Christie’s second auction in India

Christie’s is ready to create history once more as it rounds up a stellar collection for the auction on 11th December, 2014 in Mumbai.

Untitled (Falling Bull) by Tyeb Mehta, signed and dated ‘Tyeb 99’ (on the reverse). Acrylic on canvas; size: 69" x 59". Painted in 1999.

Untitled (Falling Bull) by Tyeb Mehta, signed and dated ‘Tyeb 99’ (on the reverse). Acrylic on canvas; size: 175.3 x 150.2 cm. Painted in 1999.

Christie’s is back with its second auction in India. Its debut auction in India last year had been a phenomenal success, in which the highest price for a work of art ever sold in India was achieved and the sale total amounted to INR 96,59,37,500, double the pre-sale expectations. On 11th December, 2014 at 7:00 pm the second auction will be held at The Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai with a pre-sale viewing for public from 9th to 11th December. People in New Delhi can preview some selected works at The Taj Mahal Hotel from 28th to 30th November.

This year’s auction is headlined by one of V.S. Gaitonde’s last works and by the early works of S.H. Raza, Tyeb Mehta, FN Souza and Ram Kumar. Ten works at the auction have been donated by leading contemporary Indian artists such as Subodh Gupta and Bharti Kher to support the Khoj International Artist’ Association – an artist residency programme established in India in 1997. Also going under the hammer will be works and items by some of India’s designated National Treasure artists, considered of such importance to the cultural development of India that they are not permitted to leave the country.

Sonal Singh, Head of Department, Christie’s, Mumbai, noted: “Our first auction held here a year ago was a great success, and once again we have worked hard to curate a sale of the highest quality with an offering that covers India’s most important modern and contemporary art movements. Along with the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, our Mumbai sale will act as a finale to a year which began with the successful annual India Art Fair in Delhi, and was highlighted by the opening of the V.S. Gaitonde retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in October. It has been a great year in which many have come together from around the world to shed new light on Indian art and culture.”

Notable items going under the hammer

Tyeb Mehta’s (1925-2009) painting Untitled (Falling Bull) leads the sale. A perfect showcase of his mastery of composition and economy of line, it shows a bull on a rickshaw set against blocks of vivid colour. The 1999 canvas is estimated to fetch INR 8,50,00,000 – INR 12,00,00,000.

Untitled by Vasudeo S. Gaitonde. Oil on canvas,1998. SIze: 139.7x101.6cm.

Untitled by Vasudeo S. Gaitonde. Oil on canvas,1998. SIze: 139.7×101.6cm.

One of the last works by Vasudeo S. Gaitonde (1924-2001) will be offered for sale by a private collector in India. Painted in vibrant hues of green, it is expected to sell anywhere between INR 5,50,00,000 and INR 7,00,00,000. This painting has never before been offered for sale at an auction.

The pocket book or Mazunder Punthi of Rabindranath Tagore from 1892-1904. Cover with gilt lettering ‘R.N. Tagore Pocket Book, 1889’

The pocket book or Mazunder Punthi of Rabindranath Tagore from 1892-1904.
Cover with gilt lettering ‘R.N. Tagore Pocket Book, 1889.

A unique item at the auction in Mumbai is a pocket book belonging to the artist, Nobel Laureate, poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941). The journal was penned in Bengali in Tagore’s hand from 1889 to 1904 and it contains a rare mixture of poetry, art, introspection to even mundane land transactions and taxation. Tagore had composed many poems from the Sonar Tari (Golden Boat) series and 19 poems from the Swaran series in this book. The book had been given by Tagore to Subodh Chandra Mazumder, a teacher at Santiniketan, and it is being offered for auction by his descendants. It is estimated to sell between INR40,00,000-60,00,000.

Untitled (Indian Family) by Francis Newton Souza. Oil on board, 1947. Size: 119.6 x 11.2cm © Estate of F N Souza. All rights reserved, DACS / ARS 2014

Untitled (Indian Family) by Francis Newton Souza. Oil on board, 1947. Size: 119.6 x 11.2cm
© Estate of F N Souza. All rights reserved, DACS / ARS 2014

Also being auctioned at the Christie’s sale in Mumbai are early works by four of the masters of Indian modernism, SH Raza, Ram Kumar, FN Souza and Tyeb Mehta. A family portrait by Francis Newton Souza (1924-2002) from 1947 is estimated at INR 4,60,00,000 – INR 6,20,00,000. Tyeb Mehta’s (1925-2009) Girl in Love, from 1957, will be offered at an estimate of INR 70,00,000 – INR 90,00,000. A view of Parisian rooftops from the 1950s by Syed Haider Raza (b. 1922) Les toits de la rue St. Jacques, is estimated at INR 3,00,00,000 –INR 40,00,00,000 and finally Ram Kumar’s (b. 1924) Orphans, painted in 1956, is estimated at INR 2,25,00,000 – INR 2,75,00,000.

Some rare canvases and works on paper from the 1970s by India’s great modern minimalist Nasreen Mohamedi (1937-1990) are offered for sale from the collection of Neelam Mansingh Chowhry, theatre artist, 2011 Padma Shri recipient and close friend of the artist. Its estimate is from INR18,00,000.

An untitled portrait of Picasso by Atul Dodiya (b.1959) from 1981 will also be going under the hammer at Christie’s sale in Mumbai and is estimated to fetch between INR 4,00,000 – INR 6,00,000. Another of his works from 2011 will be offered in the Mumbai auction to benefit Khoj.

Wish to bid on the items being auctioned at Christie’s second auction in India? Here are the instructions. Happy bidding!