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Past meets present on February 12 at Saffronart's Live Auctions
Jehangir Sabavala, Cape and Promontory, 1977. Oil on canvas, 52.5 x 39 in. Estimate: $196,725 - 295,085.

MUMBAI.- On Thursday, February 12 2015, The Gallery Rooms at the Four Seasons Hotel in Mumbai will be decked wall to floor with art. Saffronart, one of India’s largest auction houses, is hosting two back-to-back live auctions featuring edgy Contemporary Indian art and vibrant Modern art by iconic names.

The Contemporary Day Sale is a no-reserve auction scheduled to begin at 5:00 pm IST. A terrific opportunity for first-time buyers, it features 67 lots by some of the most sought-after names in contemporary art. Bharti Kher’s “Train’D To Kill 1” leads the sale. Created entirely out of bindis, Kher uses them as a powerful tool to explore feminism, class, and the dichotomy of tradition and modernity. Concentric bindis are perfectly aligned in rows, suggesting rigour and discipline towards achieving a goal. Viewed in conjunction with the title, the work bears sinister undercurrents, drawing from broader issues of humanity and history.

Other prominent Contemporary artists featured include Subodh Gupta, T.V. Santhosh, Atul and Anju Dodiya, Nataraj Sharma, and Thukral and Tagra.

Following this, the Modern Evening Sale begins at 7:30 pm IST and features 70 lots. It is led by Jehangir Sabavala’s “Cape and Promontory” (1977), which is on the cover of the auction catalogue. In this work, Sabavala explores the theme of journeying and has executed each line, form, contour and colour with controlled precision. We see figures dangerously close to the ridge of a cape. They appear to scan the promontories ahead of them, unfolding endlessly and merging with the distant horizon. Yawls meander through the ravine and fade into the distance. The painting represents a phase of a journey: one that has either concluded or is about to begin. Many buyers have expressed a keen interest in the artist’s works. One of his earlier works, “The Flight into Egypt – I”, sold for INR 3 crores at a Saffronart auction last year, setting a world record price for the artist.

“Oasis” (1975), a remarkable achievement by Sayed Hyder Raza, also features among the leading lots on auction. It was made in the same year Raza had begun undertaking frequent trips to India, and his understanding of what he encountered in India manifested in this work. He studied Jain, Rajput and Bahsoli paintings, noting their use of colour and composition. His approach to immersing himself in the language of India was multi-disciplinary. He did not limit himself merely to sculpture and painting, but sought to understand philosophy and the lyricism of poetry and ragas. Oasis thus falls into a phase when his understanding of the emotive and gestural through the use of colour and structuring had matured.

This sale also features works by other noted modernists including Maqbool Fida Husain, Jagdish Swaminathan, Akbar Padamsee, F. N. Souza, and Gaganendranath Tagore.

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