Christie’s to hold auction in Mumbai next month

  • Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 29, 2014 02:27 IST

Christie’s -- one of the world's largest art auction house -- will hold an auction in Mumbai on December 11, exhibiting the works of some of India's leading names in the modern art movement.

This will be the second auction of Christie’s in India. Works by Vasudeo S Gaitonde, the Tagores, Jamini Roy, Tyeb Mehta and Francis Newton Souza will be offered alongside 10 contemporary pieces donated by artists.

A special preview of the artworks to be auctioned was held in Delhi on Friday.

Christie's Mumbai head of department Sonal Singh said: “Christie's second sale in India underlines the every growing demand for the best Indian modern and contemporary art by national and international collectors. Our first sale in India welcomed 35% of new buyers to our sale room in Mumbai. Furthermore, the 80 artworks on sale, as well as our support to different cultural initiatives throughout India and abroad, demonstrate our long term engagement with India, its art and its art community."

Tyeb Mehta’s mastery of composition and economy of line is evident in the painting Untitled (Falling Bull) which leads the sale. Showing the central figure of a bull on a rickshaw set against blocks of vivid colour, it showcases Mehta’s recurring motif. “For me, the trussed bull is a compulsive image,” he said.

One of the last works by the internationally recognized artist Vasudeo S Gaitonde (1924-2001), for sale just six weeks after the opening of a retrospective of his work at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, will be another highlight in the auction. Offered by a private collector in India, it was painted in 1998, the last year he is known to have worked, and only a few years before his death. Painted in vibrant hues of green, this painting is expected to fetch for Rs. 5.5 to 7 crore, and has never been offered for sale at an auction before.

A remarkable pocket book belonging to artist, Nobel laureate, poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore is the most unique addition to the sale. The journal, written in Bengali by Tagore himself, is a rare mixture of poetry, art and introspection.

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