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Christie's eyes $9 mn from Indian art auction

Christie's hopes to raise $7-9 mn from auctioning the works of Indian painters during its Asian Art sales March 28-30.

india Updated: Feb 23, 2006 17:52 IST

Christie's hopes to raise $7-9 million from auctioning the works of Indian painters like Tyeb Mehta and Subodh Gupta during its Asian Art sales March 28-30 that is expected to bring in $30 million.

The Indian art auction, to be held March 30, will be the largest and most diversified selection ever offered in the field by an international auction house.

"Subodh Gupta most definitely has the contemporary art world in his grip," said Yamini Mehta of Christie's.

"His artistic vocabulary, which uses the vernacular of everyday India, combined with a multi-layered content and a post-modern sense of irony make his work accessible to and appreciated by a universal audience," Mehta added.

A true multimedia artist, Gupta comfortably moves between sculpture, installation, painting and video. Gupta has garnered interest for the surreal contemporary feel of his artistic language and wowed audiences in the west.

Two of his works will be on offer: "Untitled" ($25,000-35,000), and the installation "OK Mili" ($20,000-30,000). Their main theme is stainless steel canisters.

This apart, on offer will be works by members of the Progressive Artists Group such as VS Gaitonde, MF Husain, Tyeb Mehta, FN Souza and Syed Haider Raza.

Gaitonde's large abstract oil "Untitled" is expected to fetch $600,000-800,000.

Husain is represented by more than a dozen paintings that provide a unique insight into the themes that have fascinated him throughout his long career. The horse is a recurrent theme for Husain who draws inspiration from Han and Tang pottery horses as well as from the sculptures by Marino Marini.

"Untitled", a striking painting that depicts three horses in dramatic style is expected to fetch $150,000-200,000). It comes from the collection of an Italian diplomat and was formerly in the private collection of Italian film director Roberto Rossellini.

There is also the genius and artistic challenge of Souza. "Untitled" ($100,000-150,000) offers a view on what seems to be the outskirts of a city, dominated by a large white tower. All buildings are boldly painted and outlined with dense black contours with brilliant coloured fields, perfectly evoking the stained-glass windows.

It was showcased in an article published in "Country Life" three decades ago featuring the architect couple Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew, its then owners. Their descendants have now brought it on the market.

Another important Souza, also "Untitled" ($100,000-150,000) is from a Swedish collection and clearly shows the same fascination with the stained-glass window pattern.

The sale will also feature sculptor Ravinder Reddy's "Woman of Kapulapadu II" ($80,000-100,000). This has been executed in polyester, fibreglass and resin and depicts a woman's head in bright reds and blacks. Its sheer size and vibrant presence command attention and fill the space in an extraordinarily energetic way.

First Published: Feb 23, 2006 17:52 IST