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Works of MF Husain, FN Souza to go under hammer for first time at AstaGuru auctions

The 'Masters Legacy' modern Indian art auction is a 1957 masterpiece by artist FN Souza, 'Girl in a Yellow Sweater'. Appearing in an auction for the first time, the painting was originally in the collection of Harold Kovner, a very important and extremely supportive patron to the artist.

By: PTI | New Delhi |
April 27, 2022 7:30:51 pm
MF HusainMF Husain, FN Souza and Krishen Khanna, will go under the hammer for the very first time at AstaGuru's two upcoming auctions (Source: Express Archives)

Several artworks by Indian modernists, including MF Husain, FN Souza and Krishen Khanna, will go under the hammer for the very first time at AstaGuru’s two upcoming auctions, the auction house announced.

Set to be held online, the two auctions — ‘Masters Legacy’ on April 29-30 and ‘Collectors Choice’ on May 2-3 — will showcase a collection of 200 rare and unseen avant-garde works of modern Indian art.

The offered artworks come from the oeuvre of some of the finest Indian modernists spanning different eras and generations such as Rabindranath Tagore, Antonio Xavier Trindade, Nandalal Bose, Gaganendranath Tagore, Nicholas Roerich, Jamini Roy, Amrita Sher-Gil, SH Raza, Jehangir Sabavala, VS Gaitonde and A Ramachandran, among others.

“The ‘Masters Legacy’ auction catalogue has been finely curated with works spanning across different periods in modern Indian art. From old masters like Antonio Xavier Trindade and Hemendranath Mazumdar to the eminent modernists from the post-independence generations like FN Souza and KK Hebbar, the collection sheds a light on the evolution of modern Indian art,” said Sneha Gautam, vice-president (client relations) at AstaGuru auction house.

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Leading the ‘Masters Legacy’ modern Indian art auction is a 1957 masterpiece by artist FN Souza, ‘Girl in a Yellow Sweater’. Appearing in an auction for the first time, the painting was originally in the collection of Harold Kovner, a very important and extremely supportive patron to the artist.

Executed as an imagery of a head, a recurrent theme in the artist’s creations, it will be offered with an estimate of Rs 4-6 crore.

Also appearing in an auction for the first time is a 2001 magnum opus creation by artist A Ramachandran, titled ‘Lotus Pond in the Monsoon Breeze’. The quadriptych, probably the first of the artist’s large-scale paintings dedicated entirely to the landscape of the pond and its vegetation, will be offered with an estimate of Rs 2.5-3 crore.

SH Raza’s 2001 painting ‘Tanava’ (estimated at Rs 4-6 crore) and Jehangir Sabavala’s 1970 oil on canvas ‘The Hooded Day’ (estimated at Rs 3.5-4.5 crore) are also among the highlights of the upcoming ‘Masters Legacy’ auction.

The bidding for the ‘Collectors Choice’ auction, scheduled to be held on May 2-3, will commence at Rs 20,000, Astaguru said in a statement.

“We have increased the number of lots in this (Collectors Choice) auction. Moreover, the collection is replete with unique works such as a toy work by MF Husain, an early painting by Rameshwar Broota from the 1960s, as well as a work on cotton silk by KG Subramanyan, which makes this auction a great opportunity for any collector to enhance their collection,” informed Gautam.

Estimated at Rs 15-20 lakh, MF Husain’s 1980 wooden rocking-horse toy — painted with oil colour — will be making its first appearance in an auction market. For the unversed, Husain started his career as a toy maker only.

Another work to make its auction debut is a unique creation by artist KG Subramanyan. Executed with dye colour on cotton silk, the 1960 work is estimated at Rs 10-15 lakh.

“Two works by artist Rameshwar Broota will also be showcased. Lot no. 58 is an early oil on canvas work and will be offered with an estimate of Rs 40-60 lakh. Lot no. 159, is a signature style work by the artist executed with blade scraping technique, estimated at Rs 50-60 lakh,” said the online auction house in a statement.

The auctions will also showcase works by a host of sculptures by eminent artists including Pilloo Pochkhanawala, Prodosh Das Gupta, Ram Kumar, Jogen Chowdhury, Himmat Shah, and Somnath Hore.

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