Sotheby’s will hold its first Boundless India sale on Thursday 29 November at The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel with 60 lots spanning Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art, photography and design estimated to make INR 43.1- 62.9 crores / US$ 6-8.7 million. The lead lot is Tyeb Mehta’s Durga Mahisasura Mardini, 1993 ($2.7-4.1m) which was commissioned directly from Mehta in 1993 and has remained in the same family since then. Along with that significant painting is Amrita Sher-Gil’s The Little Girl in Blue from 1934 ($ 1.2-1.7m) painted when the artist was 21 years old. This work would be the seventh work of Sher-Gil’s ever brought to auction. It has remained in the same collection for 80 years, since it was chosen by the artist for her first solo show in 1937.
Arpita Singh’s Men Sitting, Men Standing, 2004 ($164-245k) and Francis Newton Souza’s Untitled (St. Paul’s Cathedral), 1961 ($123-150k) painted when Souza had moved to London are also featured works in the sale.
The sale is also distinguished by nine lots belonging to Balkrishna. V. Doshi, one of the world’s greatest architects and the only Indian to be awarded the highly prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize. The sale includes paintings, drawings and furniture created by B.V. Doshi himself, alongside a selection of works from his prized collection.
Gaurav Bhatia, Managing Director of Sotheby’s India, said: “Balkrishna V. Doshi built his collection with the same delight, passion and inquisitiveness that marks out all great collectors. Like his buildings, the collection presented here is supremely refined, stylishly theatrical, and forward-looking. One might draw a parallel between the huge influence of Amrita Sher-Gi and B.V. Doshi on the Indian aesthetic – both brought fresh thought and style to the Indian artistic landscape. With this auction, Mumbai will become Sotheby’s tenth sale location in the world. As the global footprint of Indian artists, curators and collectors continues to expand, we are affirming our commitment to the future of the art market in South Asia. Boundless offers the best of art created in, and inspired by, India, providing a snapshot of a century of artistic production. Suitably, the sale will be led by one of the most valuable works of South Asian art ever to come to auction. Tyeb Mehta’s
landmark depiction of Durga truly evokes India’s spirit, even down to the symbolism of its saffron, white and jeweled green colours. ”
Yamini Mehta, International Head of Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art at Sotheby’s: “With Boundless: India we celebrate the storied past and bountiful future of Indian art through the 20 th centuries. We look at the onset of independence in 1947 and how it brought about a
veritable renaissance in the art scene, as well as acknowledging exceptional works by leading Contemporary artists practicing today. This pantheon includes Amrita Sher-Gil, a rebellious libertine well ahead of her time, and portentously trying to make the most of her short time on earth” The carefully chosen works to appear in this auction have many interwoven connections between the influences of Europe and between the worlds of design, architecture and photography. The works by leading international photographers are prime examples of the dynamism and inspiration that artists from across the world received from India. Boundless is ultimately about opening the eyes to the
beauty of Indian art and the culture inspired by the Subcontinent in all of its manifestations.”