Christie’s to present its South Asian Modern & Contemporary Art auction lots in Mumbai

Art connoisseurs will find priceless works by Maqbool Fida Husain, Francis Newton Souza, Gaganendranath Tagore, Jamini Roy, and Abdur Rahman alongside other masterpieces.

August 4, 2023: Gear up as the auction house Christie’s presents an eclectic collection of works across several styles and genres, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, installation, and book illustrations, in Mumbai.

FN Souza Still Life in Red

Francis Newton Souza's 'Still Life in Red'.

This highly curated collection has been acquired from renowned private collections around the world, including those of the Abrams Family, the Ram Kumar Family, and Mahinder and Sharad Tak. The line-up will feature impressive works by venerated artists like Abanindranath Tagore, Gaganendranath Tagore, Jamini Roy, Abdur Rahman Chughtai, Ram Kumar, Rashid Choudhry and George Keyt among others.

The standouts from the collection are contemporary works by Zarina, Nalini Malani, Atul Dodiya, Bharti Kher, Ranjani Shettar, Subodh Gupta, Raqs Media Collective, and Imran Qureshi. 

Manjit Bawa Goat and Watermelon

Manjit Bawa's 'Untitled (Goat and Watermelon)'.

Many interesting stories emerge from this collection. Sidney Farleigh was introduced to Francis Newton Souza (1924-2002) in the London kitchen of his neighbour and best friend around the late 1950s - early 1960s. Subsequently, Mr. Farleigh visited Mr. Souza’s home and studio in Belsize Park, where he recalled seeing his canvases pinned haphazardly to the wall as he did not use an easel at the time. He was careful to not tread on the open paint tubes discarded on the floor. Interestingly, Mr. Souza had a habit of painting through the night which meant that the light was static, and he could pay attention to the consistency of the colours he used. ‘Still Life in Red’ from 1963 was acquired by Mr. Farleigh soon after completion, and will be offered by Christie’s with an estimate of $280,000-350,000.

MF Husain Naga

Maqbool Fida Husain's 'Untitled (Naga)'.

Sayed Haider Raza’s (1922-2016) ‘Rajasthan’, painted in 1983, was acquired directly from the artist by his close friend and fellow painter, Ram Kumar. The painting is anticipated to bring around $250,000-350,000.

Maqbool Fida Husain’s (1913-2011) masterpiece ‘Untitled (Naga)’, is a significant painting from the early 1970s which is expected to fetch between $700,000-1,000,000. Manjit Bawa’s ‘Untitled (Goat and Watermelon)’, which was executed circa the early 1990s, might achieve around $25,000-35,000.

SH Raza Rajasthan

Syed Haider Raza's 'Rajasthan'.

Before the live auction on September 20, 2023 - as part of Asian Art Week in New York - the works will be presented for a short preview in Mumbai between August 8 and 12.

- By Pritha Debroy

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