Subodh Gupta’s canvas to be highlight of Sotheby’s Hong Kong sale

September 26th, 2008 - 7:15 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 26 (IANS) Leading contemporary artist Subodh Gupta will be the highlight of Sotheby’s first-ever Evening Sale of Modern and Contemporary Asian Art in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is the world’s third largest market after New York and London in terms of art traded at the auction. Of the seven Indian artworks, which are to be up for sale, the cornerstone of this tightly curated clutch of art will be an “Untitled” oil-on-canvas by Subodh Gupta, estimated at HK $12-16 million (US $ 1.5 million- $2.05 million).

The canvas which is about migration, a theme common to contemporary Indian art, ranks among the most important works by Gupta to appear in the auction market in terms of value and size.

The large-format painting measuring 203 X 421 cm is an insightful tribute to India’s constantly changing society. In many of his works, Gupta elevates “gharti” (household equipment tied in a bundle) to the status of a ceremonial icon, often showing it being carried in processions at airports. In the canvas, which will be on sale in Hong Kong, it has been placed on the top of the iconic Ambassador taxi.

The artist has, however, has not made it clear whether this is the beginning or the end of the journey, a factor which best represents the continuous cycle of migration.

Another highlight of the show is the Rickshawpolis-3 by Mumbai-based artist Jitish Kallat. The canvas is estimated at HK $ 1,200,000- $ 1,600,000 (US $ 1,55,000-$210,000). Kallat’s work has been influenced by all the contemporary genres from popular culture, movies, political posters to slick billboards of international advertising.

The sale will also feature works by T.V. Santosh, Jagannath Panda, Justin Ponmany, Thukral & Tagra and Chintan Upadhyay.

“We are all very excited to be offering works by Indian contemporary artists in Hong Kong. This is a market that has seen rapid growth in recent years and we feel that this is the perfect time to introduce Indian artists to our contemporary Asian art sale there.

“The seven works on offer were carefully selected. They are all top quality pieces and Gupta’s work is one of the most important works by him to ever come to the auction market,” Zara Porter-Hill, director and head of Indian art at Sotheby’s, said in a press statement issued from Britain.

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