Rare Works by India’s Modernist Icons Take Centre Stage at AstaGuru’s Upcoming ‘Masters Legacy’ Auction

OV Digital Desk
10 Min Read
The Hut

Image: The Hut executed by artist Nicholas Roerich

AstaGuru‘s upcoming ‘Masters Legacy‘ Modern Indian Art Auction will showcase a diverse range of unique and important creations from different phases of India’s most celebrated modernists. Scheduled to be held on April 29-30, 2023, the collection is bedecked with creations from several artists who shaped the narrative of Modern Indian Art, including Nicholas Roerich, M.V. Dhurandhar, M.F. Husain, S.H. Raza, F.N. Souza, Tyeb Mehta, H.A Gade, Ganesh Pyne, Bikash Bhattacharjee, Jogen Chowdhury, Krishen Khanna, K.G. Subramanyan, K.K. Hebbar, Prabhakar Barwe, A. Ramachandran, Himmat Shah, Rameshwar Broota, B. Prabha, and T. Vaikuntam.

 Talking about the upcoming auction, Sneha Gautam, Vice President – Client Relations, AstaGuru said,

The auction offers collectors and art enthusiasts a rare opportunity to acquire significant works by eminent figures of Indian modernism. These works not only represent the progressive artistic experimentation that defined the modern era in India but also embodies the diverse cultural influences that shaped the country’s artistic landscape. With a selection of paintings, sculptures, and works in other mediums showcasing the creativity and ingenuity of India’s modernists, this auction offers a unique opportunity for our seasoned collectors to acquire rare and museum-quality pieces.

M.F Husain:

Leading the auction line-up is a grand scale oil on canvas work by artistM. F. Husain. Titled ‘Paradoxa’ the work was executed with oil on canvas in circa 1970 and is appearing in an auction for the first time. The work was published in the book on Husain by Tata Steel. Offered with an estimate of INR 5,00,00,000 – 7,00,00,000, the work is also featured on the cover of the catalogue. A work from Husain’s famous horse series is also offered in the auction. Executed circa 1990 with a palette dominated by the colour blue, this work is offered with an estimate of INR 2,00,00,000 – 3,00,00,000.

Nicholas Roerich:

Lot no. 1 titled ‘The Hut’ was executed by artist Nicholas Roerich when he was living in London. The unique work, which is a departure from Roerich’s Himalayan series, once belonged to the collection of Arkady Roumanov, a revered journalist during the Tsarist era. The presented lot was possibly inspired by the artist’s experience as a set designer for a five-act play titled Peer Gynt. In the play, similar huts were created to showcase different stages of life, mood and circumstances encountered by the protagonist of the play. It will be offered with an estimate of INR 80,00,000 – 1,00,00,000.

K H Ara:

Lot no. 2 is considered to be one of K H Ara’smost important paintings. At the time of its creation, the artist had mastered his subject and had attained fluid control over his craft. The fact that K H Ara elaborated upon the character’s anatomy and depicted her in a reclining state as opposed to his typical style of seated nudes also adds to the uniqueness and rarity of this creation. A powerful work exploring themes of intimacy, vulnerability, and the human body, the painting is also a glorious testimony to K H Ara’s masterly virtuoso over the delicate medium of paper. Executed circa 1960 with gouache on paper, work is offered with an estimate of INR 30,00,000 – 40,00,000.

K H Ara's painting
K H Ara’s painting

Himmat Shah:

Lot no. 5 is an important sculpture by Himmat Shah. Executed with bronze in 2006, it has been showcased in several important exhibitions of the artist’s work including his retrospective at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, in 2016. It is offered with an estimate of INR 15,00,000 – 20,00,000.

Sculpture by Himmat Shah
Sculpture by Himmat Shah

Ganesh Pyne:

Lot no. 13, 14,15, and 16 is an expansive collection of sketchbooks of revered artist Ganesh Pyne. Two of these sketchbooks belong to the period when the artist was studying at the Government College of Arts and Crafts in Kolkata. The remaining two were created during his travels to different parts of the country, including Kashmir, Amritsar, and Konark. Offering 264 sketches in total, each of these lots is estimated to be acquired at INR 60,00,000 – 80,00,000. The auction will also showcase a tempera on canvas work from Pyne’s well-known clown series. Executed in 2003, it is offered with an estimate of INR 85,00,000 – 1,00,00,000.

Sketchbooks of revered artist Ganesh Pyne
Sketchbooks of revered artist Ganesh Pyne

S.H. Raza:

Three important abstract landscape works from the early career of S.H. Raza are also the highlights of the catalogue. Lot no. 17 titled ‘Le Village’ was executed with oil on canvas in 1956 and will be offered with an estimate of INR 1,00,00, 000 – 1,50,00,000. Another work, lot no. 21, executed oil and ink on paper in the same year is offered with an estimate of INR 65,00,000 – 85,00,000. Lot no. 34 titled ‘Paysage’ was executed in 1957 and is offered at a price of INR 1,12,00,000 – 1,25,00,000. A work from the artist’s Bindu series, lot no. 8, is also featured in the catalogue. Titled ‘Germination,’ and executed with acrylic on canvas in 1992, it will be offered with an estimate of INR 20,00,000 – 25,00,000.

Le Village
Le Village

F.N. Souza:

Lot no. 27 is a beautiful landscape work by F.N. Souza, executed in 1962 when the artist was living in London. In this work, one can trace the sporadic brushwork painted with dark outlines and cross–hatch, the basis on which the architectural structures were composed. This work is offered with an estimate of INR 4,00,00,000 – 6,00,00,000. Two more works by the artist are also showcased. Lot no. 7 is a work titled ‘Rome.’ Executed with oil on canvas in 1960, it is estimated to be acquired at INR 40,00,000 – 50,00,000. Lot no. 31 was executed with oil on board in 1961 and is offered with an estimate of INR 75,00,000 – 1,00,00,000.

Landscape work by F.N. Souza
Landscape work by F.N. Souza

Prabhakar Barwe:

Lot no. 28 is a fine example of Prabhakar Barwe’s preoccupation with abstraction. Titled ‘Bewitching Black’, the work was composed in 1968 with abstract forms surrounding playing cards. Barwe was responsible for pioneering the Neo-Tantra art movement in the country which involved creating geometric shapes that held deep symbolism. It will be offered with an estimate of INR 80,00,000 – 1,20,00,000.

Bewitching Black
Bewitching Black

Rameshwar Broota:

Lot no. 38 is an important work from Rameshwar Broota’s ‘Man Series,’ Titled ‘Man-18th,’ presented large-scale work was executed in 1983, a time when the artist had perfected the idiom. The Man is seen in a contemplative pose, facing away from the viewer’s gaze. This was also the time that Broota introduced geometric forms into the series as well, replacing the previous voids. This work is offered with an estimate of INR 1,50,00,000 – 2,00,00,000.

Rameshwar Broota's 'Man Series,' Titled 'Man-18th,'
Rameshwar Broota’s ‘Man Series,’ Titled ‘Man-18th’

About AstaGuru

AstaGuru was conceptualised in the year 2008 with the sole purpose of creating a safe and secure platform to conduct online auctions for Indian, Contemporary & Modern Art. The word AstaGuru is a thoughtful conjugation of ‘Asta’, of Italian origin, which translates to auction and ‘Guru’, Sanskrit connotation for ‘master’ that indicates our distinguished finesse at being the leaders of auctioneering art and artefacts in India as well as globally. With the world melting into one harmonious digital cosmos, AstaGuru has strived to successfully bridge the gap between prospective buyers and consignors by transcending the limitations of live auctions. AstaGuru imparts effortless transparency to the process of acquiring and selling art and rare collectibles. Our diverse portfolio includes categories such as Jewellery & Fine Silver, Timepieces, Textiles, Celebrity Memorabilia, Rare Books, Numismatic, Philately and Vintage Cars. AstaGuru’s mobile app enables our esteemed bidders to follow and participate in our auctions seamlessly, and in real-time.

For more information, please log on to www.astaguru.com

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