Sotheby's London - Indian Art - May 2, 2008 On May 2, 2008, Sotheby’s London will hold its annual sale of Indian Art. Presenting some 120 lots of exceptional quality and provenance, the sale will trace the course of Indian Art.
News-Antique.com - Apr 20,2008 - SALE WILL BE HEADLINED BY EXCEPTIONAL WORKS BY
FRANCIS NEWTON SOUZA, AKBAR PADAMSEE
& LEADING CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS SUBODH GUPTA,
BHARTI KHER & JITISH KALLAT
WITH THE EVER GROWING INTEREST in and rising profile of Indian Art on the international stage - and the
conspicuous success and performance of Indian Contemporary artists in particular - Sotheby’s is delighted to
announce that its annual sale of Indian Art in London will take place on Friday, May 2, 2008. The sale will present
some 120 lots of exceptional quality and provenance which trace the course of Indian Art over the last century
encompassing important works by key figures of the Modern Indian Art movement such as Francis Newton
Souza and Akbar Padamsee through to the cutting-edge Contemporary names of Subodh Gupta, Bharti Kher
and Jitish Kallat. The sale will also be highlighted by eleven exceptionally rare works from the collection of the
late William and Mildred Archer, two remarkable scholars who played a fundamental role in bringing Indian Art to
the fore. The sale is expected to realise in excess of £2.4 million.
Zara Porter Hill, Director and Head of Indian Art at Sotheby’s, comments: “The international focus on India and
Indian Art continues to gather momentum and the Contemporary scene - in particular – is really flourishing.
We’re delighted to respond to this spotlight and surging demand by bringing a first-class cross section of Modern and
Contemporary Indian works to the saleroom this May. The sale’s highlights will be considerable; exciting and
innovative Contemporary works from the likes of Subodh Gupta, Bharti Kher and Jitish Kallat; major examples from
key figures of the Modern movement like Francis Newton Souza; and eleven exceptional works – with superlative
provenance - from the collection of William and Mildred Archer.”
Highlighting the Modern works in the sale will be Francis Newton Souza’s (1924-2002) The Red Road which,
with an estimate of £250,000-350,000, is the most valuable lot in the sale. The canvas (illustrated on the front
page) was a gift from Souza to his wife Maria in 1962 - a period widely acknowledged as the artist’s most
successful - and it was later bequeathed by Maria to the present owner. The painting was exhibited at the
Hayward Gallery in 1989. Goan traditions - in addition to the mainstream of daily life in Goa - were the inspiration
for Souza throughout his career. Souza described the landscape into which he was born as “a beautiful country,
full of rice fields and palm trees; whitewashed churches with lofty steeples; small houses with imbricated tiles,
painted in a variety of colours. Glimpses of the blue sea. Red roads curving over hills and straight across paddy
fields. Morning is announced by the cock crowing; the approaching night by Angelus bells.” (F.N.Souza, Words
and Lines, 1959) There can be little doubt though that Souza’s traditional Goan upbringing was as much a source
of his deepest anguish as of his best work.
Two works by Akbar Padamsee (b.1928) will be further notable