Lot 39
  • 39

SATISH GUJRAL | Untitled (Ganesha)

1,500,000 - 2,000,000 INR
bidding is closed


  • Satish Gujral
  • Untitled (Ganesha)
  • Signed indistinctly in Devanagari lower centre and further signed and dated ‘Satish / gujral / 93.’ on reverse
  • Burnt wood, sea-shell, leather and beads
  • 48.2 x 45.7 cm. (19 x 18 in.)
  • Executed in 1993


Acquired directly from the artist by a private collector, 1993
Acquired from the above, 2018

Catalogue Note

Painter, sculptor, muralist and architect, Satish Gujral is considered one of India’s most distinguished and pioneering modern artists.  His œuvre marks a lifelong journey of experimentation within a range of media and forms of expression. The first Ganesha from 1975 was exhibited in Contemporary Indian Art: An Exhibition of the Festival India at The Royal Academy of Art, London, in 1982, and a selection of his golden wooden deities were shown in his major retrospective at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, in 2006. Shanta Serbjeet Singh summarises the progression of the artist’s output: ‘Gujral's departure from representational painting started with beautiful collages and murals. Without knowing it himself, he was moving inexorably towards the tantric phenomenology. The meeting point came with his metal and wood constructions. The ancient Hindu yantras, designs that were made as aids to meditations, found their apotheosis in Satish Gujral's latest work... The Indian artist inherits a whole system of thought which basically is concerned with epistemology, the science of knowledge, which he then tries hard to translate into his own visual medium. Satish Gujral has totally succeeded. The fusion of tantric thought into visuals of 20th-century industrial society is nearly complete in Gujral's case...' (S. S. Singh, Span, July 1975, in G. Sinha et al (ed.), Satish Gujral: An Artography, Roli Books, New Delhi, 2006, p. 77)

The current lot is from Gujral’s Burnt Wood series (1975-1985, 1982-2000) which was a culmination of his transformative sculptural techniques. Between 1968 and the late 1990s, Gujral went through a concentrated exploration of the spatial and sculptural potentials of ceramics. He went on to experiment with alloys, industrial debris, and cannular metal objects, later turning to wooden materials, which he burned, scraped and splintered. The body of sculpture he created during this period combined neo-tantric values with eclectic media. Lot 39 is one of Gujral’s more mature works, and its fluid, writhing wooden form is a result of his diverse and innovative artistic explorations.