Sher-Gil’s self-portrait up for auction at Sotheby’s

  • Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 29, 2015 07:59 IST

The Sotheby’s auction of Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art which is to take place in New York on March 18, will for the first time offer the self-portrait of Amrita Sher-Gil at an estimated $1.2-1.8 million.

Not only did Sher-Gil play a crucial role in the articulation of twentieth century Indian art, but she was also a seminal influence on generations of Indian artists, pioneering a new form of Indian modernism.

Considered a national treasure, whose body of work is largely with the National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi, this is the first time a self-portrait will be offered at auction. Sher-Gil is not only one of seven legally protected artists whose work cannot be exported from India, but is rarely offered on the market internationally due to the scarcity of her work

The auction will feature many fresh-to-the-market from private collections across the US and Europe, including Germany, Switzerland and Hungary.

Yamini Mehta, International Head Indian & Southeast Asian Art told HT: “ We are very excited about it. It is a rare iconic work of art.”

Other highlights of the auction would be that of Vasudeo S Gaitonde’s sublime untitled painting from 1963 that hails from a very important moment in the artist’s career; featuring his early experimentations with abstract expressionism, an untitled work from 1960 by Jagdish Swaminathan in the artist’s signature colourful style that incorporates a unique subject matter and ntitled (Kumaon Hills) by Jehangir Sabavala a large and exceptional example of the series depicting the mountain range in Northern India.

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