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Mythology & Religion Through The Lens of Modern Indian Artists
By Kaavya Pillai
16 Sep 2022
With the many faiths, identities and mythos that run through the very core of India, come the vast and varied artist perspectives on them. Modern Indian artists often explored spirituality and the oral traditions of their childhood and travels, translating it through their artworks. M. F. Husain and F. N. Souza were just a couple of the many eminent Modern Indian artists to interpret religion on the canvas with their own unique approach. AstaGuru’s upcoming Modern Indian Art auction, will be showcasing works by some such notable artists.
Lot no. 13: Untitled by M. V. Dhurandhar
Most well known for his works that draw inspiration from the famed fables of Indian mythology, M. V. Dhurandhar was able to create a masterful oeuvre of a plethora of characters and deities from Hindu mythology. This 100 year old oil on canvas is a perfect example of his artistic genius in being able to combine elements of western academic realism and the ethos of Indian tradition. The scene depicted is possibly one of the most pivotal moments in the epic Mahabharata - the Draupadi Vastraharan. The iconic artist’s use of light, shade, drama in this painting does perfect justice to this poignant scene in which Draupadi faces disgrace at the hands of the Kaurava brother Dushasana.
Lot no. 31: Theorama Series - Islam by M. F. Husain
Legendary artist M. F. Husain regularly explored religion through his paintings and his high regard for secularism culminated in the creation of the famed Theorama series. A series of 10 large-scale panels, 9 of which were dedicated to globally followed faiths and the last dedicated to humanism - Theorama was executed in the early 1990s. This particular painting is titled ‘Theorama Series - Islam’ and depicts integral elements of the religion such as the Kaabah and the mosque in Madinah.
Lot no. 34: Modern Adam and Eve by F. N. Souza
In many ways, F. N. Souza’s artistic vocabulary was shaped by his childhood years, growing up in a Catholic family and neighbourhood in Goa. Executed in 1992, this painting titled ‘Modern Adam and Eve’ is an amalgamation of Christian religious iconography and Souza’s non-conformist approach to art. The lot is also accompanied by 9 sketches the artist made right before he painted the work, giving us insight into the various technical propositions a creator addresses before creating the final work.
The stellar collection will present several rare and unseen Avant-Garde works from the oeuvre of India’s eminent modernists, including M.V. Dhurandhar, Tyeb Mehta, M. F. Husain, F.N. Souza, K. H. Ara, Jehangir Sabavala, S. H. Raza, Ganesh Pyne, Ram Kumar, Jogen Chowdhury, and Bikash Bhattacharjee to name a few. Several of these artworks are appearing in an auction for the first time. The auction is scheduled to be held on September 25-26, 2022. Please visit our website to view the entire catalogue.