Prinseps presents 7th online auction with leading names in Modern and Contemporary Indian art

Prinseps’ upcoming spring Modern
Art Auction features
45 exceptional works of art across the spectrum of
Indian Modernism complemented
by a series of works by leading Indian contemporary artists. The auction will
be held online on April 24th and 25th with a preview at
the Taj Art Gallery, Mumbai on April 20th and 21st. Key
lots include works by Ram Kumar, Francis Newton Souza, Somnath Hore, VS
Gaitonde, MF Husain, Zarina Hashmi as well as photographs by Raghu Rai and
Vivan Sundaram’s digital photomontages culled from his archive of Amrita
Sher-Gil.

The auction will be led by a rare oil on board Ram
Kumar, Family,
1960 and Mazes of the Mind, 1961,
lot 16, estimate Rs.1,50,00,000 – 3,00,00,000. The work is of historical significance as it is a
double-sided painting that marks a transition in the artist’s practice from his
early figurative paintings to his later abstract phase. Whilst Family depicts a figurative scene of two adults
protectively nurturing a child, Mazes of the Mind, presumed to be painted immediately
afterwards, blends the figurative with an abstract style more familiar in Ram
Kumar’s later work. A quote by Richard Bartholomew in The Art Critic best illustrates the moment of
transition captured in this painting – “Amongst all these mazes are the
remnants of mystical figurative forms, but the people have disappeared in their
entirety.”

Accompanying this, is an early landscape painting (pictured
here; image courtesy Prinseps) by Francis Newton Souza, Untitled (Goan landscape), Gouache on paper, 14 x 21in,
lot 17, estimate Rs.40,00,000 –  50,00,000. Painted in 1948, shortly after Souza’s expulsion from
the JJ School of Art in Bombay/Mumbai, the work takes inspiration from the artist’s
Goan roots, reflecting his bold use of colour and line. Painted a year after
the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group had been founded, of which Souza was a
founding member, it shows elements of what the PAG wanted to paint for a ‘New
India’ and Souza’s own take on modern Indian art.

Prinseps are also offering Manu
Parekh’s Cry
(Bhagalpur portraits), lot 24, estimate Rs.15,00,000- 20,00,000 , an early work from the his Bhagalpur
series where he refers to the Bhagalpur Blindings that occurred in Bihar in
1979 and 1980, evoking a debate around capital punishment and forcing an
important insight into the human condition. The work is notable for having been
exhibited in all three NGMAs (New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru) and the Kasturbhai
Lalbhai Museum, Ahmedabad.

In addition, Prinseps is introducing photography as a
new category within their auctions for the first time. Of particular interest
is Jyoti Bhatt’s Untitled (a set of 10 photographs of various artists), lot 33, estimate Rs.8,00,000 – 10,00,000. The photographs are strong examples of Bhatt’s
direct and informal style and depict many of the icons of Indian modernism
including MF Husain, Nasreen Mohamedi, Himmat Shah and Krishen Khanna.

Prinseps was founded by Indrajit Chatterjee in 2017 as
a research-focused auction house. Following their inaugural auction where
Prinseps was entrusted with artworks from the estate of Rathindranath Tagore
(son of Rabindranath Tagore), subsequent auctions have gone on to bring
together the leading names in Indian modern and contemporary art, backed by
strong provenances and publication details. Prinseps also specialise in
offering rare collectables such as antiquarian books and premium art deco furniture.

Auction preview, Taj Art
Gallery, Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai

Saturday, April 20 April 2019 11.00am – 8.00pm

Sunday, April 21 April 2019 11.00am – 8.00pm

Auction dates, www.prinseps.com

April 24 – 25, live bidding begins at 10.00am on 24 April

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