Tyeb Mehta’s never before auctioned works to headline ‘Modern Indian Art’ sale

New Delhi, Dec 18 (PTI):
Two masterpieces by Indian modernist Tyeb Mehta will make their debut at Astaguru’s upcoming Modern Indian Art sale. The auction, set to be held on December 27-28, will also feature artworks by avant-garde Indian painters including the likes of MF Husain, FN Souza and Krishen Khanna, the online auction house announced.
“It gives us immense delight presenting to our collectors such rare and unique works by notable artists including Tyeb Mehta, Rameshwar Broota, Ganesh Pyne, M F Husain, M V Dhurandhar, NS Bendre, F N Souza. The highlight of our auction amongst other artworks are the two Tyeb Mehta- lot no. 14 and lot no. 35 that are appearing for the first time in an auction,” said Sunny Chandiramani, vice-president, AstaGuru. Leading the auction are two works by artist Tyeb Mehta — ‘Figure With Bird’ and ‘Diagonal’.
While ‘Figure With Bird’, an important masterpiece since it was possibly the first instance when Mehta incorporated the motif of a bird in his imagery, is estimated at Rs 14-16 crore; ‘Diagonal’, a large-scale work almost reaching 6 feet, is considered to be a defining moment in the artist’s practice as prior to this he was dedicated to painting expressionist works.
“With the ‘Diagonal series’, the artist embarked on a new method of painting with a flatter perspective. This shift in style enabled him to accentuate the definition of the image and Tyeb Mehta finally arrived at his signature style .. Therefore, this lot presents a rare opportunity to acquire a painting from a very significant phase of the artist’s career. The work is estimated at Rs 12-14 crore,” Astaguru said in a statement.
Another key work on the sale will be an oil on canvas creation by master painter M V Dhurandhar whose works seldom feature in an auction given their rarity. The work, expected to generate keen interest amongst collectors owing to its theme and its sheer size, is estimated at Rs 2 crore-2.5 crore.
Going under the hammer will also be a 10-feet oil on canvas painting by artist Krishen Khanna. The colour palette of the painting is reminiscent of the artist’s adopted colour composition for his The Last Supper’ themed works. It will be offered at an estimate of Rs 1 crore- 1.3 crore.
A beautiful landscape work, Manor House’, by FN Souza will also feature in the auction. Estimated at Rs 3 crore- 4 crore, the 1957 painting reminiscent of Victorian style architecture professes Souza’s competency with lines.
A large-scale abstract landscape work by artist Ram Kumar, estimated at Rs 5 crore-7 crore, is also part of the auction.
It will also offer five works by artist MF Husain including a large-scale work depicting his rendition of an important scene from the religious epic Mahabharata, inspired by scriptures from various religions, that was created in front of a live audience.

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