Art attack

Uma Nair

Tyeb Mehta’s untitled work of an androgynous falling figure is set to triumph at Saffronart’s winter online auction of modern India art works. The auction, which will take place December 5 and 6 on, is the 19th in the series by leading online modern art auctioneer Saffronart and features 110 works by 36 artists.

Tyeb Mehta’s untitled work of 2000, a soft green and grey toned acrylic on canvas, is estimated at a hefty $400,000-$600,000. However, a sumptuous set of 14 makes F.N. Souza the most coveted artist at the auction.

F.N. Souza’s 1995 oil on board work Titian’s Grandfather is a magnificent work that has a brooding monumentality about it and is estimated at $250,000-$350,000. Another oil on board work by Souza, enigmatically titled Head of a Woman with Fly, holds an essence of humour and wit within. This 1956 work is estimated at $100,000-$125,000.

A fascinating European styled oil on board done in 1952, Still Life with Juxtaposed Forms, is estimated at $250,000-$350,000. Interestingly, this work was exhibited at the show Indian Painting Now, The Arts Council of Great Britain Touring Exhibition in 1965.

Among the few of Husain’s paintings at the auction is an untitled work done in the 1970s that is estimated at $184,220-$210,530. An oil on canvas by Ram Kumar is estimated at $120,000-$150,000. But disappointingly desultory is the work of Anjolie Ela Menon, which is estimated at $73,685-$84,215.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is a set of works by one of India’s most sought after women artists, Arpita Singh. A brilliant orchestration of colour and abstracted planes is the rare 1984 work Woman with Cat, a watercolour on paper that is estimated at $15,000-$18,000.

Delhi-based Rameshwar Broota’s Man-II, a 1981 oil on canvas belonging to his Man series, is estimated at $157,900-$184,220.

Among the few Razas on the sale is Maha Bindu — a 1988 work that is estimated at a high of $400,000-$600,000. In a similar auction last winter, Saffronart realised a total sale value of $16 million with Raza’s Climat alone fetching $1.4 million.

"For many, acquiring a work of modern Indian art is essentially acquiring a piece of culture that reflects one’s personal perspective or growth and offers a chance to be part of that indefinable, but palpable development that characterises India today," said Minal Vazirani, co-founder of Saffronart. — IANS