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  Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art
Sotheby's New York
March 15, 2016

Gaitonde
Lot 530, "Untitled," by Vasudeo S. Gaitonde, oil on canvas, 59 1/2 by 103 inches, 1960

By Carter B. Horsley

The Winter 2016 auction of Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art at Sotheby's New York March 15, 2016 is highlighted by a large and very impressive abstract painting by Vasuedo A. Gaitonde (1924-2001).

The untitled painting was illustrated in the 2014 book on the artist by S. Poddar published by The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Prestel Verlag in Mumbai.  Originally, it was conceived as a work for Air India but when the airline did not acquire it was purchased by Bal Chabda, a prominent collector and it became the centerpiece of his collection.  The lot has an estimate of $2,500,000 to $3,500,000.  It sold for $2,770,000 including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article.

Husain

Lot 589, "That Obscure Object of Desire," by Maqbool Fida Husain, acrylic on canvas, 50 1/2 by 104 1/8 inches

Lot 589 is a dramatic and large acrylic on canvas by Maqbool Fida Husain (1913-2011).  It is entitled "That Obscure Object of Desire," and is part of a series related to films that made an impact on the artist.  The catalogue entry notes that "in each painting from the series, objects float in undefined spaces and the figures, though monumental in their presentation, remain tantalizingly unidentificable."  The lot has an estimate of $180,000 to $250,000.  It failed to sell.

Wings Husain

Lot 588, "Untitled (from the Wings of Desire series)," by Maqbool Fida Husain, acrylic on canvas, 58 1/4 by 44 78/8 inches, 1989

Another large work by Husain is Lot 588, "Untitled (from the Wings of Desire series).  An acrylic on canvas, it measures 58 1/4 by 44 7/8 inches and was painted in 1989.  It was shown at the Rubin Museum of Art in Nw York in 2012-3. It has an estiamte of $80,000 to $120,000.  It sold for $100,000.

Blue Flower

Lot 528, "Blue Flower," by Maqbool Fida Husain, oil on canvas, 22 by 30 inches, 1969

Lot 528, "Blue Flower," is an oil on canvas by Husain that was painted in 1969.  It measures 22 by 30 inches and was exhibited at The Rubin Museum of Art in New York in 2012.  The lot has an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000.  It failed to sell.

Singh

Lot 550, "Armina Kidwai with her Dead Husband," by Arpita Singh, oil on canvas, 68 1/2 by 62 inches, 1992

Lot 550 is a strong and very vibrant work by Arpita Singh (b. 1937) that is entitled "Armina Kidwai with her Dead Husband."  An oil on canvas, it measures 68 1/2 by 62 inches and was painted in 1992. 

Souza

Lot 611, "Untitled (Still Life with Guitar)," by Francis Newton Souza, oil on canvas, 22 1/2 by 25 1/2 inches, 1961

Lot 61 is a fine still life with guitar oil on canvas by Francis Newton Souza (1924-2002), It measures 22 1/2 by 25 1/2 inches and was painted in 1961.  It has an estimate of $50,000 to $70,000. It sold for $62,500.


Dodiya

Lot 585, "Cloud Burst," by Atul Dodiya, Kaza paper, carbon toner, vine charcoal, gold leaf, cotton shirt, paper pulp, screenprinting ink, pigment on cotton and linen paper, 67 by 55 1/4 inches, 2005

Lot 585 is a striking work by Atul Dodiya (b. 1959) that was created in 2005.  It consists of Kaza paper, carbon toner, vine charcoal, gold leaf, puper pulp, cotton shirt, screenprinting ink and pignment on cotton and linen paper.  It measures 67 by 55 1/4 inches.  It has an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.  It failed to sell.


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