Mumbai auction house AstaGuruorganised a Month of Masters campaign to celebrate the Masters of Modern Indian art through the month of April. The month-long celebration will see a fitting end with two exemplary art auctions – Masters Legacy which will be held from April 29-30, and Collectors Choice scheduled on May 2-3.
Featuring a total of over 200 works on offer, the auctions are said to feature some rare Indian artworks from different eras like Rabindranath Tagore, António Xavier Trindade, Jamini Roy, Amrita Sher-Gil, M. F. Husain, S. H. Raza, F. N. Souza, A. Ramachandran and two European painters Horace Van Ruith and Thomas Daniell.
There will also be a host of sculptures by artists like Pilloo Pochkhanawala, Prodosh Das Gupta, Ram Kumar, Jogen Chowdhury, Himmat Shah, and Somnath Hore, among others.
“We are extremely excited for the upcoming ‘Masters Legacy’ auction on April 29-30 and Collectors Choice auction May 2-3,” says Sneha Gautam, Vice President, Client Relations, AstaGuru Auction House.
Indian art collector’s evolution
“The Indian art market is constantly expanding and witnessing new possibilities in terms of the influx of important works. The collectors’ community is also very keen on acquiring more works. Keeping that in mind, we have increased the number of lots in this auction. Moreover, the collection is replete with unique works such as a toy work by M. F. Husain, an early painting by Rameshwar Broota from the 1960s, as well as a work on cotton silk by K. G. Subramanyan. Which makes this auction a great opportunity for any collector to enhance their collection.”
Leading the ‘Masters Legacy’ Modern Indian Art auction is a masterpiece, lot no.12, by artist F. N. Souza titled Girl in a Yellow Sweater. Created in 1957, the painting makes its way to an auction for the very first time. Before this, the painting was owned by Harold Kovner, an important and supportive patron of the artist. The work will be offered with an estimate of ₹4,00,00,000 – 6,00,00,000.
Lot no. 21 is a work by one of India’s ‘Navratna’ artists, Nicholas Roerich who found his muse in the Himalayas. Executed circa 1940, the work is a testament to the artist’s admiration for these mountains which he often depicted with majestic white peaks rising out of hues of sapphire and clandestine white clouds. The work will be offered with an estimate of ₹3,00,00,000 – 5,00,00,000.
Lot no. 26 titled ‘Tanava’ is one of the famous ‘Bindu’ paintings by artist S. H. Raza. According to Raza, the ‘Bindu’ was the centre of the universe and the beginning of everything. These works dominated the artist’s body of work for a substantial part of his career. Executed in the year 2001, it will be offered at a price of ₹4, 00,00,000 – 6,00,00,000. The artist has inscribed the painting in the bottom right in a poetic form.
Lot no. 36, titled ‘The Hooded Day,’ is a brilliant example of artist Jehangir Sabavala’s visual eloquence, something he achieved with an alluring play of light, shadow, and texture. This oil on canvas work, executed in the year 1970, will be offered with an estimate of ₹3,50,00,000 – 4,50,00,000.
A magnum opus creation, lot no. 37, by artist A. Ramachandran will also make an appearance in an auction for the first time. Titled Lotus Pond in the Monsoon Breeze, the quadriptych is among the artist’s first large-scale paintings dedicated entirely to the landscape of the pond and its vegetation. Executed in the year 2001, it will be offered for an estimate of ₹2,50,00,000 – 3,00,00,000.
One of the main highlights of Collector’s Choice auction is lot no.75 by artist M. F. Husain. The work, untitled, is a wooden rocking horse toy, painted with oil colours. True art enthusiasts will know that M. F. Husain began his career as a toymaker. This piece, created in circa 1980, stands apart for its uniqueness, rarity and utility. It will be offered at an estimate of ₹15,00,000 – 20,00,000.
The Collector’s Collection will also showcase two works by artist Rameshwar Broota. Lot no. 58, an early oil on canvas work and will be offered with an estimate of ₹40,00,000 – 60,00,000. A second offering, lot no. 159 is a signature style work by the artist executed with blade scraping technique will be offered at an estimate ₹50,00,000 – 60,00,000.
Lot no. 103, titled ‘Autumn Landscape’, is a monochromatic abstract work by artist Ram Kumar. Executed circa 1950, the oil on canvas work was previously exhibited in the 2020 edition of the India Art Fair. The work will be offered at as estimate of ₹40,00,000 – 50,00,000.
Lot no. 123 is a large-scale artwork by artist Krishen Khanna. Spanning 12 feet, the painting depicts a leaping tiger against an elephant. The black and white work is a rare departure from the artist’s vibrant colour composition and is executed with acrylic and charcoal on canvas. It will be offered at an estimate of ₹80,00,000 – 1,00,00,000.