This March, Sotheby’s auction of Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art will be led by a monumental work by Vasudeo S. Gaitonde. Initially created as a commission for the Air India Building in Mumbai, it was instead purchased by eminent patron and artist, Bal Chhabda for his personal collection. The monumental painting at 59 13/16 x 105 3/8 in (152 x 262.5 cm) is known to be the largest work that Gaitonde has ever created on canvas and symbolises air, buoyancy and flight particularly by its blue-gray and cloudy palette.
Other highlights include a rare and important landscape titled In the Garden by Indian National Treasure artist, Amrita Sher-Gil. It was painted during a period of reflection while staying in Hungary after her marriage. The garden was part of her family’s summer house in the artist’s community of Zebegény where she had memories of happy times with her relatives. This work reflects the turning point of her artistic style which then influenced her miniature-like compositions when she returned to India. It is one of very few works by Amrita Sher Gil that is available internationally.
Additionally, an exquisite oil by Raja Ravi Varma, Untitled (Portrait of a Young Woman in Russet and Crimson Sari), depicts a beauty with fine detail. It was part of the storied collection of Fritz Schleicher.
Galerie Lara Vincy first championed Sayed Haider Raza after he moved to France in the 1950s. A rare early work on paper, Cagnes-sur-Mer, 1952, is part of his ‘Siennese’ style and one of the few works of Raza’s that Vincy kept personally. A 1960 work also with Vincy provenance shows a complete departure into a more expressionistic brushstroke.
Another noteworthy highlight is a rare idealized portrait of a female yogi by Manjit Bawa, which the artist lived with until his death in 2008.
We are proud to present a group of works from the private collection of Nanubhai and Savitaben Amin of Baroda which includes a seminal canvas, Church and Gardener by Bhupen Khakhar from the late 1960s. Bhupen Khakhar worked as an accountant for the Amin family who in turn became one of his earliest patrons.
The sale has a wonderful group of works by Maqbool Fida Husain, Francis Newton Souza, Tyeb Mehta, Jehangir Sabavala and Jagdish Swaminathan, all sourced from private collections. These fresh to market works will entice new collectors to enjoy these and discover.