World records for Bendre, Dhurandhar and Krishen Khanna at the AstaGuru modern art sale
An untitled 1980 work by modernist NS Bendre created in his quintessential pointillism technique cost Rs 6.66 crore at a recent AstaGuru online auction creating a world record price for the artist.
The artwork that first appeared in an auction was created by Bendre during a mature phase of his career and celebrates his mastery of the meticulous process of creating an image with intricate dotwork .
The work was one of 41 iconic modern Indian masterpieces that came under a hammer in the auction, reaching an impressive total sale value of Rs 93.20 crore (approx.).
Records were also set for artists MV Dhurandhar and Krishen Khanna.
“Figure with Bird” by Tyeb Mehta (1987) sold for Rs 24.27 crore (approx)
The work of the former depicting a congregation of Hindu deities amid an alluring landscape cost Rs 5.90 crore (approx), generating the highest sale value ever at an auction for the artist .
Considering the rarity of the artist’s works, the iconic example of Indian religious painting, makes a special addition to an art collection.
Almost 10ft untitled artwork by Khanna sold at world record price for artist making Rs 3.84 crore (approx)
The 1980 painting was executed in the artist’s signature style color palette of reds, browns, and browns. It depicts an elaborate scene with 13 characters, as well as two competing rams.
The sale was led by two paintings by Tyeb Mehta – “Figure with Bird” (1987) and “Diagonal” (1973).
Executed in the artist’s signature style, the work is a deep interpretation of the artist’s visual vocabulary expressed through the bird motif. He grossed Rs 24.27 crore (approx)
The second work, a large-scale piece spanning nearly six feet, was part of Mehta’s famous “Diagonal” series which marked a change of style and transformed his artistic approach to his earlier expressionist works.
The painting was acquired at Rs 15.93 crore (approx)
“With landmark creations by modern Indian artists, the auction featured several works that debuted at auction. The massive response underscores the continued demand for works by the Modernists that are new to the auction market and have high provenance.
“In addition, three world records including a century-old painting by MV Dhurandhar absolutely affirm our commitment to bringing the best of Indian modernism,” says Sunny Chandiramani of the auction house.
The sale also included a significant untitled work by the eminent modernist Jehangir Sabavala at a time when the artist focused on creating art with a subdued color palette, mostly composed of tones of gray, brown and green. .
The 1974 job brought in Rs 9.36 crore (approx).
The auction also included several important works from different stages of the career of the legendary modernist MF Husain.
Untitled (Bhagavad Gita) depicts an important chapter towards the end of the Hindu epic “Mahabharata”. Executed in a minimalist style with just three colors, the canvas shows Bhishma Pitamah on the bed of arrows.
Painted in front of a live audience, the 1994 artwork was acquired for a value of Rs 5.69 crore (approx)
Four other works by the artist were acquired exceeding their estimates.
“Manor House” (1957), a landscape piece reminiscent of Victorian-style architecture which was painted by FN Souza during his years in the UK, made a value of Rs 4.54 crore (approx)
Another unique work from the year 1987 by prominent artist Rameshwar Broota titled “Man” was acquired at Rs 1.87 crore (approx).
Executed with a technique using a knife and blade, the work is an early genesis of the male figure now known as “Broota’s man”.
The sale also featured avant-garde works from other Indian modernists including Jamini Roy, Amrita Sher-Gil, Sailoz Mookherjea, Ramkinkar Baij, Jogen Chowdhury, SH Raza, Ram Kumar, KH Ara, HA Gade, Prabhakar Barwe , B Prabha, Ganesh Pyne, Bikash Bhattacharjee, Satish Gujral, Himmat Shah, Anjolie Ela Menon, Manu Parekh and Thota Vaikuntam.