Something Old, Something Older

As the online bids for our Design Sale start pouring in, we present a quick and last look at some of the significant lots in this auction, along with Living Traditions, the concurrent online auction of folk and tribal art. Put together, they form an unusual and charming style of art and decor for the eclectic collector.

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Living Between Tradition and Modernity

Saffronart is excited to announce its April auctions dedicated to two important lifestyle defining categories.

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Motichand Khajanchi’s Legacy of Rajasthani Miniatures

The history of collecting classical Indian art in modern India is full of remarkable personalities. Karl Khandalavala, chairman of the Prince of Wales Museum (now the CSMVS Museum) from 1958-1995, was one of the most influential scholars in the field. He advised several early collectors, including Colonel R K Tandan and Khorshed Kharanjavala. In 2015, Saffronart auctioned a selection of miniatures and sculptures from their collections. The auction’s success, and the record prices it achieved point to a growing interest in acquiring quality works that represent a centuries-old tradition. In its upcoming sale, Saffronart presents yet another exemplary selection of miniature paintings from the collection of Motichand Khajanchi.

Motichand Khajanchi collected some of the finest miniatures in Rajasthan.

Motichand Khajanchi collected some of the finest miniatures in Rajasthan.

Motichand Khajanchi was born into a family of jewellers, whose patrons included the royal family of Bikaner. Following his father into the family business, Khajanchi travelled across the country and encountered diverse artistic traditions. He began collecting his first miniature paintings aged 15. The paintings he sought out, often buying them at locally held auctions, were also among the finest he collected. He spent heavily on them, often landing in trouble with his father in his early years, but also earned the friendship of artists and scholars who influenced him.

As Khajanchi’s collection grew, he was recognised as an authority on Rajasthani miniatures. He pored over old handwritten manuscripts that deepened his understanding of the literary and religious references in the paintings. When Rai Krishnadasa, a renowned art historian and the founder of Bharat Kala Bhawan in Varanasi visited Khajanchi, he was impressed with the quality of his collection. Krishnadasa suggested that Khajanchi lend some of his works to be displayed in a museum to benefit and educate the public. A selection of important works from Khajanchi’s collection, curated by Krishnadasa and Karl Khandalavala, was exhibited at the Lalit Kala Akademi in New Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta in 1960, and published in the accompanying catalogue. Some remain in the collection of the National Museum, New Delhi.

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Saffronart’s upcoming Classical Indian Art Auction features some of the most exquisite Rajasthani miniatures from Khajanchi’s collection. They include paintings from Bikaner, Mewar, Jaipur, Bundi, Kishangarh and Jodhpur.

Some of the paintings carry artist signatures on the reverse, and a few are from the personal collection of the Royal Family of Bikaner, making them all the more covetable.

Saffronart’s live auction of Classical Indian Art is on 9 March 2017 at the Saffronart gallery in Mumbai. It is preceded by viewings from 3 – 9 March 2017.

Your E-Pocket Guide to Exhibitions This June

The folks at Saffronart have put together a compact list of art events in Mumbai, Delhi, London and New York. All you need is a fully-charged phone to guide you and enough money if you’ve got travel plans.

There’s a lot happening in the South Asian art world that shouldn’t be missed. We’ve got it mapped for you, so head out and start taking it all in, beginning with…

Mumbai

Meera Devidayal: A Terrible Beauty, at Gallery Chemould Source: http://www.gallerychemould.com/exhibitions-works/a-terrible-beauty-meera-devidayal-chemould-prescott-road-art-mumbai-exhibition-mill-photograph-video-2014-cricket/Untitled_Painting.html

From the exhibition Meera Devidayal: A Terrible Beauty, at Gallery Chemould
Source: Gallery Chemould Website


Waswo X. Waswo: Sleeping Through the Museum
Where:  Sakshi Art Gallery, Colaba
On View Till: June 21, 2014

Has the title of the show piqued your interest yet? Udaipur based American artist Waswo X. Waswo simulates a museum in this solo show through numerous “artifacts” and photographs arranged to replicate the look and feel of one. On a deeper level, it questions the act of preserving and displaying such pieces as perpetuators of culture and heritage. For folks hanging out at SoBo and looking to do more than just kill time, head to Sakshi Art Gallery between 11am and 6pm, except on Sundays when they’re closed.

Amrita Sher-Gil: The Passionate Quest
Where:
National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai
On View Till:
June 30, 2014

Commemorating the birthday of the well-renowned late artist Amrita Sher-gil, this exhibition curated by art historian Yashodhara Dalmia presents a range of her oeuvre including works depicting her life in Paris, nude studies, still-life studies and portraits of her friends and her fellow students. Sher-gil, who is also recognized as India’s own Frida Kahlo, has been the youngest and only Indian artist to be elected as an Associate of the Grand Salon in Paris. The exhibition also includes her photographs, and original letters. A must-visit show for art enthusiasts in the city.

A Terrible Beauty
Where:
Gallery Chemould, Mumbai
On View Till:
July 9, 2014

This exhibition includes works by Delhi-based artist Meera Devidayal who has adopted the theme of the dilapidated mills of Mumbai and their future as the subject for her works. Her unique style and extremely sight-specific theme make this a show that is bound to make viewers not just appreciate the aesthetics of the works but also ponder about the future of the mills.

Figures of Speech: Using the Written Word in Contemporary Art
Where: Four Seasons Hotel, Mumbai
On View Till: July 15, 2014

Exploring the relationship between words and images, this exhibition features the works of contemporary artists such as N. Ramachandran, Bhavna Sonawane, Brinda Miller and Rajesh Patil among others. Of course, you can combine a visit to this exhibition with a meal or a coffee at the Four Seasons Hotel to make for a lovely afternoon or evening.

Walk the Line with Sudhir Patwardhan
Where:
Jehangir Nicholson Gallery, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai
Walkthrough:
Wednesday 11th June, 5 – 6:30 pm
On View Till: August 30, 2014

If the ongoing exhibition, “Taking the Line for a Walk” at the Jehangir Nicholson Gallery already doesn’t sound exciting enough to visit, the idea of being walked through it with contemporary artist Sudhir Patwardhan himself certainly makes it hard to miss. The exhibition showcases 45 drawings by well-acclaimed artists such as Tyeb Mehta, Akbar Padamsee, F.N. Souza, S.H. Raza, Laxman Shreshtha, Manjit Bawa and Sudhir Patwardhan. A message especially for the drawing enthusiasts out there: don’t miss this event!

 

Delhi

Raj Rewal:  “Memory, Metaphor and Meaning in his Constructed Landscape”  at NGMA, Delhi Source: caravanmagazine.in

From the exhibition Raj Rewal: “Memory, Metaphor and Meaning in his Constructed Landscape”, at NGMA, Delhi
Source: caravanmagazine.in

Kaleidoscope: Group Art Show
Where: Chawla Art Gallery, Delhi
On View Till: June 14, 2014 

This group exhibition shows some of the finest works of contemporary artists such Asit Kumar Patnaik, Bharat Bhushan Singh, Farhad Hussain, Jayasri Burman, K.S. Radhakrishnan, Ramesh Gorjala, Satish Gujral, Shipra Bhattacharya, Surya Prakash, Thota Vaikuntam, Tapas Sarkar and Manu Parekh. Having works by so many artists under one roof makes for an interesting variety of styles and themes. There is bound to be something that catches the eye of every individual view!

Raj Rewal: “Memory, Metaphor and Meaning in his Constructed Landscape”
Where: National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi
On View Till:
June 15, 2014

This is a retrospective show of the works of Raj Rewal, one of India’s finest architects. Known for several iconic buildings in India and abroad, his works have also been showcased at famous museums abroad such as the Pompidou Centre in Paris. Looking at architecture as a visual art allows for a unique experience for many viewers who may otherwise overlook the artistic element in buildings, which are typically judged by their functionality.

Identity Control
Where: Vadehra Art Gallery, Delhi
On View Till:
June 17, 2014

This exhibition features works that deal with “notions of policing, tracking, security, immigration, loss of individuality and rebellion, all of which are issues that affect us in more than one level.” Considering the different perspectives and approaches of leading contemporary artists such as Shilpa Gupta, Jitish Kallat, Karthik KG, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Natalia Ludmila, Armando Miguelez, should allow you to gain an extensive view of the complexities surrounding one’s identity.

Degenerate
Where: VadehraArt Gallery, Delhi
On View Till:
June 17, 2014

Featuring the works of contemporary artists such as Atul Bhalla, Ruby Chishti, Minal Damani, Jagannath Panda, Ashim Purkayastha and B. Ajay Sharma, this exhibition focuses on the different facets of Indian urban life in contemporary times. Combine a visit to this show with the ‘Identity Control’ exhibition, taking place in the same gallery!


London

M.F. Husain, Ganesha, 2008 from the exhibition M.F. Husain: Master of Modern Indian Painting at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London Source: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/mfhusain/about-the-exhibition/

From the exhibition M.F. Husain: Master of Modern Indian Painting, at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Source: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/mfhusain/about-the-exhibition/

S.H. Raza: Pyaas
Where:
Grosvenor Gallery
On View Till:
June 14, 2014

What would you say to being in London in summer for an exhibition of paintings by one of India’s most revered Modern artists? If it isn’t a whoop and a jump (or an acknowledging smile for the more poised amongst you), we can only surmise you don’t have a visa to make the trip. The exhibition ‘S.H. Raza: Pyaas’ is just the thing for art enthusiasts—it intends to display the development and range of styles in which Raza has depicted his characteristic subject matter in recent times. The paintings contain a great deal of vigour, vibrancy and a strong connection to India and its religious heritage.

Art Antiques London
Where:
Kensington Gardens opposite the Royal Albert Hall
On View: June 12 – 18, 2014, 11am onwards

‘The most important Asian sales of the year will be held in London during this annual event.’ —BBC Homes & Antiques Magazine

‘Asian Art in London is a brilliantly conceived celebration of Asian Art and has made London the undisputed Asian Art capital of the world.’ — Essential London Magazine

Accolades alone won’t do it, so hear it from us. Asian Art London has grown to become a highly prestigious art fair dealing in antiques and art, bringing together renowned dealers, collectors and enthusiasts. It is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to procure beautiful and rare items in antique and contemporary Asian art. Among participating galleries from London and Paris, Galerie Christophe Hioco is one to look out for. Crowning this is its convenient location opposite the Royal Albert Hall, against the backdrop of the verdant Kensington Gardens—you certainly can’t say no to that!

Olivia Fraser: Subtle Bodies Exhibition
Where: Grosvenor Gallery
On View Till: June 21, 2014

India’s art traditions draw the internationally-acclaimed artist Olivia Fraser to reference it in her works, and her latest paintings attest to this. Having lived in India for the last ten years, Fraser’s work reflects a grasp of Indian traditional iconography, but used to express sensations of a meditative process. ‘Subtle Bodies’ displays a mix of paintings on hand-made paper and limited-edition prints prepared during the last few years and the work announces Fraser’s emergence. The incredible blend of east and west, traditional, and contemporary for the new exhibition is a direct reflection of Fraser’s ideology.

M.F. Husain: Master of Modern Indian Painting
Where: Victoria & Albert Museum, South Kensington
On View Till: July 27, 2014

Seems like there’s no end to exhibitions featuring South Asian art in Central London. Head to the V&A for a sumptuous collection of paintings by Maqbool Fida Husain (1915-2011). A member of the Bombay Progressives, he was famed for his freehand drawing and vibrant colours and was among India’s pioneering Modern artists. The eight painted triptychs on display illustrate Indian civilization and were commissioned in 2008 by Mrs Usha Mittal as a tribute to the richness of India’s history. The artist was still working on the project at the time of his death and originally envisaged a series of 96 panels. History and religion feature in a feisty splurge of colours and expression—be sure to not miss out on this one!


New York

Sadequain  UNTITLED, RED BRACELET, 1980s from the exhibition Sadequain: A Retrospective at Aicon Gallery, New York Source: http://www.aicongallery.com/exhibitions/2014-06-12_sadequain-a-retrospective/?page=2#/images/20/

From the exhibition Sadequain: A Retrospective at Aicon Gallery, New York
Source: http://www.aicongallery.com/exhibitions/2014-06-12_sadequain-a-retrospective/?page=2#/images/20/

Sadequain: A Retrospective
Where:
Aicon Gallery, New York
On View: June 12 – July 12, 2014

When the Moderns were earning a name in India, Sadequain Naqqash carved his path to fame and later came to be known as a pioneering Pakistani artist in his country and the world. He came from a family of scribes and the background served him well: Sadequain came to be recognised as Pakistan’s foremost calligrapher and painter and is credited with the renaissance of Islamic calligraphy in Pakistan. His vocabulary developed through a mingling of Eastern and Western artistic traditions, as well as Hindu and Muslim ideology. Aicon Gallery hosts a collection of 24 works from the 1960s to the ’80s that trace the trajectory of his artistic development.

Lost Kingdoms: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia, 5th to 8th Century
Where:
Metropolitan Museum of Art
On View Till: July 27, 2014

This monumental exhibit is the first of its kind and scale to bring together works on loan from South East Asia’s distinguished national collections, showcasing sculptural art produced in the earliest kingdoms of the Southeast Asian region. The Lost Kingdom features some 160 sculptures representing distinct Hindu and Buddhist cultural groups that flourished in the Southeast Asian region, that has been out of view owing to the shadow of time. Epigraphic efforts of the 20th century brought to the fore the cultural practices and remains of the Pyu, Funan, Zhenla, Champa, Dvāravatī, Kedah, and Śrīvijaya groups, which date back to many centuries. The art works highlight the influence and local amalgamation of Indic culture in regional belief systems and practices. It is interesting to see popular deities from India being depicted in a different avatar by these regional patrons. Many of the works have never travelled outside their source countries before providing visitors an opportunity to view works they may not have access to easily.

SxSE: Selections from the Asia Society Museum Collection
Where:
The Asia Society Museum
On View: June 17 – August 3, 2014

Don’t miss out on this selection of video artworks which will be on display at the Asia Society Museum, starting June 17. It features works since 2000 by South and Southeast Asian artists that highlight current artistic trends in the region, with a special focus on disparities between globalisation, modernisation, urbanisation and tradition.

For the insatiable among you, we have an events listing page that is updated each month. Be sure to drop by regularly for updates.

Closing of Elegant Design

Elizabeth Prendiville of Saffronart New York covers the results of the popular Elegant Design 24 hour sale.

 

New York: Tuesday March 25th marked the opening of Elegant Design, Saffronart’s premier vintage interior design sale. The sale was immediately followed by its twin auction, Works on Paper, opening on March 26th. Elegant Design featured 109 important vintage items in interior and decorative art including rugs, silver, and various furniture pieces. Each lot was carefully selected to represent the most pivotal periods in the decorative arts both in India and worldwide. An example of this can be seen in the campaign furniture, depicting the specific needs of the British army in the 18th and 19th century.

 

Spanning the most pivotal eras in interior design history, each lot also featured a variety of exquisite mediums and materials. The sale featured pieces made from a variety of rare woods such as rosewood, teakwood, mahogany and padauk wood. Graceful, small items such as A Rare Matched Pair of Kutch Silver Tea Cups (Lot 68) and large statement pieces such as An Indian Mother Of Pearl Door (Lot 105) all displayed a variety of excellent aesthetic detail appropriate for any space. Exhibiting equal parts beauty and function, each lot was an exceptional addition for any collection and home.

A STUNNING AND HIGHLY IMPORTANT EBONY HEADBOARD http://www.saffronart.com/customauctions/AuctionResults.aspx?eid=3658

A STUNNING AND HIGHLY IMPORTANT EBONY HEADBOARD http://www.saffronart.com/customauctions/AuctionResults.aspx?eid=3658

Due to the wide range of beautiful vintage pieces the sale received extremely positive media coverage from a variety of media publications including Elle India, ArtDaily and DNA India. The top ten valued items from the sale ranged from furniture to silver flatware to lighting fixtures. The highest winning lots included A Magnificent and Rare Art Deco Chandelier (Lot 25) coming in at $18,772 and A Stunning and Highly Important Ebony Sideboard (Lot 33) with a winning value of $9,447. Overall the most popular and sought after items varied greatly in materials, geography and design history. The sale concluded with sixty-six lots sold and a total winning value of $176,469. It is clear from the warm reception and enthusiasm for these beautiful items that vintage design and décor is still a lovely and timeless edition to any buyer’s collection.

 

To learn more about some of the items featured in Elegant Design visit Campaign Furniture: Historical Function and Design and click here for a full analysis of the overall sale.

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