Sotheby's - Indian Art - March 19, 2008 Sotheby’s New York spring sales of Indian and Southeast Asian Art, including 241 lots of Modern Paintings, Works of Art and Miniatures, brought a total of $12,133,626 (est. $10,576,200/15,575,800).
News-Antique.com - Mar 24,2008 - New York, New York, March 19, 2008 – Sotheby’s New York spring sales of Indian and Southeast
Asian Art, including 240 lots of Modern Paintings, Works of Art and Miniatures, brought a total of
$12,133,626 (est. $10,576,200/15,575,800*). The Indian Art sale, which included Modern Paintings,
achieved $5,106,875 (est. $4.8/6.8 million), and the Indian and Southeast Asian Art sale, which
included Works of Art and Miniatures, realized $7,026,751 (est. $5.7/8.5 million).
Works by M.F. Husain dominated the top prices achieved in today’s sale, which also included
important Modern paintings by J. Swaminathan, Rameshwar Broota, F. N. Souza, S. H. Raza,
Ganesha Pyne and Arpita Singh, among others. The sale was led by his Untitled work from 1953,
which sold for $409,000 to an Indian Dealer (lot 13, est. $200/300,000). The painting bears a
striking similarity to another work from 1952 titled Pull, and both form part of a group of works
inspired by the village puppeteer. Another Untitled work from 1953, which shows a female figure
holding a lamp, a central theme in his early works, brought $289,000, selling to an American Private
Collector (lot 11, est. $100/150,000). An Untitled painting of a nude and horse, an enduring theme
in Husain’s works since the 1950s, achieved $265,000, selling to an Indian Dealer (lot 12, est.
Zara Porter Hill, Head of Sotheby’s Indian and Southeast Asian Art department, said: “Today’s sale
was very solid, with a strong and discerning buying group seeking out top quality Modern works
with good provenance. In a full salesroom with consistent bidding, we witnessed strong demand
international for works by Husain.”
F.N. Souza’s Head of a Man (lot 18, est. $280/380,000), which engages a format that the artist
used repeatedly, that of a head and torso painted on a plain background, brought $313,000, selling to
a Dealer. His Femme Nue, 1952, sold for $241,000, selling to an Indian Dealer (lot 20, est.
$180/220,000); in this work, the woman’s confident gaze unnerves the viewer, both acknowledging
her blatant sexuality and vulnerability.
Other works that highlighted the sale included an Untitled work by S. H. Raza, 1960, which
brought $241,000, selling to an American Private collector (lot 25, est. $100/150,000) and shows the
artist’s movement towards a less structured composition, focused upon a visual language of form
and color; an Untitled abstract work by J. Swaminathan, 1971, which achieved $229,000, selling to
an Indian Dealer (lot 33, est. $180/220,000); and an Untitled work by Rameshwar Broota, which
realized $169,000, selling to an Anonymous buyer (lot 10, est. $50/70,000), depicts a portrait of a
man, but an unsettling disquiet surrounds the figure, almost as if details are being erased.
Indian and Southeast Asian Art, including Miniatures
The spring sale, which featured a number of extraordinary works of exceptional quality and
provenance, highlighted by a gilt copper Buddha Shakyamuni, Tibet, 14th/15th century from a
Private European Collection, which sold for $1,385,000 to an American buyer (lot 308, est. $1.5/2.5
million). This exceptionally fine and radiant sculpture is one