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.

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