Indian art at Christie’s
Uma Nair

N. S. Harsha’a On my way to museum
N. S. Harsha’a On my way to museum

Christie’s forthcoming Asian contemporary art sale, which is to take place in Hong Kong on November 25 will offer 327 highly-coveted works by some of the most celebrated artists of the region, including notable Indian artists.

The sale showcases the great variety and diversity of Asian contemporary art, ranging from paintings and mixed media to sculptures and photography created in different forms, media and styles. The highlights of the Indian sale are works by Atul Dodiya, Subodh Gupta and N.S. Harsha.

Regarded as one of the leading artists of his generation, Dodiya has become a widely recognised figurehead in South Asian contemporary art, influencing many of India’s burgeoning younger artists. Presented in the sale is Lodging in Somnath, estimated at $153,800-205,100. This work is an excellent example of the straightforward style that defined Dodiya’s oeuvre in the 1980s. Lodging in Somnath is from a series in which the artist focussed on the simultaneous depiction of the interior and exterior of a given space, often taking cues from the flat candy coloured pop of David Hockney.

N.S. Harsha is represented by Mass Marriage, estimated at $153,800-205,100. He has a keen interest in structure and spatial organisation which often forms the basis of his pictorial narratives while the interactions between his figures reflect greater issues of religion, globalisation and the clich`E9s present in everyday Indian life. Through his unique and eclectic style as well as the choice of symbols he depicts, Harsha captures the dichotomy between the traditional and the contemporary, the eastern and the western. Gupta is represented by an untitled work painted in 2006, which is estimated at $76,900-115,400. In this work, Gupta casts traditional elements of Indian culture in contemporary media and contexts, constantly referencing the idiosyncrasies of his life in New Delhi. Familiar with both the rural and urban strata of Indian society, the stainless steel containers in this work are a ubiquitous element in the trousseau of newly married women and a staple of many Indian homes. The artist identifies those icons of Indian culture that possess innate dichotomies suggesting both the traditional and modern, the rural and urban, the wealthy and the impoverished. — IANS