Canvas work

NS Bendre, Tyeb Mehta, KH Ara among the artists presented in the Indian modern art auction

AstaGuru’s ongoing Modern Indian Art Auction’s stellar collection highlights some of the most historically significant works of art ever presented at an auction. With over 40 lots being part of the auction, there are plenty of works of art put under the hammer that are expected to set world records for the respective artists. Here are some of the most anticipated works of art that are part of the record-breaking collection.


Take center stage


The untitled work by MV Dhurandhar performed in 1924 appears for the first time in an auction. The oil painting on canvas highlights the technical mastery of the old master on figurative imagery as well as on landscapes. It represents a magnificent congregation of important Hindu deities. As Lord Shiva performs the tandava, he is admired by Vishnu and Lakshmi who stand behind him. Also happily watching his father is a baby Ganesha with his mother, the goddess Parvati, among others.
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Untitled by MV Dhurandhar, oil on canvas; Year 1922; Size: 26 x 66.5 inches

The work of Rameshwar Broota, which also appears for the first time at auction, is the most beautiful of his creations of the 1980s. It is an extremely rare painting since the artist has only produced around 250 tables to date. This masterpiece is part of the most emblematic work of the “Man” series that he created. The timing of the creation of the work is also important since it represents the remarkable change that took place in Broota’s practice during the 1980s. The scratch technique he adopted at that time allows artist to create multi-layered compositions.

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Rameshwar Broota’s ‘Man’, oil on canvas scratched with blade; Year: 1987; Size: 50 x 50 inches.

Jehangir Sabavala’s work from 1974 is also making its auction debut. This is his most sought-after collective of works called the “Whisper Series”. The work provides a glimpse of a creative phase in his career. The artist’s works are indeed collectors’ favorites, given that a Sabavala painting was recently auctioned for $ 1.6 million.

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Untitled by Jehangir Sabavala, oil on canvas; Year: 1974; Size: 52.5 x 38 inches.

Another contender to create a world record is the Krishen Khanna painting, which will attract offers due to its rarity, size, vintage and visual opulence. The artwork on display is an impressive painting by the artist that spans almost 10 feet. Appearing at an auction for the first time, the work depicts an elaborate scene featuring 13 figures, as well as two competing rams. Executed in his signature color palette of mostly reds, maroons and browns, this painting executed around 1980 illustrates the artist’s ease at unifying color, scale and form.

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Untitled by Krishen Khanna, oil on canvas; Year: Around 1980; Size: 45 x 111 in

Artistic vocabulary

Two paintings by Tyeb Mehta will also make their auction debut. While the oil painting on canvas (lot 35) from the year 1973 is his most significant work from the ‘Diagonal Series’ to appear in an auction to date, another (lot 14) by the year 1987 titled ‘Figure With Bird’ captures his ever-changing artistic vocabulary.

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“Diagonale” by Tyeb Mehta, oil on canvas – Year: 1973; Size: 69 x 41.5 inches

Mehta was an intellectual and self-critical artist who constantly strove for perfection. The presented lot can be seen as an interpretation of his visual vocabulary expressed through the motif of the bird.

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“Figure with Bird” by Tyeb Mehta, oil on canvas; Year: 1987; Size: 59 x 39.5 inches

The painting featured in the auction created by artist Prabhakar Barwe is also making its debut tonight. This work entitled “Pleasure Structure” was performed in 1973 and is a fine example of the imagery that Barwe created during the height of his Tantric phase.

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Prabhakar Barwe’s ‘Pleasure Structure’, mixed media on canvas, Year: 1973; Size: 40 x 48 in

The painting by KH Ara which is part of the auction is, without a doubt, his most important and important work. Very well documented work of art, the presented lot is also based on a vast history of exhibition.

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Untitled (Bhagavad Gita) by MF Husain, acrylic on fabric; Year: 1994; Size: 93 x 237 inches

Another work of art that appears in an auction for the first time and is presented to set a world record is that of revered artist NS Bendre, who pioneered the pointillism technique in India. Mixing bright colors like blue, green, red, orange with pastels, the artist executed a pastoral scene against a picturesque background. Large-scale pointillism work was carried out in 1980.

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Untitled by Ram Kumar, oil on canvas; Year: 2010; Size: 32 x 273 inches

AstaGuru’s main sale which ends tonight is indeed a much anticipated auction. With several rare and unpublished works appearing for the first time, the quality of the collection on display is sure to encourage collectors and admirers to actively bid tonight. The end result will set a new benchmark for the Indian art auction market.