Lot 80
  • 80

Biren De (1926-2011)

8,000 - 12,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Biren De
  • Untitled
  • Signed and dated 'Biren de '76' and further inscribed '"MAY '76"/BIREN DE' on reverse
  • Oil on canvas
  • 22 by 27 7/8 in. (55.9 by 70.7 cm)
  • Painted in 1976


Sotheby's New York, 18 March 2009, lot 105

Catalogue Note

Though he began his career as a figurative artist, Biren De is best known for his association with the Neo-Tantric movement, which sought to integrate esoteric Hindu and Buddhist practices with modernist principles and bridge abstraction and figuration. As is typical of his most important work, the present canvas seems to radiate and glow, with a central node that anchors and generates the energy in the rest of the canvas. De traveled to New York in 1958, and his exposure to Abstract Expressionism during that trip extended his existing interest in abstraction. When De returned to Delhi, his social circle included Ajit Mookerjee, an art collector and intellectual interested in Tantra. “De’s personal familiarity with Mookerjee’s collection of Tantric art contributed a great deal to the development of his new abstraction in the 1960s. Even before the publication of Mookerjee’s Tantra Art in 1966, De exhibited his new iconography in a solo show at the Kumar Gallery, Delhi, in 1964” (Rebecca Brown, “Biren De,” Midnight to the Boom, 2013, p. 82).