Christie’s will host the 24th annual sale of South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art alongside the Arts of India auction as part of Indian Art London on June 12. These sales will offer collectors an exciting opportunity to buy classical Indian art from early Gandharan sculpture to Company School painting, all the way through to iconic modern paintings by leading artists like Vasudeo S Gaitonde, Tyeb Mehta, and a never-before-seen sculpture by Ravinder Reddy, says a statement from the auction house.
The South Asian Modern + Contemporary sale features Untitled (Goddess), a formative example of the artists’ now iconic representations of deified Indian women (Lot 46, estimate: £25,000 - 35,000). Bringing together the ancient and the contemporary, and linking temple, kitsch and pop art, Reddy’s larger-than-life sculptures command attention from the viewer and challenge traditional notions of beauty, femininity and domesticity.
The South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art sale includes 70 lots and features Tyeb Mehta’s (1925-2009) monumental and momentous ‘Falling Figure’, 1992, which was used as the central backdrop for Artists against Communalism (AAC), a 12-hour cultural sit-in organised by SAHMAT at Shivaji Park in Mumbai.
At a moment when Mumbai was on the brink of erupting in communal violence, this painting became the banner under which several artists, musicians, dancers and poets gathered together in creative unity. Christie’s is privileged to offer this work to discerning international collectors. Gaitonde’s untitled masterpiece from 1986 marks the artist’s return to painting large canvases following a serious and debilitating accident two years prior. The instantly recognisable layered composition of non-objective bubbling forms, reference Conceptual Art, Abstract Expressionism and Zen Buddhism and showcases Gaitonde as a virtuoso at the height of his powers.
Comprising 157 lots, the Arts of India sale opens with a small group of Gandharan Buddhist sculpture dated to the 2nd/3rd century from a private English collection. A highlight of the sale is an important illustrated manuscript of the Ramayana from Jaipur, dated 1796-97 AD. It is thought to have once belonged to Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi, the warrior queen who was a leading figure in the Indian Revolt of 1857. The sale also features a private Dutch collection illustrating examples of 18th and 19th century paintings from the Mughal, Rajput and Pahari courts of northern India.
Alongside these paintings are offered sumptuous objects including a collection of Mughal coloured glass rosewater sprinklers and an impressive, early 20th century commemorative gem-set silver casket from Rajasthan.