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Unique Works From The Oeuvre of Eminent Indian Modernists
By Kaavya Pillai
21 Dec 2022
Many eminent Indian modernists have come to be associated with certain signatures over time, be it themes, subjects, mediums or techniques. While they have perfected these signature works and series over the span of their careers, certain unique works they create provide a fresh perspective into the artists’ mind and oeuvre. Presented below are some such creations that will be showcased in AstaGuru’s upcoming ‘Historic Masterpieces’ auction.
Lot no. 16: Resuscitative Mythic Man by Bikash Bhattacharjee
Bikash Bhattacharjee’s usual oeuvre consisted of oil works with subjects such as middle-class Bengali women and cherubic dolls. Although he has also often depicted chimeric figures, Resuscitative Mythic Man stands out in his works as one of the few mixed media works he has created early in his career. This work was also selected to be part of the Indian exhibit of the First Triennale - India, organised by Lalit Kala Akademi. The exhibition facilitated a cultural exchange between the Indian contemporary artists of the time and international artists.
Lot no. 9: His Peaceful Life In Heaven - Homage To Bhupen by Jogen Chowdhury
‘His Peaceful Life In Heaven - Homage To Bhupen’ was created by artist Jogen Chowdhury as an ode to the friendship between him and late artist Bhupen Khakhar. The painting depicts Khakhar in absolute leisure, the departed artist’s facial expression, as well as body language emanates a sense of peace; which is in stark contrast in comparison with the expressive intensity and taut, almost entangled anatomic composition Jogen Chowdhury usually renders his protagonist in, making this portrait unique and personal.
Lot no. 2: The Monastery of St. Aleksander Nevsky by Nicholas Roerich
One of the most prolific artists of the 20th century, Nicholas Roerich was best known for his works immortalising the Himalayan range. His fascination with the peaks resulted in over 500 works rendered in vivid colours and detail documenting the mountains over the many years he spent residing at the Himalayan foothills. Showcasing a different facet of the artist, the presented lot is a depiction of the monastery of St. Aleksander Nevsky based in St. Petersburg in Russia. A departure from his usual works, this oil on board work lies closer to home for the Russian-born artist.
Lot no. 15: Untitled (Malati and Martha) by Krishen Khanna
Modernist Krishen Khanna is famously known for his Bandwalla series and artworks referencing religious iconography such as his Christ Series. In a unique departure, this untitled work unofficially titled Malati and Martha, is more personal to the artist. Originally, the presented lot belonged to the Banwell family collection, presented to them by Khanna himself. It is presumed to be a depiction of Khanna’s youngest daughter Malati and the Banwells’ daughter Martha, who would often spend summers together in Khanna’s Shimla home - Ravensdale. The families first met at the Madras Club in the 1960s while the artist was still working for Grindlay’s Bank and forged a steadfast friendship that lasted over 70 years.
The stellar collection of AstaGuru’s upcoming ‘Historic Masterpieces’ auction will present several rare and unseen Avant-Garde works from the oeuvre of India’s eminent modernists including Hemendranath Mazumdar, F.N. Souza, S.H. Raza, Jehangir Sabavala, M.F. Husain, Akbar Padamsee, Bikash Bhattacharjee, Krishen Khanna, Jogen Chowdhury, Prabhakar Barwe, K.G. Subramanyan, Ram Kumar, J. Swaminathan, Somnath Hore, Himmat Shah, Satish Gujral, N.S Bendre, K.K. Hebbar, Nicholas Roerich. Several of these works are appearing in an auction for the first time. The auction is scheduled to be held on December 27-28, 2022. Please visit our website to view the entire catalogue and register to bid today.
AstaGuru was conceptualised in the year 2008 with the sole purpose of creating a safe and secure platform to conduct online auctions for Indian, Contemporary & Modern Art. The word AstaGuru is a thoughtful conjugation of ‘Asta’, of Italian origin, which translates to auction and ‘Guru’, Sanskrit connotation for ‘master’ that indicates our distinguished finesse at being the leaders of auctioneering art and artefacts in India as well as globally. With the world melting into one harmonious digital cosmos, AstaGuru has strived to successfully bridge the gap between prospective buyers and consignors by transcending the limitations of live auctions. AstaGuru imparts effortless transparency to the process of acquiring and selling art and rare collectibles. Our diverse portfolio includes categories such as Jewellery & Fine Silver, Timepieces, Textiles, Celebrity Memorabilia, Rare Books, Numismatic, Philately and Vintage Cars. AstaGuru’s mobile app enables our esteemed bidders to follow and participate in our auctions seamlessly, and in real time.