Modern Indian Art auction by Astaguru showcases never seen before pieces

Schenelle Dsouza
India’s premier online Auction House, AstaGuru is hosting its annual Modern Indian Art auction on its website from December 27-28.
AstaGuru Modern Indian Art
Lot 15 – M F Husain, Untitled (Bhagavad Gita), 1994
Featuring a host of 41 exemplary works, the collection includes artworks by distinguished Indian artists like Tyeb Mehta, M F Husain, F N Souza, Anjolie Ela Menon, Amrita Sher-Gil, Jehangir Sabavala, S H Raza, Ganesh Pyne, Ram Kumar, Jogen Chowdhury, Bikash Bhattacharjee, and Prabhakar Barwe amongst others.
AstaGuru Modern Indian Art
Lot 19 – K H Ara, Untitled, circa 1950
AstaGuru has compiled rare pieces that have been part of private collections for decades but have never been revealed at an auction before. The catalogue presents serious and dedicated collectors with an opportunity to bid for and get their hands on distinct masterpieces from the stalwarts of Indian modernism.
Some of the noteworthy debut works that will lead Astaguru’s auction include two monumental compositions by Tyeb Mehta— Lot 14 titled ‘Figure with Bird’ and Lot 35 titled ‘Diagonal’.
AstaGuru Modern Indian Art
Lot 14 – Tyeb Mehta, Figure with Bird, 1997
‘Figure with Bird’ is an important masterpiece, solely because it was among the first instances when the artist showcased the bird motif through imagery, something he frequently featured in his later works. This lot has been offered at an estimated Rs 14-16 crores.
AstaGuru Modern Indian Art
Lot 35 – Tyeb Mehta, Diagonal, 1972
‘Diagonal’ is a large-scale work that is almost 6ft high. Part of Tyeb Mehta’s famous ‘Diagonal’ series, this was considered a defining moment for the artist. Prior to this, he was a dedicated expressionist painter. It was this very shift in his style of painting that gave Tyeb Mehta his signature style. Given the fact that Mehta was an extremely self-critical artist, he refrained from working on a series for a very long time, this particular lot produces works from a prominent phase of the artist’s career, one of the added attributes of its rarity. The piece has been valued at an estimated Rs 12-14 crores.
AstaGuru Modern Indian Art
Lot 9 – Ganesh Pyne, The Smile, 1993
Aside from Tyeb Mehta, other unique masterpieces by Jehangir Sabavala, Krishen Khanna, N S Bendre, Rameshwar Broota, Prabhakar Barwe, K H Ara, Ganesh Pyne, will also make their auction debut at AstaGuru sale, including a magnificent painting by master painter M V Dhurandhar whose works seldom make their way into an auction given their rarity.
M V Dhurandhar
AstaGuru Modern Indian Art
Lot 12 – M V Dhurandhar, Untitled, 1922
A renowned painter and postcard artist, Dhurandhar was the most popular academic Indian artist after Raja Ravi Varma. A magnificently executed large-scale oil on canvas creation is a testament of his technical ingenuity, proving him to be one of the greatest. Given the sheer size of the art piece, the work has been offered with an estimate of Rs 2 – 2.5 crore.
Krishen Khanna
AstaGuru Modern Indian Art
Lot 16 – Krishen Khanna, Untitled, circa 1980
A 10 ft tall oil-on-canvas painting by artist Krishen Khanna is part of the auction. The painting showcases an elaborate scene featuring 13 figures, as well as two competing rams. The colour palette of the painting is reminiscent of the artist’s adopted colour composition for his ‘The Last Supper’ themed works. Created circa 1980, the work will be offered at an estimate of Rs 1 – 1.3 crores.
N S Bendre
AstaGuru Modern Indian Art
Lot 28 – N S Bendre, Untitled, 1980
A work by the master of pointillism N S Bendre, lot 28 is a 1980 oil-on-canvas work showcasing a quaint scene from India’s countryside. The piece was executed with intricate dot work that integrates both colour and form. It will be offered at the auction for an estimate of Rs 1.5 – 2 crores.
Jehangir Sabavala
AstaGuru Modern Indian Art
Lot 39 – Jehangir Sabavala, Untitled, 1974
Lot 39, ‘Untitled’ is an important figurative piece by Jehangir Sabavala, from the year 1974. Executed within a decade of Sabavala’s return to India in the mid-1960s, the work gives an insight into a very creative and experimental phase of his career, where the artist was focused on using a subdued colour composition, predominantly featuring tones of grey, brown, and green. The work will be offered for an estimate of Rs 3.5 – 4 crore.
Rameshwar Broota
AstaGuru Modern Indian Art
Lot 22 – Rameshwar Broota, Man, 1987
A unique work by leading artist Rameshwar Broota, lot 22, simply titled ‘Man’, from the year 1987, showcases two distinct styles, abstraction and figurative. There was a remarkable shift in the artist’s style — a masculine figure began to appear in his paintings, now known as Broota’s ‘Man’. The work will be offered with an estimate of Rs 1.5 – 1.7 crores.
Prabhakar Barwe
AstaGuru Modern Indian Art
Lot 11 – Prabhakar Barwe, Pleasure Structure, 1973
The auction also features Prabhakar Barwe’s unique mixed media composition, lot 11, titled ‘Pleasure Structure’. The piece of art is an excellent example of the imagery Prabhakar Barwe created during the peak of his tantric phase. It will be offered for an estimated Rs 75 – 85 lakhs.
The entire auction catalogue can be viewed on and the auction will take place on the website from December 27-28.
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