Lot 9
  • 9

SOMNATH HORE | Untitled (Man)

15,000 - 20,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Somnath Hore
  • Untitled (Man) 
  • Signed and dated 'S.H / 82' lower edgeThis work is unique
  • Bronze 
  • 21 x 4½ x 3⅞ in. (53.2 x 11.5 x 9.9 cm.). This work is attached to a wooden base measuring 2 x 5¾ x 5¾ in. (5 x 14.6 x 14.6 cm.)
  • Cast in 1982


Acquired by the present owner from Lance Dane in Mumbai in May 2003
Lance Dane (1923-2012) was a writer, photographer, renowned scholar, and the founder of the Sanskriti Museum of Everyday Art in Delhi. He dedicated over five decades to researching and archiving all aspects of the Kama Sutra and other pre-Vedic and Vedic classical erotica. He amassed a large collection of art and antiquities. His private collections of over 9,000 books on Indian art and architecture and his 300,000 archival photographs are housed in the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts in New Delhi. His collection of more than 30,000 ancient Indian coins is housed with the Hinduja Foundation. 

Catalogue Note

The sculptures of Somnath Hore are quickly distinguished by their visceral, almost haunting presentation of human fragility. Hore's figures are 'neither sentimental nor shocking, just [the] anatomy of the suffering body realised in its intimate sensuality… Like a majority of his figurative prints they were fundamentally iconic… they came charged with the poignancy of a Madonna or a Pieta.' (R. S. Kumar, 'Somnath Hore: A Reclusive Socialist and a Modernist', Bengal Art: New Perspectives, Pratikshan, Kolkata, 2010, p. 79) Hore's bronzes speak to human vulnerability. If present at all, their facial expressions are made universal and anonymous by their mask-like minimalism, while the patina is left deliberately imperfect. Having witnessed the bombing of Chittagong in 1942, the artist saw firsthand the brutal violence of war, and man's complete helplessness in the face of it. Hore's works reduce human figures to their essential physical features, and in doing so, they approach 'the bristly starkness of the drawing and the skeletal economy of the etching [...].' ('Somnath Hore: Epic Vision of Suffering', Art of Bengal: A Vision Defined 1955-1975, CIMA, Kolkata, 2003, p. 79)