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Christie's highest value Indian art sale

Over 100 artworks by modern masters S H Raza, F N Souza and M F Husain alongside other big names in contemporary art like will feature in a sale here next month. Read on...

art and culture Updated: Aug 27, 2010 17:40 IST

Over 100 artworks by modern masters S H Raza, F N Souza and M F Husain alongside big names in contemporary art like Subodh Gupta, Rashid Rana and Atul Dodiya will feature in a sale here next month and are expected to realise in excess of USD 10 million.

On September 15, Christie's South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art auction will include these carefully selected works from leading 20th and 21st century South Asian artists.

Raza’s magnificent La Terre, 1985, (estimate: USD 2,000,000-2,500,000) leads the sale.

A masterpiece which belongs to a key period in the artist’s career, it powerfully integrates vital elements of Raza’s Indian heritage.

Another highlight is Souza’s Untitled (Large Head), 1962 (estimate: USD 1,200,000-1,800,000).

This visionary head sums up Souza at his very best: made up of fantastical organic and mechanical elements like parts in a clock, it evokes an automaton, a perpetual mobile of his art.

Husain’s Untitled (sitar player) (estimate: USD 350,000-500,000) reflects the enormous inspiration the artist draws from the inter-disciplinary nature of music, sculpture, dance, painting and film.

The present work depicts his masterful synthesis of a classically Indian subject (the sitar player) into a modern artistic language.

The auction features a remarkable selection of contemporary art from the region and Gupta’s Two Cows (estimate: USD 280,000-350,000) is one of the major highlights in the sale.

In this work Gupta combines utilitarian objects familiar to both rural and urban echelons of Indian society.

Stainless steel containers and the simple bicycle are ubiquitous objects and epitomise the artist’s ability to find tension and irony in the mundane.

Densely Packed, 2004 (estimate: USD 250,000-300,000) is another featured work by Gupta.

Here the artist documents the daily life of the bazaars via a quasi-photo realistic rendition of a vessel stall, recasting an ensemble of traditional objects of Indian culture.

Dodiya will be represented by various significant works, including Kalki, 2002 (estimate: USD 180,000-250,000).

Choosing the common shop shutter as a medium, Dodiya alludes to India’s commercial capital, Mumbai, and carefully juxtaposes images on the shutter and canvas behind to play on the notions of open or closed and private or public to reflect the dynamism of India’s rapidly growing economy.

Additional highlights will include Anju Dodiya’s Garden of Capillaries, 2005 (estimate: USD 80,000-120,000); Manjit Bawa’s Untitled (Durga) (estimate: USD 200,000 -250,000); and TV Santhosh’s Scars of an Ancient Error, 2006 (estimate: USD 100,000 - 150,000).