ARTIANA – Highlights – Lot 1 – 10 – Jamil Naqsh (Works on Paper) – Online Auction – No Buyer’s Premium – 16-31 May 2020

Auction Catalogue – Jamil Naqsh (Works on Paper) – From The Jamil Naqsh Family Collection – May 16-31, 2020

ARTIANA – Jamil Naqsh (Works on Paper) – Online Auction – No Buyer’s Premium – 16 – 31 May 2020

ARTIANA, UAE’s first home-grown auction house for art and luxury collectibles, is offering 100 paper works by Pakistani artist, Jamil Naqsh in their upcoming auction on May 16 to May 31. This sale is a tribute to the artist on the anniversary of his passing and offers a unique opportunity for friends, collectors, and enthusiasts alike to pay homage to the master and acquire one of his works with impeccable provenance.  

The collection, exclusively from the Jamil Naqsh Family collection, showcases calligraphy works on paper in various media such as acrylic and ink, among others. These works which feature calligraphic interpretations of surahs from the Holy Qur’an provides a myriad of the artist’s works centered on his faith. Incidentally, the collection was curated with the majority of the lots based on Surah Fatheha, the first chapter in the Holy Book, which is traditionally prayed on funerals – to offer consolation, hope, and comfort to the departed loved one and his family on the occasion. 

The collection will be sold from May 16 (9:00 am) through May 31 (9:00 pm) UAE time through an online auction at www.artiana.com, offering ample time for interested parties to take part in. Along with that, the entire sale will be conducted with Artiana’s No Buyer’s Premium policy in an essentially ‘What You Bid Is What You Pay’ format. FlexiPay which allows buyers to ‘Bid Now Pay Later’ will also be available for eligible clients. (FlexiPay scheme details are available on their website.)

The catalogue can be viewed online on their website and alternatively on ISSUU. Due to the current COVID situation, gallery viewings are suspended; however, condition reports will be available upon request. 

Collectors may place bids at ARTIANA’s website, or through the mobile app available on both Google Play for Android and the App Store for Apple devices.

For information on how to register and bid, visit their website at www.artiana.com; For assistance and inquiries, call Artiana’s Help Desk at +971 55 815 3030 or write to info@artiana.com. 

Auction Catalogue – Jamil Naqsh (Works on Paper) – From The Jamil Naqsh Family Collection – May 16-31, 2020

ARTIANA – South Asian Art Auction – Modern & Contemporary | No Buyer’s Premium | 12-16 March 2020 | Auction Results

Our recently concluded South Asian Art auction was a success, with 90% of the lots sold, USD 1.4 million total sales and 89% estimate value sold.

For the complete auction result and analysis, please visit www.artiana.com.

Thank you for your bids! 

Auction Catalogue – South Asian Art – ‘Modern and Contemporary’ – March 12 -16, 2020

ARTIANA – Highlights – Lot 14 – Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art – Online Auction – No Buyer’s Premium – 12-16 March 2020

M.F. Husain’s vision was deeply entrenched in Indian sensibility from the outset of his career. He incorporated local traditions and juxtaposed diverse folk elements, plying numerous sources to present a wide range of themes in his works. In them, he covered the profound and the mundane, but returned time and again to his cultural roots. 

As a conscious artist, Husain looked closely at Indian literature and represented them in his paintings, reconfiguring and recontextualizing them to suit the needs of his time. He borrowed their classical themes and depicted them into his unique visual vocabulary, evolving his art and making it culturally comprehensive in the process.

Premise on the series on lovers, the current work highlights both traditional and contemporary literature featuring well-known characters and beloved stories juxtaposed with modern elements that seem out of place yet pushed the narrative for the artist. Here, the picture depicts the great philosopher Confucius falling in love. Featuring oriental themes to frame the narrative, Confucius is seen reaching out to his love, presumably Qiguan, his wife. 

In this reinterpretation, the artist used bright jewel-toned colors, even coarse lines, and postures from Indian classical sculptures in depicting the characters. These demotic stylistics, folk elements, and vibrant colors have come to characterize Husain’s signature style. 

Attempting to communicate the essence of these stories in simplistic compositions, Husain transformed his protagonists into archetypal figures and depicted them with featureless faces. He stretched their personas and used the immense narrative of the story to convey deeper meaning more than the explicit imagery. By placing them in an abstracted context, they become ambivalent, their purpose extending from straight-forward representation to a more metaphorical suggestion, and thus allowing for pluralistic readings. Ultimately, however, the correct interpretation is of less importance than the characteristic ambiguity of the works.

Auction Catalogue – South Asian Art – ‘Modern and Contemporary’ – March 12 -16, 2020

ARTIANA – Highlights – Lot 12 – Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art – Online Auction – No Buyer’s Premium – 12-16 March 2020

M.F. Husain’s vision was deeply entrenched in Indian sensibility from the outset of his career. He incorporated local traditions and juxtaposed diverse folk elements, plying numerous sources to present a wide range of themes in his works. In them, he covered the profound and the mundane, but returned time and again to his cultural roots. 

As a conscious artist, Husain looked closely at Indian literature and represented them in his paintings, reconfiguring and recontextualizing them to suit the needs of his time. He borrowed their classical themes and depicted them into his unique visual vocabulary, evolving his art and making it culturally comprehensive in the process.

Premise on the series on lovers, the current work highlights both traditional and contemporary literature featuring well-known characters and beloved stories juxtaposed with modern elements that seem out of place yet pushed the narrative for the artist.

Here, Cupid – the Roman God of love is shown above lovers amid war. The woman is seen waving the white flag of surrender while the man is riding on to battle. Interestingly, Cupid is depicted in blue – alluding to Lord Krishna – the god of compassion, tenderness, and love in Hinduism. 

In this reinterpretation, the artist used bright jewel-toned colors, even coarse lines, and postures from Indian classical sculptures in depicting the characters. These demotic stylistics, folk elements, and vibrant colors have come to characterize Husain’s signature style. 

Attempting to communicate the essence of these stories in simplistic compositions, Husain transformed his protagonists into archetypal figures and depicted them with featureless faces. He stretched their personas and used the immense narrative of the story to convey deeper meaning more than the explicit imagery. By placing them in an abstracted context, they become ambivalent, their purpose extending from straight-forward representation to a more metaphorical suggestion, and thus allowing for pluralistic readings. Ultimately, however, the correct interpretation is of less importance than the characteristic ambiguity of the works.

Auction Catalogue – South Asian Art – ‘Modern and Contemporary’ – March 12 -16, 2020

ARTIANA – Highlights – Lot 13 – Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art – Online Auction – No Buyer’s Premium – 12-16 March 2020

M.F. Husain’s vision was deeply entrenched in Indian sensibility from the outset of his career. He incorporated local traditions and juxtaposed diverse folk elements, plying numerous sources to present a wide range of themes in his works. In them, he covered the profound and the mundane, but returned time and again to his cultural roots. 

As a conscious artist, Husain looked closely at Indian literature and represented them in his paintings, reconfiguring and recontextualizing them to suit the needs of his time. He borrowed their classical themes and depicted them into his unique visual vocabulary, evolving his art and making it culturally comprehensive in the process.

Premised on the series on lovers, the current lot titled ‘Laila Majnu’ is based on the popular Arabic tale “Majnun Layla” about the 7th-century Bedouin poet Qays ibn al-Mullawah and his love, Layla bint Mahdi. In the story, Qays fell madly in love with Layla; in his obsession, he composed numerous poems of love repeatedly mentioning her name and earning him the moniker ‘Majnun,’ meaning crazy. Due to his social standing and reputation, they were ultimately kept apart, driving Majnu to insanity and death. 

The story dubbed as ‘the Romeo and Juliet of the East’ was passed from Arabic to several other languages and has been represented in varied artistic traditions throughout history. In this reinterpretation, Husain depicted Majnu deep in his madness – unkempt, begging for food, and wandering the deserts pining for his love. He used bright jewel-toned colors, even coarse lines, and postures from Indian classical sculptures in depicting the characters. The demotic stylistics, folk elements, and vibrant colors characterize Husain’s signature style. 

Husain attempted to communicate the essence of the story in simplistic composition, transforming his protagonists into archetypal figures and depicting them with featureless faces. He stretched their personas and used the immense narrative of the story to convey deeper meaning more than the explicit imagery. By placing them in an abstracted context, they become ambivalent, their purpose extending from straight-forward representation to a more metaphorical suggestion, and thus allowing for pluralistic readings. Ultimately, however, the correct interpretation is of less importance than the characteristic ambiguity of the works.

Auction Catalogue – South Asian Art – ‘Modern and Contemporary’ – March 12 -16, 2020

ARTIANA – Highlights – Lot 11 – Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art – Online Auction – No Buyer’s Premium – 12-16 March 2020

M.F. Husain’s vision was deeply entrenched in Indian sensibility from the outset of his career. He incorporated local traditions and juxtaposed diverse folk elements, plying numerous sources to present a wide range of themes in his works. In them, he covered the profound and the mundane, but returned time and again to his cultural roots. 

As a conscious artist, Husain looked closely at Indian literature and represented them in his paintings, reconfiguring and recontextualizing them to suit the needs of his time. He borrowed their classical themes and depicted them into his unique visual vocabulary, evolving his art and making it culturally comprehensive in the process.

Premise on the series on lovers, the current work highlights both traditional and contemporary literature featuring well-known characters and beloved stories juxtaposed with modern elements that seem out of place yet pushed the narrative for the artist. Like a still from a movie, a young lover can be seen driving in a Vespa. The man sporting an Errol Flynn mustache is an ode to old Hollywood films that Husain was deeply fond of, and to young love.

In this reinterpretation, the artist used bright jewel-toned colors, even coarse lines, and postures from Indian classical sculptures in depicting the characters. These demotic stylistics, folk elements, and vibrant colors have come to characterize Husain’s signature style. 

Attempting to communicate the essence of these stories in simplistic compositions, Husain transformed his protagonists into archetypal figures and depicted them with featureless faces. He stretched their personas and used the immense narrative of the story to convey deeper meaning more than the explicit imagery. By placing them in an abstracted context, they become ambivalent, their purpose extending from straight-forward representation to a more metaphorical suggestion, and thus allowing for pluralistic readings. Ultimately, however, the correct interpretation is of less importance than the characteristic ambiguity of the works.

Auction Catalogue – South Asian Art – ‘Modern and Contemporary’ – March 12 -16, 2020

ARTIANA – Highlights – Lot 16 – Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art – Online Auction – No Buyer’s Premium – 12-16 March 2020

Lot 16 – F.N. Souza – Still Life With Lamps – 1993 – 24 x 30 in. (61 x 76.2 cm.) – Oil on canvas

The Roman Catholic Church made a huge impact on the upbringing of F.N. Souza, shaping his personal beliefs and his art. He revisited the theme continuously through the years and incorporated most of its elements in his works, including still-lifes, pseudo-saints, and the palette of his landscapes. 

Painted in 1993, Souza explored the tradition of vanitas, a genre of still-life paintings showing the transitory nature of life and the certainty of death, in the current lot. He depicted a skull alongside a variety of lamps aflame to allude to the shortness and fragility of life, using his signature thick black outlines and somber palette. By placing them as if on an altar awaiting their part in some liturgical practice, he instilled a subtle ecclesiastical theme in the work. This depiction and setting, which he initially explored in the 1950s, represent a compositional cornerstone in the artist’s oeuvre.

Auction Catalogue – South Asian Art – ‘Modern and Contemporary’ – March 12 -16, 2020

ARTIANA – Highlights – Lot 19 – Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art – Online Auction – No Buyer’s Premium – 12-16 March 2020

“Toi, tu prends forme, 
moi, je serais sans cesse:
tous deux à la poursuite de l’union.

Ma joie, ton corps
tes délices, ma presence.

Je te donne visage,
tu me rends l’infinie.

Nous deux, un seul corps
Un nouvel être est né
le toi-moi, le moi-toi.

Entre nous plus de difference
moi toi, toi Tuka.” 

– Santo Tukaram

One of the many subjects Sayed Haider Raza pondered in his canvases was man’s relationship with the divine, borrowing inspiration from ancient teachings and philosophers in this quest. One of whom was Sant Tukaram, a 17th-century Indian poet and sant of the Bhakti Movement, best known for his devotional poetry (abhang). Tukaram made over 4,609 poems in his lifetime; the present work titled Toi-Moi, as written by Raza on the reverse of the canvas alludes to one of them. 

The devotional poem speaks of man’s desire to be close and in union with the divine. Raza employs two bindus side by side to signify the meeting of these forces – being the sacred symbols of the cosmos unmanifested – the beginning of creation and the point of unity. The bindus not only pervades the work but also accentuates and explains it. The dominant color blue, on the other hand, portrays a peaceful and vast nothingness, like the primordial waters of the cosmic ocean. Similar to Tukaram’s poems – which made use of simple verses composed of vernacular language, the artist devoid the canvas of any unnecessary elements to attain simplicity and portray the purest form of nature. 

The easel was not a place for convention for Raza but a space that encompasses a wide range of human experiences, resulting in a body of work that encapsulates an inner experience as much as a visual one. His mandalas and bindus stir as it delights the senses, weaving together the strands of art and spirituality and leading anyone who contemplates it in unity with the divine, like the abhang of Sant Tukaram.

Auction Catalogue – South Asian Art – ‘Modern and Contemporary’ – March 12 -16, 2020

ARTIANA – Highlights – Lot 40 – Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art – Online Auction – No Buyer’s Premium – 12-16 March 2020

Lot 40 – M.F. Husain – ‘A Newborn Child Held Gently by a Falling Leaf’ – 2005 – 72 x 90 in. (182.9 x 228.6 cm.) – Oil on canvas

India has had a long-standing tradition of reverence for motherly figures, and the concept of the mythological mother and child has remained a constant source of fascination throughout the centuries. ‘Yashoda and Lord Krishna’ or ‘Mother Mary with Jesus’ as ideals of motherhood has been an enduring theme in art, both in India and abroad.1 For M.F. Husain who had lost his mother from an early age, the theme was a compulsion. He revisited it through the years and sought this image in every feminine form, as seen here. 

Aptly titled ‘A New Born Child Held Gently By a Fallen Leaf,’ the current lot features an image of baby Krishna atop a golden leaf, separated from the featureless face of a mother, seen in the background. He forgoes depiction of any features of her face, concentrating instead on a blue bindu on her forehead, signifying his lifelong search for a maternal figure. Husain explained, “As I do not recall my mother’s visage, most of my female figures have no face details.” 

In Husain’s female form, there seems to be an invisible veil between the viewer and her presence so that the simplicity of the figure is countered by the inaccessibility. This propensity can be attributed to his childhood in a Muslim household, where the feminine presence alternates between the secretive and the visible, or to his suppressed yearning for a motherly figure that left him permanently bereft. Consequently, he depicted his women vaguely, like apparitions that refuse to disappear or fully appear in his canvases.2

As is typical of Husain’s works, colors were used emotively amid strong outlines and sharp angular lines, casting into motion his pictorial spaces. The brilliant colors with its symbolic and expressive values combined with his distinct human forms transform the narrative on the painting surface into an intimate experience of poetry. 

Text Reference: 
1 Aishwarya Kirit, The ‘Mother and Child’ in Modern Indian Art, Sahapedia.org, July 27, 2019
2 Yashodhara Dalmia, M.F. Husain: A Tribute, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, 2012, pg. 15

Auction Catalogue – South Asian Art – ‘Modern and Contemporary’ – March 12 -16, 2020