Lot 211
  • 211

Gulam Rasool Santosh (1929 - 1997)

40,000 - 60,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Gulam Rasool Santosh
  • Reminiscence of African Sculpture
  • Signed in Devanagari and dated '62' lower left and further inscribed '52" x 52" / 66 /20 / REMENISCENCE of / ARICEN [sic] Sculpture' on reverse

    Bearing Lalit Kala Akademi sticker on reverse

  • Oil on canvas
  • 51 7/8 by 51 7/8 in. (131.7 by 131.7 cm.)
  • Painted in 1962


Acquired from Kumar Gallery, New Delhi


New Delhi, Kumar Gallery, G. R. Santosh 62, November - December 1962


S.A. Krishnan, G. R. Santosh, Kumar Gallery, New Delhi, 1962, unpaginated

Catalogue Note

The opus of Gulam Rasool Santosh is particularly engaging because his works reflect distinctive periods in art history, tracing the myriad aesthetic styles flourishing in India at the pinnacle of modernism in the mid 20th century. The present lot originates during the time of the artist’s return to Kashmir in 1956 from Maharaja Sayajirao University Baroda, where he had produced a large body of cubist works under fellow painter, Professor N.S. Bendre. As a member of the Progressive Artists’ Association, Santosh was deeply enraptured by European styles and consequently devoted himself to abstraction. This painting is composed of a prolific, condensed mass that suspends in midair, conjuring up figments of African masks and sculptures. These primitive relics, reduced to fragmented geometries, bear an earthly palette of browns, reds and blacks, and the hovering swathe becomes transparent at the edges, softly blending with the negative space in the backdrop. With immense control over his brushwork, Santosh textured his canvas with thick impasto. It is likely that the artist was inspired by European avant-garde artists in France who blended the stylized treatment of figures in African sculptures with paintings derived from post-impressionist works, such as Pablo Picasso’s African period. The mysticism, spirituality and imagination that were a part of an ethnographic and embryonic oeuvre appealed greatly to Santosh, and was possibly a precursor to the eminent shift in his artistic sensibility two years later, when he would delve into more indigenous Indian themes.