Bhupen Khakhar masterpiece to lead Bonhams’ London auction

New Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) Bhupen Khakhars modern masterpiece “Man in Pub”, a haunting portrait of withdrawn individuals, isolated in otherwise social settings, tagged at a price range of 250,000-350,000 pounds, leads British auction house Bonhams’s Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art sale in London on November 22.

Amongst the artist’s most celebrated works, “Man in Pub” was executed during a trip to the UK in 1979. The piece is a prime example of the artist’s facility for presenting vulnerable intimacy with bold, colourful flair.

An accountant by day, artist by night, Khakhar was preoccupied with the plight of the ordinary man. Inspired by personal experience, Khakhar’s paintings are often confessional narratives. Many of these make reference to his sexuality, Khakhar was one of the first Indian public figures to come out as homosexual.

“Bhupen Khakhar, until recently largely unknown outside India, has since become internationally acclaimed. This touching yet humorous piece, British in its content and Indian in its execution, is a prime example of Bhupen’s narrative and colourist skill”, Tahmina Ghaffar, Bonhams Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art specialist, said in a statement.

Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world’s largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques.

Syed Haider Raza’s “Paysage Nocturne”, a masterpiece of South Asian modernism, will also be on auction at Bonhams’ Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art sale in London. Recently discovered, the work is estimated at 30,000-50,000 pounds.

Other attractions include Francis Newton Souza’s “English Countryside, 1958”, estimated at 50,000-70,000 pounds; Ram Kumar’s “Untitled, 1960s Banaras period”, estimated at 80,000-120,000 pounds. Works of Abdul Rahman Chughtai and Rabindranath Tagore will also be auctioned.

–IANS

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