Prinseps modern art auction sees 90 pc sale

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New Delhi, Jul 12 (PTI) Prinseps’ recent Modern Art Sale witnessed an exceptional 90 per cent sale, fetching a total of Rs 5 crore, statement from the auction house said.

The sale featured a total of 43 lots including paintings, sculptures and manuscripts by pioneering modern Indian artists like M F Husain, Manjit Bawa, and Prabhakar Barwe among others.

The sale was led by Bawa’s iconic painting “Lady with a Bird” (1999) that sold for Rs 1.87 crore.

“The painting depicts a simple figure of a woman holding a bird and is remarkable for its use of bright pastel colors and the interplay between the figures limbs, anatomy and space,” Prinseps said in the statement.

Having appeared on the market after two decades, the painting is an exemplary example of an artist whose work is rarely seen at auctions.

“This was our finest auction to date with 90 percent of items sold. The strong results clearly demonstrate that the demand is there in the market and is a testament to our team sourcing exemplary work with strong provenances,” said curator Indrajit Chatterjee.

Also part of the sale was Prabhakar Barwe’s “Whispering Green', a vivid mixed media on canvas painted by the artist in 1974.

Barwe used matchsticks to create a uniform abstract design set against a smooth green background.

The work met its higher estimate at Rs 75 lakhs.

Husain’s “King of Hearts” went for a whopping Rs 56.25 lakhs, a strong result for an early work which showed the artist's strength during his formative years.

Ganesh Pyne's 350 page diary, which offered a fascinating insight into his life, sold at Rs 68.75 lakhs, surpassing its upper estimate.

The auction also had on offer the 1950 manuscript of The Constitution of India, which fetched Rs 27.5 lakhs, more than three times its auction estimate.

Other works of note included Bikash Bhatacharjee’s Untitled (1992) work that demonstrates the artist's preoccupation with female beauty through textural effects of crayon and pencil on canvas, and Pradosh Dasgupta’s “Lovers” (1978), a defining piece of Indian sculpture from one of Bengal’s great 20th century artists. PTI TRS MAH MAH

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