GIEVE PATEL | Crushed Head
GIEVE PATEL | Crushed Head
GIEVE PATEL | Crushed Head
GIEVE PATEL | Crushed Head

GIEVE PATEL | Crushed Head

Estimate: 7,000 - 10,000 GBP

GIEVE PATEL | Crushed Head

Estimate: 7,000 - 10,000 GBP

Lot Sold:9,375GBP

Lot Details




Crushed Head

Oil on canvas

Signed and dated 'G. Patel / '84' on reverse

61.2 x 46.2 cm. (24 ⅛ x 18 ¼ in.)

Painted in 1984

Condition Report

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Acquired directly from the artist, Bombay, 17 January 1984


Geneva, Halles de l'Ile, Coups de Coeur, 1 July - 22 August 1987


R. Cornu ed., Coups de Coeur, Geneva, 1987, illustration p. 85

Catalogue Note

Mumbai based Gieve Patel has had a multi-faceted career in the arts and sciences. He is not only a painter but also a noted poet and playwright as well as a practicing physician. His works are devoid of sentimentality, instead they are snapshots and observations of everyday life within an urban jungle. He sees poetry even in trauma. Patel’s works are constructed of figures placed within a horizontal narrative against an architectural backdrop. It was in the mid-1980s when Patel began painting multiple figures in complex compositions after a visit to Italy in 1982 when he saw Pietro Lorenzetti’s Crucifixion at Assisi. This culminated in Patel's breakthrough masterpiece Off Lamington Road, a painting that was heavily featured in the Coups de Coeur exhibition, then in the collection of Proctor and Gamble.

“A year before I started working on Off Lamington Road, I had begun working on a set of ‘heads.’ Each canvas would be a small 18 inches x 24 inches. And each would portray one human being. As this activity continued alongside work on the larger painting (which took me four years to complete), I sensed an inner dialogue taking place between the two. The ‘heads’ seemed to assert the need that people I was depicting as a ‘mass’ be given individual breathing space as well. ‘Good’, I thought, ‘if that’s how its going to be.’ And for subject matter I envisaged, as the heads would proliferate, people from various sections of the society and stations in life, the vigorous, the siling (sic), even the dead. A grand sweep. I am not unhappy with the way several of these heads have shaped up, disaster-prone though they appear to be at the moment. (Leper, Eunuch, Crushed Head [lot 29], Drowned Woman [lot 30]…) There is indescribable pleasure in transforming pain and wretchedness into fantastic play, as though one was thereby gaining so much control over those forces, and jettisoning fear. For the painter, it was certainly so, I vouch for that. Hopefully, it could be so for the viewer as well. (Artist Statement, May 1987, Courtesy Barbier Family Archives)

'As a painter, Patel adopts the role of the observer, never quite bridging the distance between himself and the people he represents. But, like the poet he is, he also carefully preserves the significant gestures, things, and scenes that, especially when frozen in time, evoke multiple layers of meaning.' (S. Bean, Midnight to the Boom, Painting in India after Independence, Thames & Hudson Ltd., London and Peabody Essex Museum, Massachusetts, 2013, p. 166)

Coups de Coeur: The Guy and Helen Barbier Family Collection
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