Property from the Surya Collection, Mrs. Ute Rettberg

S Kanniappan


Auction Closed

October 26, 03:08 PM GMT


2,000 - 3,000 GBP

Lot Details


Property from the Surya Collection, Mrs. Ute Rettberg

S Kanniappan

1932 - 2007


Bronze and glass on wood base

29.8 x 15.5 x 10.8 cm. (11 ¾ x 6 ⅛ x 4 ¼ in.) including base

Acquired directly from the artist in Lalit Kala Madras, when invited as guests of the Indian Government to visit the second Triennale in 1971

S Kanniappan was a distinguished sculptor from Chennai and the former professor of the city's Government College of Fine Arts. His artwork focused on exploring people, forms and concepts from all walks of life.

"That is how the art of the past is - taken directly from and related to life. Look at the temple, it is shaped after the form of man. Look at the icons, they are straight and simple like the human body. Look at the Linga, and closer home look at the seven gods in our (South Indian) villages made out of brick stones. What more simplification could you expect of an artist in depicting his ideas? The simpler art is, the more it is rooted in the soil, the longer its life is."

- S. Kanniappan

('The problems of indigenous sources of inspiration', Lalit Kala Contemporary, April 1985,

The present lot is a charming, semi-autobiographical piece by the sculptor. Kanniappan was a very short-sighted and shy man who wore thick glasses. Here, the artist has incorporated the glass of a spectacle into his sculpture, a humorous and light-hearted reference to his eyesight. The humble and self-deprecating tone of the work speaks to the relatable nature of Kanniappan's artistic production this became known as a unique aspect of his artistic practice.