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Important masterpieces by Tyeb Mehta to lead AstaGuru's upcoming Modern Indian Art Auction
Lot no. 35 titled ‘Diagonal’ is a large-scale work almost reaching 6 feet. The work is a part of Tyeb Mehta’s famous ‘Diagonal’ series which is considered to be a defining moment in the artist’s practice. Considering, prior to the ‘Diagonal’ series, Mehta was dedicated to painting expressionist works. With the Diagonal series, the artist embarked on a new method of painting with a flatter perspective. This shift in style enabled him to accentuate the definition of the image and Tyeb Mehta finally arrived at his signature style. The uniqueness of the lot is also attributed to the fact that Mehta was an extremely self critical artist who did not work on a series for a very long time. Therefore, this lot presents a rare opportunity to acquire a painting from a very significant phase of the artist’s career. The work is estimated at INR 12,00,00,000 – 14,00,00,000.



MUMBAI.- AstaGuru to host its upcoming Modern Indian Art auction on December 27-28, 2021, featuring artworks by the avant-garde of the Modern Indian Art world such as Tyeb Mehta, M F Husain, F N Souza, Jehangir Sabavala, S H Raza, Ganesh Pyne, Ram Kumar, Jogen Chowdhury, Bikash Bhattacharjee and Prabhakar Barwe amongst the others.

On the upcoming Modern India Art Auction, Ms. Sunny Chandiramani, Vice-President, AstaGuru, states that, “We are excited to host our December Modern Indian Art Auction. The Indian auction market has witnessed tremendous growth in the past year hence our catalogue has been carefully curated in tandem with our collectors’ sentiment to acquire distinctive and rare artworks to enhance their art collection. It gives us immense delight presenting to our collectors such rare and unique works by notable artists including Tyeb Mehta, Rameshwar Broota, Ganesh Pyne, M F Husain, M V Dhurandhar, NS Bendre, F N Souza. The highlight of our auction amongst other artworks are the two Tyeb Mehta- lot no. 14 and lot no. 35 that are appearing for the first time in an auction.”

Here is a glimpse of some top highlights that are appearing in an auction for the first time.

Leading the auction are two works by artist Tyeb Mehta. Lot no. 14 titled ‘Figure With Bird’ is an important masterpiece given the fact that this was possibly the first instance when the artist incorporated the motif of a bird in his imagery. Showcased here with his signature style figure, the bird became a recurrent feature in his later works. The work will be offered with an estimate of INR 14,00,00,000 – 16,00,00,000.

Lot no. 35 titled ‘Diagonal’ is a large-scale work almost reaching 6 feet. The work is a part of Tyeb Mehta’s famous ‘Diagonal’ series which is considered to be a defining moment in the artist’s practice. Considering, prior to the ‘Diagonal’ series, Mehta was dedicated to painting expressionist works. With the Diagonal series, the artist embarked on a new method of painting with a flatter perspective. This shift in style enabled him to accentuate the definition of the image and Tyeb Mehta finally arrived at his signature style. The uniqueness of the lot is also attributed to the fact that Mehta was an extremely self critical artist who did not work on a series for a very long time. Therefore, this lot presents a rare opportunity to acquire a painting from a very significant phase of the artist’s career. The work is estimated at INR 12,00,00,000 – 14,00,00,000.

Another important painting is a work by master painter M V Dhurandhar whose works seldom feature in an auction given its rarity. The magnificently executed large-scale oil on canvas creation is a testament of Dhurandhar’s technical ingenuity and also proves why he is considered to be one of the greatest old masters. The work is bound to garner attention and will generate keen interest amongst collectors owing to its theme and its sheer size. The work will be offered with an estimate of INR 2,00,00,000 – 2,50,00,000.

An oil on canvas painting, lot no 16, by artist Krishen Khanna will also be showcased. The key feature of this work is its size spanning nearly 10 feet. The painting showcases an elaborate scene featuring 13 figures, as well as two competing rams. The colour palette of the painting is reminiscent of the artist’s adopted colour composition for his ‘The Last Supper’ themed works. Created circa 1980, the work will be offered at an estimate of INR 1,00,00,000 – 1,30,00,000.




A work by the master of pointillism N S Bendre, lot no. 28 is a part of the auction. The artist’s creations earned him the title of being a pioneer of the technique in India. Executed with intricate dotwork requiring perfect integration of colour & form, the 1980, oil on canvas work showcases a quaint scene from India’s countryside. It will be offered at the auction with an estimate of INR 1,50,00,000 – 2,00,00,000.

An important figurative work by Jehangir Sabavala, lot no. 39, from the year 1974 will also be showcased. Executed within a decade of Sabavala’s return to India in the mid-1960s, the work gives an insight into a very creative and experimental phase of his career. During the period, the artist was focussed on using a subdued colour composition, predominantly featuring tones of grey, brown, and green. The act of deftly blending the radiance and softness of an image, rendered his works with tranquil luminescence as shown in the presented lot. The work will be offered at the estimate of INR 3,50,00,000 – 4,00,00,000.

A unique work by leading artist Rameshwar Broota. Lot no. 22, titled ‘Man,’ from the year 1987, showcases two distinct styles, namely abstraction and figurative. During this time, there was a remarkable shift in the artist’s style, a masculine figure started to appear in his paintings, now known as Broota’s ‘Man’. The experimentations during this time also led him to discover a new technique using a knife and blade. The work will be offered with an estimate of INR 1,50,00,000 – 1,70,00,000.

The auction also showcases Prabhakar Barwe’s mixed media creation, lot no. 11, titled ‘Pleasure Structure.’ The presented lot is an excellent example of the imagery Prabhakar Barwe created during the peak of his tantric phase. Executed in the year 1973 when the artist was looking to establish an individualistic pictorial language. It will be offered with an estimate of INR 75,00,000 – 85,00,000. A rare, large figurative nude work by revered artist K H Ara, lot no. 19, is also a part of the collection. The work created circa 1950 has been with its present owner for over two decades. It will be offered with an estimate of 1,50,00,000 – 2,00,00,000. The auction also presents Ganesh Pyne’s work, lot no. 9, titled ‘The Smile,’ from the year 1993. It will be offered with an estimate of INR 30,00,000 – 35,00,000.

The auction will also present several other important works by leading modern Indian artists.

A beautiful landscape work, lot no. 30, from 1957 by F N Souza will also feature in the auction. Residing in the UK at the time, F N Souza was deeply immersed in experimenting with his landscapes. Reminiscent of Victorian style architecture, the painting titled ‘Manor House,’ also professes the artist’s competency with lines. It will be offered with an estimate of INR 3,00,00,000 – 4,00,00,000.

A large-scale abstract landscape work by Ram Kumar, lot no. 18, will also be offered with an estimate of INR 5,00,00,000 – 7,00,00,000. The auction will offer five works by artist M F Husain. One of these, lot no. 15, is a large-scale work depicting the artist’s rendition of an important scene from the religious epic Mahabharata. Deeply inspired by scriptures from various religions, Husain created this painting in front of a live audience. Three works showcasing Bikash Bhattacharjee’s mastery over creating hyper-realistic paintings will also be on offer to bid.

Two sculptures will also feature in the auction. Lot no 25, is a signature style work by artist Himmat Shah. Tilted ‘Head of A King (Ed: 5), the 2006 bronze work is estimated at INR 10,00,000 – 15,00,000. Another sculpture, lot no. 36 is a circa 1980 work by Satish Gujral executed with burnt wood, leather, cowrie shell, and ceramic beads. An assertion of the artist's versatile practice, the work will be offered with an estimate of INR 10,00,000 – 15,00,000.

The entire auction catalogue can be viewed on www.astaguru.com and the auction will take place on the website on December 27-28th, 2021.










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