A recently discovered artwork by modernist painter Syed Haider Raza, painted during his stay in France, will go under the hammer at the upcoming Bonhams Modern and Contemporary South Asian sale. A 1961 masterpiece, ‘Paysage Nocturne’ by the painter who passed away in July this year, is estimated at a whopping amount of £30,000-50,000 (approximately Rs 25- 41 lakh) at the art auction, to be held on November 22 in London. “This is a remarkable sale of work by artists from across South Asia. The auction is led by one of the masters of Indian modernism Syed Haider Raza. The artist’s work showcases the conversation between both the East and West in the modernist period.
“With 2017 designated the year of cultural exchange between the UK and India (as announced by both governments earlier this year), it is particularly exciting to see the significance of the conversation between these countries in terms of these major artists of the modern period,” says Tahmina Ghaffar, specialist for Modern and Contemporary South Asian art. Another Indian name leading the sale will be Bhupen Khakhar with one of his most celebrated works titled ‘Man in Pub’, that he painted during a trip to the UK in 1979. The work is estimated at £250,000-350,000 (approximately Rs 2- 3 crores). ‘Man in Pub’ comes to auction fresh from a Bhupen Khakhar retrospective at Tate Modern. The piece is a prime example of the artist’s facility for presenting vulnerable intimacy with bold, colourful flair.
The auction which will feature works from private collections from across the globe and will also have an untitled work each by Rabindranath Tagore and modernist painter Ram Kumar. While the Nobel Laureate’s work is estimated at £30,000-50,000, Kumar’s work is expected to fetch £80,000-120,000. F N souza’s 1958 work titled, ‘English Countryside’ is estimated at £50,000-70,000. According to Ghaffar, the the market for Indian art has flourished over the past two decades with major institutions including the Guggenheim, Tate and Pompidou, staging substantial exhibitions of Indian artists. “The market interest has grown. Since the demand for Indian art shifted toward the modernist period last summer, we have continued to see a global interest in that area.
“With the likes of the widely celebrated modernists Bhupen Khakhar and S H Raza represented, this promises to be another exciting auction. We continue to see the market thrive and will continue to meet that trend,” she says.