30 Jun, 2007 l
1137 hrs ISTlIANS
NEW YORK: Famous modern Indian paintings, sculptures and photographs will go under the hammer here when Sotheby's holds an auction on behalf of the Kolkata Museum of Modern Art next month. The auction on July 17 will feature works by artists such as Tyeb Mehta, Jehangir Sabavala, Somnath Hore, Sakti Burman, Ram Kumar, F.N. Souza, Akbar Padamsee, Jogen Chowdhury, Ganesh Pyne, Arpita Singh, Rameshwar Broota, Paresh Maity, Subodh Gupta, Chintan Upadhyay, Baiju Parthan and Dayanita Singh. They will be exhibited by Sotheby's here from July 9. The auction is estimated to raise Rs.100-140 million (over $2-3 million) for the museum. The works have been donated in full or in part by collectors and artists. Said Zara Porter Hill, head of the Indian and Southeast Asian Art department at Sotheby's: "The sale is an opportunity for collectors to acquire works by several artists who are in high demand and for whom only a limited supply of works are on the market". The highlight of the auction will be Tyeb Mehta's "Kali Head", painted in 1998. It is expected to fetch $400,000-600,000. In this iconic work, Mehta portrays the Hindu Goddess Kali in an astonishingly modern manner. He refers to it as a "fantastic primordial image". Sculptor Somnath Hore's exquisite bronze work "Wounds" created in 1998 and donated for the benefit auction before his death is expected to fetch $20,000-30,000. Jehangir Sabavala's important 2005 work, "The Chhortens", is expected to fetch $150,000-200,000. It is a square oil and acrylic on canvas depicting wayside reliquaries nestling at the feet of a high snow-clad massif. The painting is haunted by nostalgia, for moments once possessed and now lost. The work, while being thoroughly representative of his distinct style, echoes Sabavala's early fascination with Cubism. Arpita Singh's "Classified File" (2007) is a whimsical composition where comedy and tragedy become interchangeable as the artist comments on our programmed urban existence, the mindless obsession with creation of wealth and prevalence of social injustice. It is expected to go under the hammer for $100,000-150,000. Other highlights include a 1960 paper drawing by Jogen Chowdhury, "Study of a Girl"; Sakti Burman's "Giraf in Liberty"; Akbar Padamsee's "Couple" and Rameshwar Broota's stark monochromatic comment on violence. Young Indian artists are also being featured. They include Subodh Gupta's shiny bronze and chrome sculpture of cosmetic items unveiling the complexities of a consumer-driven, globalising society; a large black and white abstract triptych by Kingshuk Sarkar and Baiju Parthan's "Metronome and Yield", which deals with the artist's multiple engagements with mass media, counterculture, the Internet, mythological symbols, and new age spirituality. Photographs by Pushpamala N, Vivan Sundaram and Dayanita Singh are being included as well. Tribal artists such as Swarna Chitrakar, Bhuri Bai and Mayank Shyam represent the traditional art of Bengal, explored through urban and contemporary themes.