A bit of bohemia in Delhi boudoirs (Weekly Art Column, Rainbow Palette, With Images)

February 20th, 2009 - 11:39 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 20 (IANS) Andy Warhol, the American artistic icon of the 1960s, has entered the minimalist drawing rooms of the capital. He may not have come as an original - but signed prints are no less precious. It is Warhol, after all.

The Marigold Group, a well-known luxury purveyor, marketer and distributor of international brands, opened its second gallery space, Marigold Fine Art Gallery, in the capital with an exclusive collection of contemporary European art, “The Genius of Perverspective”, that included signed reproductions by Andy Warhol, Salvadar Dali, Jorg Doring, Patrick Hughes, Stephane Cipre, Serge Mendjisky and Pablo Picasso.

The Andy Warhol print, “Mao - The Announcement”, was actually an invitation card to an exhibition of the artist’s works before he became famous in the 1960s. According to Vickram Assomull, who manages the gallery along with brother Gaurav, only 50 invites, which were signed by Warhol, were printed for the exhibition; and three of them were tracked down. “We managed to get one of them. The exhibition was held long before he became famous. Not many people know about it,” Assomull said.

The card on handmade paper bears the face of Mao Zedong in different colours. It was designed by the artist himself. Warhol or Andrew Warhola, born in 1928 was an American painter, filmmaker and conceptual artist. He died in 1987. The Warhol memorabilia on offer here was priced at Rs.1 million.

The exhibition also displayed limited editions reproduction of Salvadar Dali’s “The Surrealist Newton”, a figurative sculpture in bronze and “Dance of Time”, a watch shaped like a leaf.

A canvas series of a Marilyn Monroe in different moods by German pop artist Jorg Doring was effervescent. Doring is known for his portraits of American icons like Warhol, Monroe, Steve McQueen, Audrey Hepburn and Ursula Andress. He also paints comic book heroes Donald and Mickey.

Other exhibits included a series of three-dimensional relief drawings by English artist Patrick Hughes and three large format urbanscapes by Parisian Serge Mendjisky. The art works are priced between Rs.500,000 and Rs.3 million.

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Asian heritage under Christie’s hammer

Global auction house Christie’s will host seven sales for the Spring Asian art week March 17-20. The highlight of the sale will be on March 20 when Christie’s will offer a private single-owner collection of 21 artefacts from India and Indonesia, followed by a combined sale of Indian and Southeast Asian art.

The two sales will offer over 200 lots of sculpture, paintings, ritual objects and works of art from Asia.

In a press communique issued by Christie’s from New York, the most prominent sculpture is a buff sandstone figure of Sachika from Rajasthan dating back to 1179, estimated at $200,000-300,000. The sculpture is a detailed carving of a goddess standing with one foot atop a buffalo as a lion bites into its hindquarters.

The highlight of the Indian and southeast Asian lots will be a large group of Shiva and Uma as Somaskanda from Tamil Nadu. It dates back to the Chola period in the 13th century. The work, estimated at $600,000-800,000, has been on loan to the Minneapolis Institute of Art from 1953 to 2008 and is in an excellent state of preservation. A bronze figure of Vishnu dating back to the eighth century, once in the collection of Governor Louis Bonvin, is also another important artefact on sale.

The auction will also offer a group of Indian miniatures of the Guler, Mughal and Himalayan (Nepal) schools.

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Women on Sadiya’s frames

Fine art photographer Sadiya Kocher is an unconventional photographer, whose strong women- oriented subjects will be on display Feb 26 at the Polka Art Gallery in the capital under the heads “Symbols… forms and stereotypes”.

The woman in the photographer comes across as the child, the lover, the goddess and the whore - the stereotypes down the ages - in fluid mobile forms. Her black and white compositions of the modern woman are striking and full of energy.

The exhibition, also titled “Sadiya” after the author’s name, reflects her journey as a photographer. She launched a book in Dec 2003, “Being…” and followed it up with a show called “Within” in 2005 and another one called, “Zikr” in 2006. Sadiya exhibited in San Sebastian in Spain in 2006.

She draws her themes from places that she visits in course of her journeys abroad.

(Madhushree Chatterjee can be contacted at madhu.c@ians.in)

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