S H Raza, Untitled, (Double Sided - this being the front) , Circa 1940, Estimate - INR 10 – 15 lakhs (US$ 13,699 – 20,548), Image courtesy of AstaGuru.
S H Raza, Untitled, (Double Sided - this being the front) , Circa 1940, Estimate - INR 10 – 15 lakhs (US$ 13,699 – 20,548), Image courtesy of AstaGuru.

Modern Indian art at no reserve prices in AstaGuru’s upcoming online auction

The collection includes a diverse gamut of works, from FN Souza’s chemical alterations and distorted portraits, MF Husain’s horses, Ram Kumar’s serene landscapes; to works on paper by Amrita Sher-Gil, Tyeb Mehta, and VS Gaitonde

AstaGuru, India’s premium auction house, will present works by some of the most eminent Indian modernists in its forthcoming annual no reserve online auction on June 27-28, 2020. The online auction, which features an extensive collection of 100 lots, has been carefully curated to showcase the diverse scope of Indian Modernism with works by leading artists such as SH Raza, MF Husain, FN Souza, VS Gaitonde, Akbar Padamsee, Ram Kumar, Amrita Sher-Gil, Krishen Khanna, Meera Mukherjee, Zarina Hashmi, and many more. Apart from paintings, the auction catalogue also consists of a unique selection of sculptures.

Akbar Padamsee, Untitled (Head), 2003, Estimate INR 20 – 25 lakhs (US$ 27,397 – 34,247), Image courtesy of AstaGuru.

The no reserve platform gives AstaGuru, the Kala Ghoda-based auction house, the opportunity to present a catalogue of works, which lends an insight into the artistic journey and evolution of the presented modern masters. This auction model is a testament to the demand for such works, and its success rate further validates and substantiates their market value.

Several of the lots on offer include works on paper and preliminary sketches of paintings which hold a certain proximity with the artist and give us a glimpse into their process and methodology. Bids for all the works start at Rs 20,000 ($ 274), making the auction a great entry point for the quality of works going under the hammer. Furthermore, the no-reserve contingency, wherein the works are sold to the highest bidder irrespective of the bid attaining the specified price estimate, presents a unique chance for seasoned collectors and first-time bidders to acquire exceptional works by distinguished modern Indian artists at attractive prices.

Meera Mukherjee, Tree, Estimate - 15 - 20 lakhs (US$ 20,548 – 27,397), Image courtesy of Astaguru

Commenting on the auction, Tushar Sethi, CEO, AstaGuru, said, “We are extremely thrilled with our collection for our annual no reserve online auction, which offers extraordinary works by the masters of modern Indian art. As with every AstaGuru auction, our focus for this no reserve edition has been to present quality works that would be a great acquisition for those looking to expand their collection as well as for new bidders who are looking to purchase significant works and get into art collecting. The collection includes a diverse gamut of works, from Souza’s chemical alterations and distorted portraits, Husain’s horses, Ram Kumar’s serene landscapes; to works on paper by Amrita Sher-Gil, Tyeb Mehta, and V S Gaitonde; and rare and unique sculptures by Akbar Padamsee, Sakti Burman and Meera Mukherjee.”

Leading the sale is Raza’s (Lot 98) acrylic on canvas work from the year 1995 titled ‘Germination Blue’. Estimated between Rs 40-60 lakhs ($ 54,795 - 82,192), the work signifies the artist’s exploration of a single hue, which in this work – as the title suggests – is blue. He deftly unearths the various facets of the colour by alliterating and saturating its primordial properties. Another star lot is MF Husain’s untitled work (Lot 97), in which the artist encapsulates the essence of maternal love. The master colourist symbolically represents the nurturing presence of a mother by incorporating the figure of a woman embracing her children. Furthermore, he posits his reverence and adoration for Mother Teresa’s selfless love and service to mankind by juxtaposing her saree in his individualistic style. The work is estimated at Rs 20-25 lakhs ($ 27,397 - 34,247).

M F Husain, Untitled, Estimate - INR 20 – 25 lakhs (US$ 27,397 – 34,247), Image courtesy of AstaGuru

Other highlights among the paintings include Lot 34, Raza’s untitled watercolour work from his early period in Mumbai. Estimated at Rs 10-15 lakhs ($ 13,699 - 20,548), the composition is a double-sided work, where the front depicts a market scene and the verso has a river scene. Padamsee’s ‘Head’ themed works constitute a vast portion of his oeuvre. In Lot 39, he revisits the theme by creating a background in adherence with his blazing colour schema of his metascape series. The work is estimated between Rs 20-25 lakhs ($ 27,397 - 34,247).

Among the sculptures, Meera Mukherjee’s terracotta work (Lot 54), estimated at Rs 15-20 lakhs ($ 20,548 - 27,397), is rare and unique given the fact that the artist seldom executed in any medium other than bronze. Another factor that makes this work desirable and sought-after is the subject, which is a tree.

The auction will take place online on www.astaguru.com on June 27-28. The entire auction catalogue can be viewed on AstaGuru's website: www.astaguru.com

Viewings By Appointment Only

June 10-28, 2020

11.30 am - 7.00 pm

Institute of Contemporary Indian Art (ICIA)

ICIA Building, Rampart Row

Next to Rampart House, Kala Ghoda

Mumbai - 400 023

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