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Indian modernist painters to shine at London sale

Friday - May 17, 2019 4:12 pm , Category : ART & LITERATURE
London, May 17 (IANS) An upcoming global auction here will spotlight contemporary and modern art from South Asia, with a special focus on Indian masters like Tyeb Mehta, M.F. Husain and S.H. Raza.
The auction "South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art" will take place in London on June 12. Art from private collections from Europe, India, Asia, US and Australia would be on sale, leading art dealer Christie's said.
One of the most notable works from India would be Tyeb Mehta's 2002 painting "Falling Figure with Bird", which manifests the sense of angst, helplessness and fear that Mehta felt at the societal violence and tragedy he experienced in the aftermath of partition.
Mehta, who died in 2009, is one of India's highest selling modernist artists. The work's estimated price is over Rs 13 crore.
Paintings by other members of the seminal Progressive Artists' Group, a group of modernist painters who collectivised in 1947, are also going to be up for grabs.
A colossal eight feet 1958 painting, "Untitled (Village Scenes)" by Maqbool Fida Husain (1913-2011), would also be on sale by Christie's.
The work is from a rare and seminal series of large scale works encapsulating the charm and vibrancy of the Indian countryside creating a storyboard of the nation. It is estimated to be sold for more than Rs 4.5 crore.
S.H. Raza, a renowned Indo-French artist, would also participate in the sale with two works: "Untitled (Church in landscape)" and "Untitled (Cityscape)".
Also on sale is a 1950s painting by Ram Kumar, in which the central figure, a young man in a grey suit, becomes a universal symbol of disenchantment, and sense of individualism being subsumed by the anonymous homogeneity of the city Kumar portrays him in.
The auction would also feature modern and contemporary works by artists from Pakistan and its diaspora, spanning the period of colonial rule in the subcontinent to the present times.
This comprehensive selection includes works by Abdur Rehman Chughtai, Allah Bux, Anwar Jalal Shemza, Sadequain, Rashid Rana, Shahzia Sikander, Imran Qureshi, Waqas Khan, Ali Kazim and Bani Abidi, among others.
Christie's, one of the pioneer auction houses to have come to the Indian art market in the 1990s, also announced on Thursday its new Managing Director for the country - Sonal Singh - who was formerly Senior Specialist for South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art in Mumbai.

--IANS sj/mag/bg