India’s largest contemporary art auction

New Delhi, Sep 27: India’s largest contemporary art auction titled ‘Present Future’ will feature 120 works by 87 leading contemporary artists. Scheduled to take place on September 28-29, 2021, the AstaGuru auction includes impressive works by artists such Bharti Kher, Atul Dodiya, Thukral & Tagra, Anju Dodiya, Jitish Kallat, Mrinalini Mukherjee, Ravinder Reddy, L N Tallur, Rana Begum, Shahabuddin Ahmed, and many more.

Aptly titled ‘Present Future’ the auction will showcase an eclectic range of paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations that represent the prevalent art trends and gives an insight into the future of contemporary art.

“Contemporary art in India is expanding phenomenally with a constant influx of unprecedented creativity and experimentation. The artists today are using various styles, mediums, and techniques to express themselves. And this trend has indeed intrigued collectors to acquire art that defines the present. Therefore, we at AstaGuru were determined to curate an auction that showcases the best creations stemming from the Contemporary Indian Art landscape. The presented lots in the auction include works from leading artists from the contemporary segment,” says Ankita Talreja, Contemporary Indian Art — Senior Specialist, Astaguru.

Leading the sale is a work by famous Indian contemporary artist Bharti Kher titled ‘An Eye, A Tooth’ (Lot 86) is a diptych wooden panel work with contrasting black and red bindis. Referencing the third eye that women wear on their foreheads, Bharti Kher’s iconic bindi artworks result from a meticulous and layered placing of the bindi on the surface. The artwork, executed in the year 2011 was also a part of Bharti Kher’s solo exhibition ‘Leave Your Smell’ that took place at Galerie Perotin, Paris. It was also published in the catalogue of the exhibition and will be offered at the auction with an estimate of Rs 1,10,00,000-1,20,00,000 (US$ 154,930-169,014).

Another key work from the auction collection (Lot 8) comes from one of the leading Indian contemporary artists, Anju Dodiya. Titled ‘Hauberk’, the double-panelled work was a part of the artist’s seminal 2007 solo exhibition ‘Throne Of Frost’ that took place at the Durbar Hall of the Lakshmi Vilas Palace in Baroda. Offered with an estimate of Rs 10,00,000-15,00,000 (US$ 14,085-21,127), the work was also published in the book ‘Throne Of Frost’.

Lot 48, ‘Untitled’ by Ravinder Reddy is a graceful head creation that is quintessential to the artist’s oeuvre. The larger than life rendering of the female form with sharp penetrating eyes is a perspicuous trope in Ravinder Reddy’s work. Executed in the year 1990-1991, the lot will be offered with an estimate of Rs 40,00,000-50,00,000 (US$ 56,338-70,423).

Another interesting work to be offered at the auction is by India’s pioneer contemporary artist Atul Dodiya (Lot 103) titled ‘Atul’. Executed in 1984 with oil paint and beeswax on canvas, it was painted during a phase of the artist’s career when he was influenced by American painter Jasper Johns, the lot will be offered with an estimate of Rs 15,00,000-20,00,000 (US$ 21,127-28,169).

With its sheer size, the artwork (Lot 116) titled ‘Untitled’ (Father Father -3) by senior contemporary artist Jitish Kallat perfectly captures the essence of the artist’s practice which is often rooted in profound themes of time, death, personal relations, etc. will be offered with an estimate of Rs 20,00,000-25,00,000 (US$ 28,169-35,211). Another work by the artist (Lot 20) titled ‘Anatomy of a Midnight Sneeze – 1’ will be offered at the auction. It depicts a street child of Mumbai with a stark palette dominated by vermilion red to draw the attention of the viewer towards the city’s large population of homeless children and child labourers, the lot will be offered with an estimate of Rs 15,00,000-20,00,000 (US$ 21,127-28,169).

An ‘Untitled’ 1996 ceramic sculpture from legendary artist Mrinalini Mukherjee (Lot 108) is another important artwork in the sale. Mukherjee’s experiments with ceramic started in the mid-1990s and she created a substantial body of work in the medium before moving on to bronze sculptures in the early 2000s. The presented lot, with an estimate of Rs 15,00,000-20,00,000 (US$ 21,127-28,169), was executed while she was at the European Ceramic Work Centre in ‘s-Hertogenbosch’.

A sculpture (Lot 56) by renowned contemporary artist L N Tallur is a part of the auction collection. Titled ‘Intolerance’ will also be offered at the auction with an estimate of Rs 10,00,000-15,00,000 (US$ 14,085-21,127).

Lot 113, a wall-mounted creation by Rana Begum titled ‘No. 499’ at once provides a visual and a spatial experience to the viewer. Executed with lacquer on steel, the artwork will be offered at the auction with an estimated price of

Rs 15,00,000-18,00,000 (US$ 21,127-25,352).

The auction will also feature an extremely striking painting, (Lot 119) titled ‘Somnium Genero Anima – Turbo 7’ by Thukral & Tagra from 2013. The work is part of a series of paintings where everyday objects like cameras, alarm clocks are executed in a way to render them in a human-like form will be offered with an estimate of

Rs 15,00,000-18,00,000 (US$ 21,127-25,352).

Revered Bangladeshi painter Shahabuddin Ahmed’s ‘Untitled’ creation (Lot 67), is constructed on an impressionist view of figuration with an abstract approach and will be offered at the auction with an estimate of Rs 6,00,000-8,00,000

(US$ 8,451-11,268).

The online auction will take place on September 28-29, 2021, and the entire auction catalogue can be viewed on AstaGuru’s website,