Monday, February 08, 2016

New York exhibits. A retrospective of the Indian modernist Nasreen Mohamedi opens at The Met Breuer

New York exhibits. A retrospective of the Indian modernist Nasreen Mohamedi (1937 – 1990) will open at The Met Breuer, the new location for The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s expanding modern and contemporary art program opening to the public 18 March 2016. The exhibition is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, with the collaboration of the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi.

Nasreen Mohamedi at The Met Breuer
Nasreen Mohamedi at The Met Breuer

Nasreen Mohamedi (18 March – 5 June 2016) at The Met Breuer, New York, is by far the most comprehensive exhibition of any Indian artist in the United States. With more than 150 works by Mohamedi on display, the exhibition brings to an international audience more than three
decades of her work, comprising of her few early oil paintings, collages, drawings in ink and graphite, watercolours, and photographs. Mohamedi rarely theorized or spoke about her work but documented her internal dialogue in a form of soliloquy, in tiny personal diaries and notebooks, some of which will be on display in the exhibition. The exhibition explores the conceptual complexity and visual subtlety that made her practice unique in its time.
Nasreen Mohamedi at The Met Breuer

​In the history of Indian Modernism, Mohamedi remains a distinct figure who broke away from the dominant figurative-narrative mainstream practice and became one of the outstanding artists who pioneered the trajectory of non-representational and non-objective art in India, as well as creating a body of work vital to the evolution of international modernism and abstraction.
In cultivating an interiorised vision, Mohamedi sought to reflect beyond the familiar and the known, arriving at a pristine form of abstraction quite apart from her contemporaries. The grids and geometry she leaned toward in the 1970s were not without precedent though. In the West, closer to her time, were Piet Mondrian, Barnett Newman, Kazimir Malevich and the Russian Constructivists. Closer to home were the mystical traditions of the East that relied on geometry for a symbolic manifestation of the universe and its creative force. Drawing upon this range of inspirations, Mohamedi evolved her own formal vocabulary with delicate grids using only line, and this aesthetic informed and infused the photographs she took throughout her life.
Mohamedi’s practice has garnered serious attention within India and globally only in the last fifteen years. Though admired in her lifetime, she remained enigmatic and elusive, quite the reflection of her work – a distilled oeuvre that does not lend itself to ordinary comprehension. Through her uncompromising singular pursuit, Mohamedi arrived at a harmonious melding of the rational and the poetic, the philosophical and the mystical.
Kiran Nadar, Chairperson and Founder of the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, “This is a momentous occasion for KNMA, having collaborated with two veteran institutions, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the United States and the Reina Sofia Museum in Spain, in bringing Nasreen Mohamedi’s individualistic/distinctive practice to the western world. The museum’s mandate is also focused on artists whose practice is yet to receive desiring attention and critical acclaim. We believe that their stories be told.”

From Husain to Picasso, the Indian buyer is getting eclectic

After years of selling Indian art to affluent NRIs, international auction houses are now looking to expand the market to Indians at home.

After years of selling Indian art to affluent NRIs, international auction houses are now looking to expand the market to Indians at home. Neelam Raaj spoke to Edward Gibbs, chairman and head of the India department at Sotheby's London, and Yamini Mehta, senior director for South Asian art, about the changing tastes of the Indian collector.

Your first India office is opening in Mumbai next month. Is there now an India auction on the cards?

 EG: We're certainly listening to the needs of our clients, and at the moment we are bringing a series of travelling exhibitions, lectures and other bespoke events. In the future, auctions are a strong possibility. Indians have become more active in our international sales. Just last year, there were 25-30% more Indian buyers.

You recently described Indians as buyers and not sellers. Is it difficult to make them part with their works?

 EG: I stand by that. Indians are primarily buyers. Indian clients start with items of cultural heritage, transition into luxury categories such as jewellery and watches and then trophy pieces like impressionist and modern paintings. There has been a five-fold increase in Indian buyers in 2015 in the jewellery and impressionist-modern categories.

Have Indians taken a shine to jewellery auctions?
EG: If you look at a five-year span from 2010-2015, Indian buyers have bought and bid $400 million in jewellery alone in our global sales. Some look for stones, others for heirlooms and yet others shop for weddings. There is no typical buyer but they are very active in the top end and are driving global sales.

Has the Indian art market recovered from the slump post 2008, especially contemporary art?
YM: There have been multi-million-dollar prices for the modernists like V S Gaitonde, S H Raza etc. Even mid-career artists are getting more visibility. There's a collector in Ohio who is going to showcase Sudarshan Shetty, Subodh Gupta and Bharti Kher at the Pizzuti museum later this year. Nasreen Mohamedi is having a show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's new space which was formerly the Whitney. It's such a coup that this brand new space will open with an Indian artist. Come summer, Bhupen Khakar will be featured at the Tate. So Indian artists are beginning to be shown in new places.
With modern artists so much in demand, isn't it tough to get your hands on that special piece that can be the star at an auction. Aren't there just that many Gaitondes or Razas?
EG: You have to scale the mountain every time. But it's a challenge we relish. We are like hunter-gatherers, looking for trophies, and the next cover lot. This time we're very fortunate, and we have sourced a Gaitonde for the South Asia sale in March that's become a talking point.
YM: It's the largest work he's ever done on canvas, and was initially done for Air India. It has that airy feel, and a sense of space and eternity. It eventually didn't go to Air India and ended up with another artist-collector called Bal Chhabra who supported many of these artists. Chhabra parted with works like Raza's Maa but this was the one piece that he didn't want to part with in his lifetime.

Edward, you're an expert in classical Indian art. Are miniatures a good investment bet?
The miniature market is extremely buoyant. In October 2015, the collection of a Londoner, Sven Gahlin, which included many miniatures went on sale. It was a 95% sell-through rate. There are a lot of new buyers from India. We see some collectors of modern and contemporary looking at it seriously as they expand their collections to the classical period. It's a niche area and the quality is fabulous. Compared with other areas of the global art market, they do represent very good value for money.
Indians have always had a comfort level with art from their own country. Is that changing and are they open to looking beyond their borders?
YM: As people are travelling and becoming more global in their mindset, you'll have all kinds of eclecticism in collecting. Even here you can have a home that looks completely western in its decor or completely traditional or a mix of both. So you have people who have an M F Husain and a Damien Hirst on their walls. There are several Indian collectors who buy top names in western art like Picasso and Van Gogh.

Any other highlight of the South Asia sale?

YM: There's a wonderful Amrita Sher-Gil titled In the Garden. This comes from the Hungarian side of her family. It was painted in her grandmother's garden. It has influences from Bruegel, Gaugin and Cezanne and elements of Indian miniatures such as the multiple perspectives.

The recent India Art Fair changed its focus to art from the subcontinent this time. How do you see the South Asian art scene shaping up?

YM: India is still dominant but new markets are coming up. After the India Art Fair, collectors and curators have headed to the Dhaka Art Summit which is going on as we speak, and this time it has big international artists like Tino Sehgal taking part. A Lahore biennale is also in the works. Sri Lanka is doing quite well, especially works from the 43 group. In fact, we have an early work by Senaka Senanayake, one of Sri Lanka's best artists, in the New York sale.

Credits - Neelam Raaj | TNN | Feb 6, 2016, 10.20 PM IST

India Pride Project – How Smuggled Indian Art Is Brought Back Home

The India Pride Project – an online volunteer group is determined to bring back priceless artifacts smuggled out of India. A look at how they brought back a beautiful bronze work from a museum in the US.

Subhash Kapoor, an art smuggler, is accused of running a major smuggling racket from South India. He has helped many international collectors and museums illegally acquire millennia old Chola bronzes and exquisite sculptures. Ongoing investigations have led to the discovery of 2622 items worth Rs 800 crore smuggled out of India. Despite all this collectors and museums across the world are refusing to divulge information about their illegal acquisitions of valuable Indian art.
The India Pride Project, a volunteer group set up after the Indian governments’ shoddy investigations and lame attempts to bring back smuggled art treasures frustrated, has taken to social media and online activism. Over the last four years, this group has painstakingly built a volunteer sourced image archive of Indian art works now being housed in overseas museums and art auction houses.
The results of these exercises have been startling – notable since the CAG performance audit report of 2013 paints a sad picture of how the custodians and legal authorities have been unable to bring back to India even a single smuggled artifact since 2001.
The group’s activism has ensured the return of art works like Sripuranthan Nataraja, Vriddchachlam Ardhanari (brought back from Australia), the Sripuranthan Uma and more. These have been returned with much fanfare during the visits of heads of state/government of Australia/Germany. You can see pictures of Modi with the returned Nataraja, Angela Merkel handing over the Kashmir Valley Durga (housed in Stuttgart) below.
Australian PM with Modi
merkel with modi
One of the toughest cases to crack for the group was that of the Alingana Murthy from the Ball State Museum. In July 2015, the group broke the story of the Ball State University Museum of Art’s acquisition of the Chola Bronze Alingana Murthy – Shiva embracing his consort Parvathy. This exquisite piece of art, at least a millennium old, was ‘acquired’ through Subhash Kapoor’s smuggling network.
alingana murthy
The Alingana Murthy bronze
The India Pride Project knew from its experience of dealing with dubious artwork related projects that all related paperwork provided in such cases are dubious.
What set the group up with this artifact was its date of acquisition and the fact that it had a beautiful Tamil inscription on its base which read “Tipambapuram sivgai nayagar” ( loosely translates to Shiva, the lord of Tipambapuram)
Inscribed Chola bronzes are rare and to find one in this condition should have been a hotly discussed topic by scholars. However, the said bronze never came up in any discussion, paper, publication or exhibition till it was bought by the Museum. This must have raised a red flag immediately.
It was on this basis that the group raised serious doubts about the credibility of any provenance paperwork (indicating where the artwork came from and how it was acquired) work provided by the now defunct gallery. The response from the art gallery was that all due diligence had been carried out during the time of acquisition.
We understand that the University has now handed over the bronze to Homeland security America as part of a larger restitution process to India.
We can now reveal more information as to why the museum has changed its stand, with information obtained from persons who are in the know of the Kapoor operations. The bronze has an apparent provenance paper authored by the previous owner Dr. Leo S. Figiel dated April 13, 2005, where he claims to have purchased “the small Chola figure of Shiva and Parvati – from a European collector in 1969”. (Dr. Leo Figiel, was a well known collector of Indian vernacular art ( is now deceased – died Feb 2013) and is now suspected of having a working arrangement with Subhash Kapoor’s activities.)
Probably a fake provenance letter?
Citing year of acquisition as 1969 is a very convenient and off repeated ruse seen in many fake provenance cases. 1969 is the cut-off year for the UN statue on Protection of Cultural Property which regulates arts and cultural property acquisitions. Most unscrupulous dealers try and pass off fake documentation with a pre-1970 date.

But at-least for Indian antiquities, the 1969/70 cut-off is no holy grail. There are other legal provisions for ensuring the return of smuggled artifacts. These include the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972 which can be read in addition to Ancient Monuments Preservation Act, 1904, the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 or even the Indian Treasure Trove Act of 1878.

That the bronze was never exhibited or published till the Museum purchased it, and the fact that the provenance letter itself is pretty vague should have raised serious concerns – if not earlier atleast after Subhash Kapoor’s arrest in 2011.

We now have images of the Shiva-Parvathy bronze in what appears to be a pre-repair condition. The color photograph is not from 1969. Further, the soil encrustations and damage are akin to those usually seen with freshly excavated bronze hoards. An expert collector especially of the stature of Dr Figiel with published works on Indian Metullurgy and Arms – especially given his seminal work “On Damascus Steel” in 1991, would have known that a bronze fresh from such an excavation in this condition must be immediately cleaned to stop advent of any bronze disease. He would have cleaned up the bronze as soon as he had acquired it.
Alingana Murthy before restoration
We keep finding such buried treasures routinely to this day in South India. Such discoveries yield multiple centuries old bronzes. Some constitute entire bronze sets from temples – buried to prevent them from the onslaught of iconoclasts in the mid 14th century. We might never know where this particular bronze work of Alingana Murthy was found. We might never know if any other bronze works were found along with it and smuggled out of India.

Hundreds of bronze works like the Alingana Murthy were buried for centuries and were almost lost to the world because those who buried them probably died during the invasions. The Alingana Murthy and Parvathi are coming back home to take their place – thanks to the India Pride Project. Hundreds of other priceless Indian art treasures await their turn.

Dhaka art summit: Tibetan exhibit covered up after China ‘protest’

The work beneath the shroud belonged to filmmakers Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam.

Two Dharamshala-based filmmakers have accused China of “bullying” Dhaka Art Summit organisers to clamp down on their Tibetan exhibit at the prestigious event. The artwork, which was “covered up” after reported objection from China’s ambassador to Bangladesh, paid homage to 149 Tibetans, who self-immolated themselves to make their voices heard. It comprised letters drafted by five protesters just before they burned themselves. But on Sunday, as visitors combed through several galleries at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy — which hosted 17 solo projects, five exhibitions, eight durational performances, film programmes and book launches — they found one wall with five frames on the first floor covered with white sheets of paper. The work beneath the shroud belonged to filmmakers Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam. Titled “Last Words” it was part of the duo’s earlier exhibition, Burning Against the Dying of the Light, which portrayed the Tibetan struggle. “They had to be covered because the Chinese ambassador to Bangladesh (Ma Mingqiang) found the works offensive, during a visit to the summit on Saturday,” said Tenzing Sonam, who was informed about the objection on Saturday evening.

“We were told by the curator (Diana Campbell Betancourt) that he exploded as soon as he saw it and asked the works to be removed immediately or face consequences,” added Sonam. While the filmmaker duo flew back from Dhaka to Delhi on Sunday morning, they said they were in constant touch with the curator as well as the Samdani Art Foundation, headed by Nadia and Rajeeb Samdani, which organises the summit that is in its third edition. “We understand their position. They are trying to frame an appropriate response. With an event of such magnitude, one can’t really take any chance,” said Sonam. However, Sarin accused China of “bullying”. “This is bullying. The Chinese are asking for the works to be removed in a foreign country. We have just taken five letters that are actually available online; it is not even an interpretation,” said Sarin. The installation that travelled to Dhaka was one of the several works that were part of the couple’s solo exhibition that took place at Khoj Studios in Delhi from December 10 to 31. About the response in Dhaka, Sonam said, “In Bangladesh too the response was wonderful. A lot of people found it very moving and shocking. Many people don’t know much about the Tibetan movement in Dhaka.” He claimed that this was not the first time that the Chinese had clamped down on a Tibetan exhibit in Bangladesh. In 2009, the Chinese embassy, he said, had asked the government to shut the exhibition — “Into Exile | Tibet 1949 – 2009” — featuring the journey of “Tibetans from their Homeland to Exile” organised by the Students for a Free Tibet, Bangladesh. “I had forgotten about that incident but now all of it is coming back,” Sonam added. The organisers refused to comment.

Written by Pallavi Pundir , Vandana Kalra | Dhaka

A 75-year-old archaeologist catches artefact smugglers sitting on his computer

Indian antiques
◾Indian artefacts are stolen, smuggled and sold abroad for millions of dollars
◾Prof Kirit Mankodi, a retired archaeologist from Pune, traces stolen artefacts
◾He also provides details of existing artefacts to prevent their sale in case they get stolen

itting at a computer in his drawing room, this 75-year-old is busy surfing through various news reports across the globe. While he brushes away most of them, the ones with reference to any archaeological monuments immediately catch his attention. Similarly, magazines on arts and sculptures are on top of his daily reading list.
His eyes glitter, if a familiar sculpture is spotted. And then he begins a meticulous investigation about the sculpture, which ends only when the details about its origin and ownership are shared with Indian and international investigation agencies.
Meet Prof Kirit Mankodi, a retired archaeology teacher, now protector of India's rich heritage. Mankodi has been working to trace stolen sculptures from India for over a decade now. After his retirement as professor of archaeology at Deccan College, Pune, in 2005, Prof Mankodi took it upon himself to trace treasures stolen from India and sold abroad.

"Mankodi has been working to trace sculptures stolen from India for over a decade now"

"India has the richest archaelogical heritage, which can't be matched by any other country. Thousands of valuable sculptures have been stolen from the country over the ages. I think, as an archaeologist, it's my duty to trace them and facilitate their retrieval," Mankodi says.
The hunt
He embarked upon this "mission" when 2 sculptures were stolen from an ancient temple in Rajasthan in 2009. One of the sculptures was later advertised in an art magazine for sale. "It was a major blow for me, since I was actively involved in the excavation of the temple at Atru in Rajasthan. And the sculptures were stolen from right under my nose! I couldn't have remained silent, so I began tracing it," Mankodi recalls.
It turned out that the sculpture was advertised for sale in an art magazine by a London based businessman. When he came across the advertisement, Mankodi alerted the authorities at the Archaeological Survey of India, who passed on the information to Interpol and the US Department of Homeland Security. "They raided the London showroom, only to find that the sculpture has been moved from there. It was later traced in New York. The government of India has now initiated the process to retrieve the sculpture," Mankodi said.

Mankodi has also traced 2 sculptures stolen from the Atru temple in Rajasthan. "The sculptures of two amorous couples, known in Indian art as Mithunas, were stolen from the ruins we had excavated at Atru. The first theft was on 23 April, 2009 while the second sculpture was stolen 5 months later. Surprisingly, the sculpture was advertised in the Hong Kong based art journal Arts of Asia in March 2010 issue on page 61. A London based businessman had advertised it. The sculptures were valued at US $2 million each. I immediately alerted the ASI authorities and the Indian High Commission in London was also alerted," Mankodi said.

"Both sculptures were recovered with the help of the US Department of Homeland Security and Interpol and handed over to the government of India in January 2014," Mankodi narrates. "It is a matter of immense satisfaction that I could trace and retrieve the sculptures stolen from the temple since I was part of the excavation team," he adds.

Ashwin Aghor @CatchNews|8 February 2016

Thursday, February 04, 2016

'Imagine India;' Peabody-Essex Museum offers window into the reality of South Asia

Peabody-Essex Museum offers window into the reality of South Asia
By Will Broaddus Staff Writer Feb 4, 2016

'Imagine India;' Peabody-Essex Museum offers window into the reality of South Asia

We all have images of India, whether it’s the Taj Mahal, intense poverty or Bollywood movies.
“It’s hard to get beyond those,” said Sona Datta, curator of South Asian art at Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass. “I want to give people a way in, so it isn’t just an exotic, far away other.”
To help people explore the reality of India, the museum is hosting “Imagine, South Asia” this weekend with films, an art exhibit, a writing workshop, hands-on activities and a dance party.

There are eight nations in South Asia, including Afghanistan, Nepal and the Maldives islands, but the focus of “Imagine” will be on India and Pakistan.
These countries are the main subjects of “Treasures of the Indus,” a series of three films that have been broadcast in the United Kingdom, but will have their North American premier at “Imagine, South Asia.”
“It’s a series that I made with the BBC, that I wrote and narrated,” Datta said. “It’s a three-part historical travelogue that takes the viewer from northern Pakistan, through Moghul India and the Taj Mahal, and down into the south, where you have the big temples of southern India.”
While covering all this distance, the films — two of which will be shown on Saturday and one on Sunday — will also cross 5,000 years of history.
“It’s not only a series about grand monuments or architectural sites,” Datta said. “It’s about connecting history to modernity, and giving people a view of southern Asia they might not have.”
Datta’s first film, “Pakistan Unveiled,” explores misconceptions of that country on the part of both Westerners and native Pakistanis.
“We think of Pakistan as an Islamic country, newly formed, but actually it’s a new country with a very old history,” Datta said.
That history includes some of the first planned cities, which differed from those in Egypt because they weren’t governed by either “a great king or military.”
“It was egalitarian, counter to our image,” Datta said.
Pakistan has ignored these traditions because, following their partition from India, the country has sought a new identity to contrast with India’s, in spite of all the two countries share.
Two of the screenings will be followed by panel discussions hosted by Datta, who will be joined by scholars, artists and journalists.
Peabody Essex Museum is the perfect place to hold these events, she said, because its collection includes extensive and unique holdings of South Asian art and artifacts.
“I see South Asia as being part of the DNA of the museum,” Datta said. “The Asian narrative here is very strong.”
There are South Asian textiles, furniture and maritime instruments from the 17th and 18th centuries in the collection, along with a “world-class collection” of 19th century court photographs.
But there is also a collection of contemporary art from the Herwitz Collection that Datta said is “the biggest and broadest collection of Indian art in Europe or North America.” It’s what brought her to Salem from London.
“It was almost a frustration to me that none of the British museums where I worked for 10 years were engaging with the modern landscape of India,” she said.
One way Peabody Essex is doing just that is through the current exhibit “Intersections,” by Pakistani artist Anila Agha, who will discuss her work at “Imagine, South Asia.”
“It’s a very simple thing: a 6-foot steel cube that has been laser cut by patterns from Alhambra in Spain,” Datta said. “Inside, it’s lighted by a single 800-watt bulb, which casts shadows right across the room and visitors, so you become bathed by the installation and part of it.”
Alhambra was a palace built in the 14th century in Granada by Muslims, Christians and Jews, all working together, according to a museum statement.
Agha’s lantern attempts to recapture that sense of peaceful coexistence, which has often been denied to her as a Muslim and a woman.
“As a child, she felt a sense of awe and beauty at Islamic sacred spaces, but felt excluded, because in Pakistan there is gender segregation,” Datta said. “She was confined to worship at home.
“As an adult, she moved to America and felt welcomed and included as a woman, but she felt alienation as a Muslim.”
Agha will discuss her work in a conversation Sunday with National Book Award finalist Carla Power, who wrote “If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran,” about studying with an Islamic scholar in India for a year.

“This is an account of that encounter,” Datta said. “What this is really about is this whole picture of the East and West and the clash of civilizations, saying you’re with us or against us."
One way to keep people from assuming rigid positions is to undermine them, and Indian performance artist Mithu Sen will give an alternative tour of the museum on Saturday at 2:15 p.m. that unsettles most people's ideas of art and artifacts.
“She’s very interested in the etiquette of museums, and why we give values to things,” Datta said. “It’s an alternative tour, which she calls a ‘misguide.’
“There will be a level of discomfort, because she believes that discomfort is the moment of transformation.”
A drop-in, art-making activity inspired by the Taj Mahal will also be held Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m., and a dance party will be held that night with British arts collective House of Honey and DJ Ben “the Bee” Taylor.
“I wanted to have a party as part of the weekend, but it’s not just an add-on,” Datta said.
The group has been commissioned to prepare an audio-visual performance, which responds to Agha’s “Intersections” installation.
“It’s going to be a great party, so people better bring their dancing shoes,” Datta said.

What: “Imagine, South Asia,” a weekend of art, music, film, discussion and dance with a South Asian focus

When: Saturday, Feb. 6, and Sunday, Feb. 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. “Treasures of the Indus” tickets available day of programs: “Pakistan Unveiled,” Saturday, noon; “The Other Side of the Taj Mahal,” Saturday, 3:15 p.m.; “Of Gods and Men,” Sunday, 11 a.m. Concert by Jawwad Noor, 2:15 p.m., East India Marine Hall; unless otherwise noted, programs free with museum admission.

Where: Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex St., Salem, Massachusetts

Cost: Museum admission adults $18, seniors $15, students with ID $10, youth 16 and under and Salem residents with ID free

Information: For a complete list of events or more details, visit or call 978-745-9500

Friday, October 23, 2015

Christie's lines up classical Indian art for Mumbai auction in Dec

A buff sandstone figure of a dancing Ganesha, a Chola granite dvarapala figure and miniature paintings from the ancestral collections of Bikaner royalty will be among the rare items to go under the hammer in an auction to be held by Christie's on December 15, in Mumbai.

 Announcing its third consecutive India Sale, the world's largest auction house said that the sale will include a section dedicated to Classical Indian Art for the first time . 

William Robinson, International Head of World Art said: "When we made the bold move in 2013 to hold our first sale in India we had hopes of including Indian Classical Art in our auctions in the near future. With the necessary licenses now in place, we are excited to bring our longstanding expertise in this category, which has for so long been one of the cornerstones of our business, to our sales in India. As these objects are not able to be exported, but can still be exchanged in India, they will be safeguarded, and through the cataloguing process they will be properly identified and, for the time they are on exhibition, available for all to see and enjoy."

 Auction of Indian antiquities has always been a big draw for Christie's, which shored up a jaw-dropping $134 million in an auction of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth Collection in New York in March.

 One of the most important works of art offered in the sale is a buff sandstone figure of the dancing Ganesha. The statue is carved with voluptuous form as well as a sense of joyful elegance and agility. This signature piece of the sale will be auctioned at a base price of Rs. 70,00,000. Another life-size early Chola granite dvarapala sculpture from Yamini Krishnamuthi's collection is likely to fetch Rs. 1,20,00,000.

 Among other works to be sold will be approximately 80 lots from private and corporate collections. The auction includes modern masterpieces by c.

 Gaitonde's Untitled 1995 work maintains a delicate balance of light, texture, colour, and space, which makes the artist's paintings lyrical and luminous.

 Another art work to be auctioned is Tyeb Mehta's Untitled (Two Figures) painted in 1981, represents an important turning point in the artist's work, illustrating a growing complexity in composition and the facility of line. In this modernist masterpiece, the heavily textured impressionistic brushstrokes from Mehta's early days are completely transformed into a new painting mode.
IANS | New Delhi