Tyeb Mehta to lead Bonhams Art auction

London, Sep 23 (IANS) Modern Indian painter Tyeb Mehta’s work will be the focus of upcoming Bonhams Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art auction in London, scheduled to take place on October 5.

Mehta’s “Untitled Figure” (1959) from a private collection, is estimated between 300,000 to 500,000 pounds ($457,162-$762,035). A masterpiece from his collection, it is for the first time the work is appearing for an auction. The figure is shown emerging from the encompassing background with his shoulder, arm and upper chest highlighted in the foreground. The scene is reminiscent of film noir use of darkness and shadow.

Apart from the work, the sale comprises 33 exceptional works from an enviable array of Indian and South Asian modern masters, along with contemporaries including M.F. Husain, F.N. Souza, Sakti Burman, Shakir Ali, Sadequain, Ismail Gulgee and Gulam Rasool Santosh and many more.

“Bonhams’ sale caps a season of international art auctions which has well demonstrated that enthusiasm for Indian and South Asian art is now a global phenomenon. The depth and quality of the paintings offer collectors the opportunity to acquire works by the greatest names of the 20th century,” said Tahmina Ghaffar of Bonhams.

Husain’s Untitled (lot 19) acquired from a private Indian collection, is estimated between 120,000-150,000 pounds. This present lot, although bare-breasted and with rounded belly, is distinctly devoid of eroticism. It is a pureness of being that Husain has captured, the nudity a way to strip the figure down to her most bare and vulnerable.

Other highlights include F N Souza’s Untitled (Head) (lot 15) estimated between 40,000- 50,000 pounds, and seminal Pakistani artist Gulgee’s important work “Horses” (lot 31) estimated between 70,000-90,000 pounds.

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