It is India once again at Christie’s. On 20 September, some of the greatest modern and contemporary works of art from the Indian subcontinent will be put under the hammer by the international auction house at New York’s Rockfeller Plaza to culminate its Asia Week calendar. The South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art auction, now in its seventh year, will have such names as Tyeb Mehta, F.N. Souza, S.H. Raza and Atul Dodiya. Sharing shelf space with these greats will be photographs by well-known Indians such as N. Pushpamala, Vivan Sundaram and Navin Thomas.
Pushpamala’s black-and-white Phantom Lady or Kismet, estimated between $8,000 (Rs3,25,600) and $12,000, was earlier exhibited at the Bose Pacia Gallery in New York in May 2004 and at Chicago’s Walsh Gallery a year earlier. Well-known for her avant-garde sculptures in terracotta before she turned to photography in the 1990s, the two photographs by Pushpamala are from an original portfolio of 24. These self-staged portraits, which draw a lot from cinematic conventions, have Pushpamala herself as the protagonist.
Vivan Sundaram’s Re-take of Amrita Sher-Gil—Still Life of Amrita, estimated between $6,000 and $8,000, is part of the series of photomontages he created on his aunt.
Puss in the City, by Bangalore-based Thomas and estimated at $12,000-$18,000, is a set of six photographs, showing the problems of urban life. It was also exhibited at the L’Ecole Nationale Superieure de Beaux-Arts de Paris two years back.