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Paintings at Saffronart (representational image, credits-Google)

Wed, 8 Feb 2017: A rare painting of Bhanu Athaiya, the first Indian to win the Oscar in 1983 for costume design in Richard Attenborough’s film “Gandhi”, will go under the hammer at Saffronart’s evening sale on February 16.

The painting by modernist artist Vasudeo S Gaitonde that immortalises Athaiya, Gaitonde’s student at the J J School of Art, was later acquired by fellow modernist Krishen Khanna and is estimated at Rs 23 crore.The modern Indian art sale also features significant works by stalwarts like Tyeb Mehta, Ram Kumar, M F Husain, and Akbar Padamsee among others, PTI reported


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“We are proud to present an extraordinary and carefully curated collection of modern masterpieces. It features leading names including V S Gaitonde, Tyeb Mehta, Ram Kumar, M F Husain and F N Souza. Gaitonde’s painting of Bhanu is a rare and significant work,” Hugo Weihe, CEO of Saffronart said while talking to PTI.

The ‘Falling Figure’ (1965), one of Mehta’s earliest works, that won him a gold medal in the First Triennale of Contemporary World Art is estimated at Rs 57 crore.

The painting was an outcome of the artist witnessing the death of a man falling through a window during the Partition riots in 1947.

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“Mehta’s pared down minimalism, light colour and vigorous brushwork create an unlikely juxtaposition with the trauma that is the subject of his work. Mehta’s ‘Falling Figure’ is one of the earliest versions of his seminal series,” Weihe said.

A diptych by Padamsee is being offered at Rs 35 crore.

A continuation of the artist’s ‘Mirror Image’ series which are imagined landscapes, it offers a glimpse into his meditations on time, space and the duality of perception and reality through form, colour and texture.

Ram Kumar’s 1961 landscape ‘Benaras’, is an important early work of a subject that became the artist’s major preoccupation for the next several decades, marking a transition from his earlier figurative works.

The painting is estimated at Rs 65-85 lakhs.

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An unusual portrait showcasing a stoic Kumar painted by Husain in Kumar’s early figurative style, that is estimated between Rs 50-70 lakhs is also part of the sale. The artwork highlights the camaraderie between the two artists.

“Husain made the painting to honour Kumar, when the latter was unable to attend a joint exhibition of the two artists in Prague in 1967,” Weihe said.

The auction will be held in Mumbai.


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