1949-52). It was a great learning experience for him to meet the likes of Octavio Paz, Jacaques Roubaut, Andre Lhote, and Fernand Leger.
  • In his early works, the painter opted for an elegiac figuration, exuding the excruciating spirit of tragic Modernism. He also drew upon exemplars like Georges Rouault, Gustave Courbet, Edward Hopper, and Kathe Kollwitz. Infused with a great ideological fervor, he dedicated himself to constructing an iconography of victimhood and depression.
  • The paintings imbued with a touch of melancholic Realism not only reflected his acute disillusionment with the anonymity and monotony of urban existence, but also alluded to the disillusionment with unfulfilled promises after India’s Independence. These compositions represented a major phase of the country’s post-Independence art.
  • A series of solos of his wonderful work have been held in India and internationally over the last six decades. It has also been featured in several recent group exhibits. His retrospective exhibitions have been held at NGMA (1994) and Jehangir Art Gallery courtesy Vadehra, Delhi (1994); Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal (1986), and Birla Museum, Kolkata (1980).
  • The veteran artist has won several honors and awards, such as Officers Arts et Letters, France (2003); Kalidas Samman, Madhya Pradesh government (1986); Padma Shri, Government of India (1972); J. D. Rockefeller III Fellowship, New York (1970), and the national awards (1956, 1958).
In his works, the colors – greys, yellow ochres, browns etc – tend to soak in their deft tonal subtleties, and his lingering lines pulsate at every point of its length. Thematically and Stylistically, his oeuvre grips your mind and heart.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Formal Film in Nine Episodes, Prologue & Epilogue

Mumbai-based Project 88 and Goethe‐Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan together present Mario Pfeifer's first solo in India. The exhibition includes his acclaimed exhibited installation project, entitled ‘A

Formal Film in Nine Episodes, Prologue & Epilogue’. Coincidentally, Mumbai is the city of its making. During his research and production, Pfeifer developed a multi‐layered, visually compelling and critically challenging film project; shot on 35 mm color negative in single takes with two Greater Bombay citizens unfamiliar with the process of producing a conceptual film but well informed about their own area, its local culture and diversity of languages.

In collaboration with his research assistants, the artist went on extensive location visits to observe everyday situations and activities he first considered on a formal level, approaching them, as he puts it, in a state of innocence– entering a complex environment without preconceptions.

By further investigating the social, urban, ethnographic, religious and cultural contexts inherent in his formal approach, he developed the structural concept of the film, later worked into the project's title. Presented as what Amira Gad defines as a ‘flexible installation’, Pfeifer suggests a loose ordering of his episodes, prologue and epilogue within the setting of an exhibition space, varying the number of projections and declining to specify the order and number of episodes to be screened together.

This flexibility creates the possibility for the projected material to be displayed in diverse narrative combinations and asks spectators to engage with the exhibition space and the filmic representation by applying their own individual gaze and critique, a personal process of translating the experience.

Pfeifer's images are akin to a deeper investigation of the city's growth from rural areas to high‐tech sites and planned cities, from manual labor to neoliberal, global forms of production; with its images resistant to any clearly defined genre, the film meanders between what are considered documentary and fictive notions of image production, pointing at the difficulties inherent in the act of representation per se and the artist's own involvement in a local context he would otherwise not be part of.

Mario Pfeifer looks to casts doubts on the social critique that such aesthetics evoke, which according to Alexander Koch, “itself might appear as a form of colonialist encroachment in today's globalized society.”

A world-renowned photo art museum and collection

  • Fotomuseum Winterthur located in Zurich was founded in 1993 and is dedicated to photography as art form and document, and as a representation of reality. It’s, on the one hand, an art gallery for photography by contemporary photographers and artists (with exhibitions by Lewis Baltz, William Eggleston, Nan Goldin, Andreas Gursky, Roni Horn, Boris Mikhailov and many others). On the other, it’s a traditional museum for works by 19th and 20th century masters (Karl Blossfeldt, Bill Brandt, Dorothea Lange, Lisette Model, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Edward Weston, Weegee and others).
  • Also, it serves as a cultural-historical, sociological museum of applied photography in the fields of industry, architecture, fashion, etc. (shows on police photography, industrial photography, dam-construction photography,etc.). These three orientations form the basis of the museum's exhibition program and accompanying publications and events.
  • Together with Fotostiftung Schweiz, Fotomuseum Winterthur has been running a Center of Photography since autumn of 2003, with a bistro, a library, seminar rooms, a lounge, and a shop. On the new expanded premises, and in addition to the changing exhibitions, it presents changing shows of works from its collection of contemporary photography, including work by Nobuyoshi Araki, Vanessa Beecroft, Lewis Baltz, Daniele Buetti, Larry Clark, Hans Danuser, William Eggleston, Nicolas Faure, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Robert Frank, Nan Goldin, Paul Graham, Boris Mikhailov, Thomas Ruff, and Annelies Štrba.
  • Since the foundation of Fotomuseum Winterthur in 1993, building up a collection of contemporary photography has been a major cornerstone of the museum's activities. To date, some 4000 photographs have been purchased, donated or given on permanent loan. Every year since 2003, parts of the collection are presented in specially curated exhibitions accompanied by a series of publications.
  • The online collection now provides a further opportunity of making the ever-growing holdings readily accessible to a broader international audience. The works presented online as publicly accessible reproductions are copyright protected. Users can explore the ideas and working methods of some 300 individual photographers by browsing the index of artists and titles, or using the full-text search facility to find information about the artists and their techniques and to read commentated descriptions of the works in the collection.

A turning point in the post-Independence period of Indian art

The Romanticization of Indian reality by the then Company Painters and the mannered portraits of Ravi Varma and his ardent followers gave way to the Bengal School of Painting. Nandalal Bose, D.P. Roy Choudhury, Abanindranath Tagore, A.K. Haldar, Kshitindranath Mazumdar, A.K. Haldar and Kshitindranath Mazumdar were among the artists who belonged to this school. Those like Rabindranath and Gagnendranath Tagore preferred more personal idioms through Santiniketan Institute.

On the other hand, Benode Behari Mukherjee and Ramkinkar Baij opted to express their love for nature and its rhythms. Inspired by the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi's teachings, Jamini Roy drew his strength from the simplicity of Indian folk art. Another wave of change came in the 1930s from the bold, post-impressionistic colors of artist Amrita Sher Gill, and through the 'socially responsive' work of the Calcutta Group, a decade later.

During the pre-Independence era, and well into the 20th century, the propensity to question the Western thoughts became even more pronounced in the expression of ‘inward-looking’ Indian artists. In the 1930s, a wave of change arrived in the form of bold, post-impressionistic colors of artist Amrita Sher Gill, and through the 'socially responsive' work of the Calcutta Group. The country's partition and Independence in 1947 might have actually seemed like the catalyst for a form of expression to match the momentous occasion.

However, the so-called 'artists of transition' like K.K. Hebbar, Shiavax Chavda, Sailoz Mukherjea and N.S. Bendre were more engrossed in a contemplation of life's simpler, smaller pursuits through their art practice. The formation of Progressive Artists Group (PAG) was a turning point in the post-Independence period. K. H. Ara, M.F. Husain, S. H. Gade, S. Bakre, F. N. Souza and S. H. Raza were all determined to fashion an art entirely Indian, albeit modern. Their modernism was more in the spirit of the peculiar Nehruvian internationalism, largely relying on Parisian abstract Expressionism and post-Impressionism.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Three Generations of Wyeth courtesy Christie’s

Christie’s is presenting an ambitious Spring sale of American Art that features modern masters Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper and Milton Avery among others. The event will include works of art from several prominent private collections like ‘Three Generations of Wyeth: The Collection of Eric & Cynthia Sambol’, comprised of a group of 13 pieces by Jamie Wyeth and N.C., Andrew plus select offerings from the Andy Williams collection.

Comprised of about a dozen works of art by N.C., Andrew, and Jamie Wyeth, it includes important works spread over three generations of what’s considered among the most remarkable art family dynasties of their times in America. Six works by Andrew are on offer in the Sambols’ collection. ‘Rocky Hill’ (estimate: $1,800,000-2,400,000) well embodies all the hallmarks, which have made him a popular and enduring figures in the annals of American Art.

He mostly worked in series, devoting himself to specific locations and the subject matter, thereby letting him lend genuine sincerity to his style sans sentimentality. ‘Rocky Hill’ revolves around Nell, his faithful dog. Wyeth often revisited the pet as a subject. The piece apart from embodying a feel of loneliness pays tribute to the gradual passage of time and also the places and people that inhabit his daily life in Pennsylvania and Maine.

Works from the collection of Andy Williams that are there in the sale include a couple of important Milton Avery paintings, ‘The Musicians’ (estimate: $400,000-600,000) and ‘Pale Flower’ (estimate: $250,000-350,000) denote Avery's ability of modernizing a familiar domestic scene with his very carefully done orchestrated arrangement of both color and pattern. His knack of translating the subjects into a unique lexicon of forms and shapes that jell to build a cohesive composition is evident.

The sale will offer a wide array of Impressionist artworks, including ‘In a French Garden (estimate: $800,000-1,200,000) by Childe Hassam that demonstrates his abilities at the peak of his career. ‘The Palm’ is among the sale’s other key Impressionist highlights.

Art catches fancy of new investors

The domain of art investing and collection is witnessing a significant new trend. Take the case of a top foreign bank’s managing director, one of the recent entrants to the market; he is drawn to art more by the allure of returns than the appeal of its sheer beauty.

It’s no more just the powerful professionals and companies that are chasing art as an investment option. No surprise, the Indian art market base – buoyed by new buyers - is fast growing. Prices of works by both upcoming and well-known artists have wildly fluctuated in the recent years. As more and more people are looking to buy art, there’s a good demand for the younger generation of artists.

It’s also about the demand and supply equation. In other words, the availability of artworks by a particular artist is a key aspect in determining the market price. For instance, the works of late Manjit Bawa and Tyeb Mehta are in demand since very little of their original work is now available. The scenario varies from one artist to another.

But the market volatility has failed to dent the investor enthusiasm. Interestingly, both aspiring and seasoned collectors are searching for affordable works by the emerging artists with a good investment potential. Major FMCG, auto as well as luxury goods makers and service providers – both in India and internationally - are keen to capitalize on the Indian art boom especially when western markets for art seem to have reached a saturation point.

On the other hand, there are many young professionals, who are gradually developing fondness for art. They now take keen interest in paintings and even new media works, especially those by young and upcoming artists. Even collegians are hunting for reasonably priced works. For some, it’s a passion, whereas for many, it’s an exciting investment idea.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

An abstractionist driven by a deep rooted, esoteric worldview

Rightfully considered one among India's best abstractionists, G. R. Santosh attained fame for his marvelously mystical paintings that unfolded the secrets of one of our closely followed philosophies not only within the country but also internationally.There was a silent streak of self-introspection evident in his paintings, which at times, revolved around the theme of chronic, inexpressible loneliness that enveloped modern man. His landscape, as if, depicted the vicissitudes of heart rather than finer points of any geographical region.

Born in 1929 to a modest middle-class family in Srinagar, G. R. Santosh hardly had any orientation in art. He had once recounted that he indulged in sketching and drawing from early childhood years. Inspired by the beauty and nature around, he took to a little landscape series, doing several of them before moving onto other art forms and evolving his own unique style.

Circumstances, as he had rewound back in an interview, forced the artist to search for odd jobs such as silk weaving, sign board painting, and even white washing walls to see himself through the tough times after his father’s death. Interestingly, he initially achieved name as a skilful papier-mâché artist.

The struggle for survival allowed him no luxury to focus on art, but he did not give up. It was long though, before he could turn his love for art into practice and take formal lessons in it. The talented painter finally was able to pursue his passion after he won the government scholarship in 1954.

He joined Faculty of Fine Arts at M.S. University in Baroda, where he studied under painter N. S. Bendre. And as luck would have it, he soon joined the much-celebrated Progressive Arts Association in Kashmir, soon after India’s Independence, formed at a nudge from S H Raza.  He showed his work at many galleries across the country as a leading member of the well-established art association.

Processes and philosophy of one of India’s legendary artists

Art, to Vasudeo S. Gaitonde, was a process complete in itself. It helped him move closer to his own self, as he kept on exploring transient realities and his inner spaces. This was a highly individualized and internal process that he rigidly followed. The entire artistic process reflected his deeply introspective and analytical attitude.

His paintings were invariably described as abstract in nature. Personally though, he rejected the tag. VS Gaitonde instead preferred to see them as 'non-objective,' visualizing more as a balanced juxtaposition of colors and texture. He meticulously maneuvered his medium on the canvas with precision, building up pigments to only strip them away and unravel hidden layers of the work.

The highly codified works carried an 'evocative power' that operated on more than one level. A sense of 'atmosphere blended with an approximation of music filled them. They gave rise to a mystery about the very experience of viewing, reviewing and responding, as if one was drawn into some ‘still centre of hitherto unknown experience’, as senior art critic Dnyaneshwar Nadkarni had described.

In a deceptively uncomplicated manner, he seemed to have solved the complex equation between linear structure and color – akin to an emotionally perceived relationship in which colors asserted themselves, sans any obtrusive emphasis on their physical parameters as paint.

Also influenced by ancient calligraphy, his large works on canvas, mostly monochromatic, exuded an ‘evocative power’. The flat, 2-dimensional pictorial space, held by seemingly floating forms, evoked a sense of infinite space. In a way, the master artist was least concerned with the process of representation but the painted surface itself. His ethereal paintings conjured up a veiled version of the natural world. Through a deft manipulation of color, form and technique, he transformed basic elements into carriers of spiritual introspection that made his works into mystifying masterpieces.

Bringing together artistic practice and spirituality

Nature Morte presents a two-person exhibit by AA Bronson and Michael Bühler-Rose at its Berlin venue.  ‘The Botanica’ refers to the Hispanic ‘botanicas’ tradition - magical and religious supply shops—in the Americas, and includes works, which deal with the art object as a venerated deity, its creation as mystic ritual consecration by artists who act as a shaman/priest. A press release explains, “Invoking spirits and evoking both real and imaginary religions, the two play with the conventions of ritual objects, magical supplies, rituals and spiritual consumerism, whilst engaging in the sometimes difficult conversation between artistic practice and spirituality.”

Since the age of 14, Michael Bühler-Rose’s study and practice of Vaishnavism (the branch of Hinduism dedicated to the God Vishnu), Sanskrit, kalpa (ritual), and philosophy have prompted extended stays in India, including one as a Fulbright Fellow. He is both Critic in the Department of Photography at the Rhode Island School of Design and purohita (Hindu priest) and his work on these platforms influence his artistic production.

In his photographs, videos, and installations his work expands upon recent theories of Relational Aesthetics and fold the dialectics of Conceptual Art with Vaishnavite ritual and image worship. His work has been shown recently at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Delhi; Bose Pacia, New York; Chatterjee and Lal, Mumbai; Carroll and Sons, Boston and with SK Stiftung Kultur/Die Photographische Sammlung at Art Cologne.

Bronson’s work - as an artist, healer, curator, and educator - is marked by the practice of collaboration and consensus.  Born 1946 in Vancouver, he formed the artists’ group ‘General Idea’ with Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal in 1969. The group lived and worked together for the next 25 years, undertaking over 100 solo exhibitions, numerous group shows and public art projects. He served as the Director of “Printed Matter, Inc.” in New York City, from 2004 to 2010 founding the annual NY Art Book Fair in 2005. In 2009 he founded the Institute for Art, Religion, and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, which he now co-directs.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

An artist’s fascination for football

Interestingly, Alok Bal dreamt of becoming a football player but failed to pursue his passion owing to unavoidable turn of events. Not disheartened, he opted to reflect his love for the game on canvas that captured its beauty and the human skills involved. Apart from painting ‘two feet poetry’, he started a football academy in 2007 in Baroda (XYZ Football Club) to encourage aspiring footballers. He has been playing football since his childhood. Terming this ‘beautiful game’ a way of life, he feels it’s more than just a sport – rather a philosophy and every sportsman a philosopher.

After his fascinating football series (‘Football Fever’; Priyasri Art Gallery, Mumbai), he produced ‘Black Landscape’ in 2007 that touched upon another facet of his artistic quest. Ironically, while on the one hand, individualism is on the rise, one’s identity is under threat, as the artist wants to bring to our notice. His landscapes refer to the self-inflicted problems arising from unplanned development.

They comment in a lighter vein on our tendency to manipulate the surroundings, regardless of the ill effects. Urban growth, resulting from blatant manipulation of natural resources and the resultant changes in ecology is inextricably linked to the very roots of human existence. He prompts the viewer to contemplate over issues that bear immediate significance and future consequences.

At a broader level, the artistic realm that Alok Bal depicts is materialistic to the core wherein the central characters are often effigies of voyeurism and egotism. This vicious world, often overlooked by most of us, is portrayed in-depth by this sensitive and observant artist who peeps into complexities of relationships; between people and their immediate surroundings.

Metaphorical usage of flying dainty figures, serene colors, the scratches and the realistically done attributes are all skillfully stitched together in his compositions that exude lyrical sophistication, hiding beneath it insecurities of self-existence. He raises a question mark the place and space of the individual lost in a city.

'Ember' by Alok Bal

The new Delhi-based Galley, Latitude 28, currently hosts a solo show by Alok Bal that includes over 40 works –done in wood, glass, found human waste (used cloth, plastic, medicine wrappers, pipes etc) apart from canvases and paper works that according to him is about ‘the theme of human suffering caused by the prevailing socio-political system and also the one that we happen to create within ourselves, to add to the pain’.

The outcome is an extreme imbalance in our outer and inner selves, leading to destruction, ultimately. He adds: “The main inspiration is my surroundings, people, life, nature and, of course, my inner self. Like my previous body of work, this show too is about cityscapes, but with a difference. Previously I would focus on the exterior, but this time, I have tried to get into the interior, the more psychological aspects of life of urban human beings.”

The gallery director, Bhavna Kakar, states that his current body of work is dynamic in its diversity. While his paintings are serene and metaphorical, his works in found human waste, wooden box and glass show his versatility in handling various mediums. Also a nature lover who loves trekking in the forests of Gujarat, it’s no wonder that he paints an unsettling picture of natural habitats being replaced by concrete jungles and the human tendency to tame nature in all its forms. He extends the environment versus development debate to reveal his concerns for the changing behavior and lifestyle of the human race as well as the effects on birds and animals.

A press release to his solo, entitled ‘Ember’ elaborates: “The contrast in topography from his native Orissa to the fast developing city of Baroda cannot be ignored in his work. From his studio on the 10th floor in Baroda, he has been witness to the changing Baroda skyline; the view of an endless sea of tenements with cement grey terraces blending with the smoky, polluted sky and this is a recurring source of inspiration in his works. These images also surfaced in his last solo show in Delhi in 2007.”

Friday, May 17, 2013

An artist’s concern for socio-environmental fall and fallacies

Born in Orissa in 1969, Alok Bal's childhood was spent in the midst of nature, surrounded by lovely hills, dense forests vast cultivated lands and beautiful riverbeds quite in contrast to the present realities. After securing a formal degree in Commerce, he decided to study art. He completed his B.F.A. (1998) followed by a Post-Diploma in Painting from M.S. University, Baroda (2001).

His recent selected group shows include  'Angkor Wat: An Indian Perspective', Gallery Art and Soul, Mumbai (2012); 'Freedom to March: Rediscovering Gandhi through Dandi' courtesy Ojas Art at Lalit Kala Akademi, Delhi; 'Irreverent Gene', Crimson- The Art Resource, Bangalore; 'Symbols and Metaphors', CIMA, Kolkata; and 'India Rising: Tradition Meets Modernity' courtesy Ati Art Gallery (all in 2010). Among his recent participations are 'Art for Humanity', Coomaraswamy Hall, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in Mumbai  (2012), and 'Art Celebrates 2010: Sports and the City' courtesy Anant Art at LKA, Delhi to coincide with the hosting of the Commonwealth Games.

Recipient of the National Scholarship, (Human Resource Ministry) in 1998, the figurative artist was initially influenced by British pop art and that in the US, but he gradually found his own idiom, artistic vision and voice. Experimentation plays an important role in his practice. Summing up his artistic inclinations and creative processes, Alok Bal states: “I observe and absorb things around, unconsciously or intentionally, and build my work around an ‘idea’ that serves as the starting point of my creative process. It comes from within and gradually becomes an integral part of me.

"I sketch and draw quite a bit before I actually begin a painting. One thought leads to another, and so does my painting. There’s a definite connection and a progression. As ideas reinventing and replacing themselves, my style and painterly technique may accordingly change. However, the underlying philosophy remains the same. Apart from a touch of playfulness, there is a conscious effort to retain the spontaneity in my work, which prevents it from getting stereotyped.”

Classic and new art shows at Grand Palais, Paris

Grand Palais in Paris is currently hosting a few interesting shows, namely ‘Dynamo: A century of Light and Motion Art: 1913-2013); Chagall: Between War and peace; and From Cézanne to Matisse, From Van Gogh to Bonnard

A century of Light and Motion Art:
Notions of space, vision and light run through the abstract art of the 20th century and interest many world renowned contemporary artists such as Ann Veronica Janssens, Anish Kapoor, John Armleder, Carsten Höller, Philippe Decrauzat, Jeppe Hein, Felice Varini and Xavier Veilhan. By putting vibration along with the spectator’s perception in the centre of their works, they set up multiple resonances with optical and kinetic art, which first emerged at the Movement exhibition in Denise René’s Paris gallery in 1955, but also, more broadly, with what was later called "perceptual art" at the exhibition The Responsive Eye at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1965.
Chagall: Between War and peace
Chagall was nearly a hundred when he died in 1985. He had crossed most of the 20th century, living through one revolution, two wars and a period of exile, and rubbing shoulders with some of its most avant garde artists. His personal experience of History, the memory of people he knew, his travels and his homeland shine through in his work.
From Cézanne to Matisse and From Van Gogh to Bonnard
The exhibition Le Grand Atelier du Midi is a crucial part of Marseilles-Provence 2013, European Capital of Culture and undeniably one of the flagship events in the 2013 cultural program. Designed as a diptych–showing at the Palais Longchamp in Marseilles and the Musée Granet in Aix-en-Provence–it presents over 200 masterpieces painted between 1880 and 1950-1960. Starting from two tutelary figures of the modern movement, Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Cézanne, it seeks to show how the South of France, in a broad sense, going from the north of Spain to the Italian Riviera, with a few sallies into North Africa, was an extraordinary laboratory for experimenting with modern ideas in painting.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Life and art journey of a great early Indian modernist

Here are a few important milestones from the life and art journey of a great early Indian modernist:
  • Ramkinkar Baij (1906-1980) was born in Bankura, West Bengal, into a family of little economic and social standing, and grew by sheer determination, into one of the most distinguished early modernists in Indian art.
  • In 1925, he made his way to Kala Bhavan, the art school at Santiniketan and was under the guidance of Nandalal Bose. Encouraged by the liberating intellectual environment of Santiniketan, his artistic skills and intellectual horizons blossomed, thus acquiring greater depth and complexity.
  • Soon after completing his studies at Kala Bhavana he became a faculty member, and along with Nandalal and Benodebehari Mukherjee played a pivotal role in making Santiniketan one of the most important centers for modern art in pre-Independent India. In 1970, the Government of India honored him with the Padma Bhushan for his irrefutable contribution to Indian art.
  • His monumental sculptures established landmarks in public art. One of the earliest modernists in Indian art, he assimilated the idioms of the European modern visual language and yet was rooted it in his own Indian ethos.
  • He experimented restlessly with forms, moving freely from figurative to abstract and back to figurative, his themes were steeped in a deep sense of humanism and an instinctive understanding of the symbiotic relationship between man and nature.
  • Both in his paintings and sculptures, he pushed the limits of experimentation and ventured into the use of new materials. For instance, his use of unconventional material, for the time, such as cement concrete for his monumental public sculptures set a new precedent for art practices. The use of cement, laterite and mortar to model the figures, and his blending of western and Indian pre-classical sculptural values was equally radical.
Indeed, Ramkinkar Baij has been the subject of much mythification. His powerful experimentations, ranging from the representational to the abstract have inspired generations of younger artists.

7 keys to a productive and aesthetically rich portfolio

1.    Ideally, it makes sense to build a portfolio that strikes a balance between both contemporary and modern works as each category has its own market potential and strength. If the former stands for the culture and idiom of today’s times, the latter represents our nation’s glorious past and developments of the post-Independence phase.

2.    Apart from acquiring works by established contemporaries such as Paresh Maity, Jagannath Panda, Rashid Rana, Jogen Chowdhury and Arpita Singh who have recorded consistent value appreciation, many young contemporaries with immense potential, however, relatively unknown and fresh, are worth considering.

3.    Of course, spotting them would need expert inputs so that you can choose well. Albeit a bit risky, these artists can yield handsome returns. Those promoted by leading galleries and recommended by experienced dealers harbor higher probability of rising in hierarchy and the value chain faster thanks to greater exposure – in India and internationally.

4.    There are other considerations like how accomplished an artist is, how broad collector base is, and what the prevailing market trends are. Opinions and views of influential collectors and investors must also be taken into account to get a broader perspective.

5.    Develop an insight on the linkage between art and money, which is as important as the aesthetic aspect. Whether you are a general art aficionado or a serious collector, opt for advice from domain experts with proven records so that you can grasp all aspects of both primary and secondary markets.

6.    The macro and micro elements of the art market mechanics, which help determine value, investment potential and collectability of artworks over time, should be studied and analyzed. The markets for different types of art vary due to elements like longevity, supply and demand.

7.    Aspects like liquidity, investment options, the different ways of valuing art, and price fluctuations need to be grasped. To make the task easier of buying and selling art, several online auction houses have emerged on the scene. They have simplified and democratized the process for new entrants to the market. The Web-based sales channels have opened up art to a wider user base, traversing physical and geographical constraints, bringing about a fundamental change.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

AstaGuru Modern Indian Art Auction is successful conducted the Modern Indian Art Auction on May 14 and 15, 2013.  The auction has been successful, as the results indicate, some of them mentioned below.  We provide a quick glance of the results, the details of which can be had on

Lot. No.:           1
Artist:             Jamini Roy
Title:             Untitled
Medium:          Tempera on Board
Size:              9 x 20in.
Estimate:         US$ 6,863 - 8,824 (Rs. 350,000 - 450,000)
Exhibited & Published:     Past Present Unto The Future of Indian Art, Lalit Kala Akademi, 2007
Provenance: From the private collection of a Mumbai based collector, originally sold by Dhoomimal Gallery

Winning Bid US$.: 11,185 Rs. 570,443 - (inclusive of 15% Buyers Premium)

Lot. No.:      2
Artist:           Jamini  Roy
Title:            Untitled
Medium:       Tempera on Board
Size:            12.5 X 8.5in.
Estimate:      US$ 4,902 - 5,882 (Rs. 250,000 - 300,000)
This lot is a National Art Treasure - Non Exportable Item
Provenance: From a private collector, originally acquired from Aakriti Art Gallery

Winning Bid US$.:   US$. 12,867 Rs. 656,216 (inclusive of 15% Buyers Premium)

Lot. No.:     3
Artist:           Jamini  Roy
Title:            Untitled
Medium:      Tempera on Board
Size:            14 X 10.5in.
Estimate:       US$ 5,882 - 6,863 (Rs. 300,000 - 350,000)
This lot is a National Art Treasure - Non Exportable Item
Provenance: From a private collector, originally acquired from Aakriti Art Gallery

Winning Bid US$.: US$. 10,546      Rs. 537,845 (inclusive of 15% Buyers Premium)

Lot. No.:           4
Artist:           F. N.  Souza
Title:            Untitled
Medium:       Watercolor on Paper
Year           1945
Size:            15.5 X 13in.
Estimate:      US$ 11,765 - 15,686 (Rs. 600,000 - 800,000)
Exhibited : Francis Newton Souza, Retrospective, Volte Face Souza’s iconoclastic vision, Lalit Kala Academy, Curated by - Yashodhara Dalmia, 2009
Published: Francis Newton Souza - by Vinod Bhardwaj. p 58

Winning Bid US$.:  21,092  Rs. 1,075,693 (inclusive of 15% Buyers Premium)   

Lot. No.:     5
Artist:           M. F.  Husain
Title:            Untitled (Woman)
Medium:       Watercolor & Gouache on paper
Year           1950's
Size:            15 x 10.25in.
Estimate:      US$ 7,843 - 9,804 (Rs. 400,000 - 500,000)
Provenance: Previously sold by Sotheby’s
Exhibited & Catalogued : Remembering The Master, works by M F Husain, Institute of Contemporary Indian Art (ICIA), 2011

Winning Bid US$.:  US$. 18,716         Rs. 954,497 ((inclusive of 15% Buyers Premium)

Lot. No.:     6
Artist:           S. H.  Raza
Title:            Untitled
Medium:       Oil on Canvas
Year           1967
Size:            5.5 x 7in.
Estimate:        US$ 3,922 - 5,882 (Rs. 200,000 - 300,000)
Provenance: Private collection, Mumbai, Gifted by the Artist: to the present owner
Exhibited: S H Raza Retrospective, Institute of Contemporary Indian Art (ICIA), 2007

Winning Bid US$.:  US$. 7,734         Rs. 394,421 (inclusive of 15% Buyers Premium)

Lot. No.:     7
Artist:           F. N.  Souza
Title:            Untitled
Medium:       Pen & Ink on Paper
Year           1975
Size:            16 X 12in.
Estimate:      US$ 2,451 - 3,431 (Rs. 125,000 - 175,000)
Published: Francis Newton Souza - by Vinod Bhardwaj. p 206

Winning Bid US$.: US$. 3,995           Rs. 203,729 (inclusive of 15% Buyers Premium)

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