Boundless: India Highlights

V.S. Gaitonde, Untitled, 1962. 
Estimate INR 1,30,00,000-1,80,00,000.
Launch Slideshow

Sotheby's first-ever auction in Mumbai, India, will take place on 29 November. The sale will be themed as a visual commentary on South Asia, narrating the story of the richness and sophistication of Indian art and design. It will include not only the work of India’s greatest artists, but also artworks by western artists inspired and influenced by the art, culture, geography and people of South Asia. Click above to see the highlights.

Boundless: India Highlights

  • Tyeb Mehta, Durga Mahisasura Mardini, 1993.
    Estimate INR 20,00,00,000–30,00,00,000.
    Definitive of an era, Durga Mahisasura Mardini merits its place in art history, and is one of the greatest tributes Mehta would make to classical Indian mythology. This masterpiece, is one of the most provocative portrayals of the human condition by the artist. Durga Mahisasura Mardini is his very first rendition of the iconic, mythological theme of the goddess Durga slaying the buffalo demon Mahisasura.
  • Amrita Sher-Gil, The Little Girl in Blue, 1934.
    Estimate INR 8,50,00,000–12,50,00,000.
    There exist few, if any, comparisons in the history of art to the spectacular career or pervasive influence of Amrita Sher-Gil. The Little Girl in Blue which depicts Sher-Gil’s 8 year old cousin Babit, assimilates diverse visual cultures of Europe and India. Stylised and powerful in its presentation, set against a backdrop of a park or woodland around Babit’s family home, Nowshera House in Amritsar, The Little Girl in Blue is both unequivocally modern and decidedly Indian at the same time.
  • Arpita Singh, Men Sitting, Men Standing, 2004.
    Estimate INR 1,20,00,000–1,80,00,000.
    In the mid-1960s, Arpita Singh worked as a designer at the Weavers Service Centre in Delhi. The bright colours, childish scrawlings, dream-like perspective, and comforting association with textiles evidenced throughout Singh’s oeuvre, all stand in sharp contrast to the charged themes that she explores, which merge the psychological and the political of everyday life.
  • Ravinder Reddy, Untitled (Head of a Woman), Terra Sigillata, circa 1980s.
    Estimate INR 50,00,000–70,00,000.
    Reddy’s sensuous figures evoke the eternal sculptures of Indian temples. Reddy draws from daily life and archives classical forms to create his distinctive sculptures. In the artist's own words 'I would say that the Indian aspect in my work is predominantly a feeling for the form... If you refer to our Indian temple sculptures, or Buddhist or Amravati sculptures, they are full of form and life.
  • Sebastião Salgado, Church Gate Station, Western Railroad Line, Bombay, India, 1995.
    Estimate INR 8,00,000-12,00,000.
    Celebrated documentary photographer, Sebastião Salgado, is renowned for works which depict the socio-economic effects of globalisation on humanity. The current work forms part of his ambitious project, Migrations: Humanity in Transition. This series spanned six years and 43 countries, and sought to document the rapid population growth and movement in developing world cities. Church Gate Station (1995) is perhaps the most famous photograph in Salgado’s Migrations series.
  • Sankho Chaudhuri, Untitled, marble, circa 1960s.
    Estimate INR 20,00,000–26,00,000.
    Imbued with an almost human and spiritual quality that evokes a timeless, totemic essence, Chaudhuri completed this breath-taking sculpture conceived in marble in the 1960s when he led a number of workshops on marble in Makrana, Rajasthan. Untitled is an important example of the artist’s mature oeuvre, and represents the genius of the artist at the peak of his career.
  • V.S. Gaitonde, Untitled, 1962.
    Estimate INR 1,30,00,000-1,80,00,000.
    This important drawing from the early 1960s was part of an exhibition held at the Shridharani Art Gallery in Delhi in 1964. Gaitonde produced very few works during his lifetime, partly due to his philosophical and meticulous approach to his art. The artist held strong beliefs in his identity as a painter and isolated himself from others, removing any distractions that would interfere with his goal in achieving the purest form of expression through light, colour and texture.
  • Sadanand Bakre, Untitled, 1959.
    Estimate INR 40,00,000-60,00,000.
    Untitled is testament to his position as a modern innovator, and is seminal in the establishment of a fresh, post-Colonial language in Indian art. This work can therefore be regarded as not only a seminal work in this artist’s oeuvre, but amongst the most important sculptures created in modern India.
  • Bharti Kher and Priti Paul, Belladonna, stainless steel and mirror, 2002.
    Estimate INR 30,00,000–50,00,000.
    Belladonna, the literal translation from Italian being 'beautiful woman'. The mirrored dressing table with lipstick and high-heels is a comment on gender stereotypes and the perception of women both in the East and the West. The work highlights the daily rituals women have to perform to be regarded as beautiful within a patriarchal society. Kher’s work often displays a ‘pluralism, with ancient Indian customs juxtaposed with modern Western values’ which reveal how although ‘increasingly receptive to foreign influence, many Indians still remain reverent of their own culture in an overtly conspicuous fashion.
  • Nandini Valli Muthiah, Untitled.
    Estimate INR 20,00,000-25,00,000
    The underlying theme of Nandini’s work is that of identity and of the “gaze”, her own as well as of those who she has photographed. Her photographs are highly stylised and tightly choreographed settings that draw their inspiration from the kitsch calendar art representations of Hindu deities and the multiple magazine portraits of celebrities.
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