Two landscapes by modernist artist Syed Haider Raza — Paysage and La Terre 3, painted in 1960 and 1970 respectively, will go under the hammer at Saffronart’s Winter Online Auction on December 9-10.
Paysage, estimated at Rs 2.45 – 3.15 crore, was painted a decade after the artist moved to France and represents a period when his style was shifting towards the gestural. This will be the first time that the work will appear in an auction.
“Influenced by the abstract or non-figurative artistic expression gaining popularity at the time, as well as Raza’s extensive travels through the French countryside, this unrestrained work celebrates colour and texture,” Saffronart said in a statement on Monday.
La Terre 3, which represents a more fluid style, was painted during a time when Raza’s early experiences in India were beginning to increasingly manifest in his work.
“The deeper, contrasting palette of this oil on canvas painting evokes the darkness of night and the dense forests of Raza’s hometown in Madhya Pradesh, juxtaposed with brighter tones signifying colour and life,” the auction house said.
The painting is estimated at Rs 2 – 3 crore.
“The highlights of our Winter Online Auction are two significant, distinctive works by S H Raza, representing turning points in his oeuvre.
“Poised between his past and present, they provide a glimpse into the artist’s influences, including abstract art movements, travel and memory,” Dinesh Vazirani, Saffronart’s CEO and Co-Founder, said.
Also part of the sale will be Jagdish Swaminathan’s Untitled work from the 1970s that represents his famous “Bird, Mountain, Tree” series.
It was part of the private collection of the Amar Mahal Museum in Jammu, which was founded in 1975 by politician Karan Singh and his wife with the aim of furthering and preserving Indian art and literature.
The work is estimated at Rs 1 – 1.5 crores.
An Untitled work by Prabhakar Barwe, estimated at Rs 50 – 70 lakh, which was part of a major retrospective of the artist at the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi earlier this year, will also go under the hammer.
Unique and striking sculptures by B Prabha, Sadanand Bakre, K G Subramanyan , S Nandagopal are also part of the auction.
The auction also includes 22 works of contemporary Indian art from the collection of London-based Saatchi Gallery, which will be offered at ‘no reserve’ (artworks will be sold regardless of price).
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These works were part of a ground-breaking exhibition of contemporary Indian art in Europe, titled The Empire Strikes Back, at Saatchi Gallery in 2010.
Among these will be L N Tallur’s untitled work that is composed of torn and battered mattresses stacked on a hospital bed and is suggestive of the agonising conditions of hard labour. It is estimated at Rs 10.5 – 14 lakh.
Jitish Kallat’s “Death of Distance” (2007) featuring a monumental one-rupee coin and five lenticular prints that highlight the unequal and disparate value of money for different strata of society, is also part of the sale.
It is estimated at Rs 8.4 – 10.5 lakh.
“This (no reserve auction) will provide a wonderful opportunity for enthusiasts and collectors to own work by leading artists such as Tallur L N and Jitish Kallat,” Vazirani said.
The online auction will take place on saffronart.com and will be preceded by viewings of select lots in New York, New Delhi and Mumbai.