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On display, life and work of a global Indian artist

The exhibition, titled A Life in Line, is a celebration of Souza’s works on paper, and opens on Tuesday

mumbai Updated: Nov 29, 2015 01:08 IST
A portrait of FN Souza by Armenian photographer Ida Kar.
A portrait of FN Souza by Armenian photographer Ida Kar.

Portraits, nudes and religious works by master artist FN Souza will be on display in the city for 10 days, ahead of a Saffronart auction.

The exhibition, titled A Life in Line, is a celebration of Souza’s works on paper, and opens on Tuesday. Among the 85 lots on display and up for grabs at the auction are rare items such as pages from his personal scrapbook and photographic portraits of Souza by the Armenian photographer, Ida Kar.

Francis Newton Souza, born in Goa in 1924, was a modernist, a founding member of the Progressive Artists’ Group of Bombay and one of the first Indian artists to be feted internationally.

He died in Mumbai in 2002, but his works continue to break records at auctions.

“Souza broke the world record for any Indian master twice over in September, with the sales of ‘Man and Woman Laughing’ and ‘Birth’,” said Hugo Weihe, CEO of Saffronart.

“He is finally getting the kind of attention he deserves from the market. He has always been one of the greats, and now he finally has pole position.”

The auction, Weihe added, provides an “entry point” for young collectors.

“There is a huge and undeserved discrepancy between how canvas and paper works are valued, despite works on paper being some of the most important for many artists the world over,” he added. “This auction, then, is an opportunity to acquire the work of a well-established artist for possibly under Rs10 lakh.”

Souza was a very prolific artist, added Minal Vazirani, co-founder of Saffronart.

“He sketched incessantly, and it was as natural to him as breathing and walking. He was an amazing draughtsman, and these works show the trajectory of his life’s work.”

The December 10 evening sale will be conducted by Weihe and Saffronart co-founder Dinesh Vazirani.

Celebrate FN souza

WHAT: A Life in Line, an exhibition of works on paper by FN Souza

WHERE: Saffronart Gallery, ground floor, Industry Manor, Appasaheb Marathe Marg, Prabhadevi

WHEN: Dec 1 to 10, 11am to 7pm

ENTRY IS FREE