After F.N. Souza left London in 1967, he lived in New York, where he continued to experiment with new ways of creating landscapes and figurative works. His painting in the following decades included uniquely rendered chemical drawings that demonstrate color palettes of vivid hues, as seen in the current image.
Souza’s women were frankly sexual and shockingly exposed themselves. In each of his works, they become more and more voluptuous, and all the more revealing and sordid. Conversely, his women are awe-inspiring in their unabashed display and ownership of their sexuality, yet on the flip side is Souza’s belief in women as objects of sexual gratification.
The genre of the landscape was a cornerstone of F.N. Souza’s oeuvres as much as his scathing portraits and nudes. Like many of his works, he articulates his particular brand of imagery in them exhibiting an uncompromising commitment to his inner muse.
The present lot, painted in 1993, two decades after his move from London to New York, encapsulates a particularly joyful period in the life of the artist. Souza’s painting style from previous decades evolved, becoming looser, slightly abstracted, and full of bright colors. He produced works depicting nature and flowery images using colorful pigments that evoke a carefree and light atmosphere. Repeatedly emphasizing nature being the sole principle – a tenet of “Redmonism,” the colors that he concocted seem almost to rival those of life itself. Here, the limits of the picture plane are disregarded; the leaves break off into a sea of green, and branches like vines appear in the foreground as a means to create perspective.
Souza’s landscapes are ultimately lyrical with unrestrained enthusiasm in the application of colors. The effects of the vibrant and gestural color schemes belong to a world of memories captured in the richness of Souza’s vision.
Religion may be the root and theme of many of F.N. Souza’s work, but it was also his compulsion. It played an integral part in his art, along with another of his obsession, which was female nudity. The fact that Souza was so bitterly critical of the Catholic Church yet so obsessed with making dozens of images around biblical themes was so indicative of the tremendous mental anguish he endured.
A true iconoclast, he paid no reverence in the depiction of Jesus, the core of the Christian religion; instead, he portrayed him just using his signature strong blacklines without any colors, embellishments, pomp, or details associated with religious establishments. Even the expression reflected is that of sadness or hardship, basing from Souza’s whole theological position and convictions of suffering without redemption.
Souza made his mark as a profound artist by producing visually intense and often disturbing works. With his exceptional skills, he disturbed accepted notions of aesthetics and jolted stereotypical perceptions about religion, sin, and oppressive political orders, which he depicted in many of his art.
Dubai – ARTIANA Auction House announces a single-owner sale of affordable works on paper by Francis Newton Souza from the personal collection of Ravi and Uma Jain on 5 – 9 December 2019.
A combined total of 50 works will be offered across the five days sale featuring eminent artist Francis Newton Souza’s early sketches, landscapes, chemical-alterations, and still-life from the 1940s through the 1990s. Featuring memorable and personal drawings acquired from the artist — many of which are offered at accessible price points, the sale presents a unique opportunity for new and seasoned collectors to acquire works by one of the founder members of The Progressive Artists’ Group with stellar provenance.
The collection will be sold through an online auction at www.artiana.com from 5 December (6:00 pm) through 9 December (7:00 – 9:00 pm) UAE time with a No Buyer’s Premium policy, which is a unique ‘What You Bid Is What You Pay’ format in such auctions. 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. Collectors may place bids at ARTIANA’s website, or through the mobile app available on 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 email@example.com.
ARTIANA online auction house delivers to a global audience the excitement of art auctions with the ease and convenience of the internet medium and the reliability of a traditional auction house.
Functioning alongside the Auction House is a viewing gallery that serves as an exhibition space for auctions and private viewings, a Fine Art Finance department, and a specialized Fine Art Storage facility and bespoke collection management services with in-house art handling truck for transportation and temperature-controlled storage all conveniently located in Downtown Dubai amidst the central business district.
To know more about our services, visit our website at www.artiana.com or contact us at +971558153030/ firstname.lastname@example.org
M.F. Husain, one of the great artists that came from India, was born on September 17, 1915. Known as the painter of the people, he is celebrated for the exceptional yet sometimes controversial works that deeply embody the Indian aesthetics and made him popular and relatable to people from all walks of life. His themes too are Indian; from the great epics (the Mahabharata and the Ramayana) to Gandhi, Mother Teresa, the British Raj, to the motifs of Indian urban and rural life. His memorable works reflected the life of an artist that is as vibrant and spirited as his canvases.
Through his career, he enjoyed great popularity and reverence that earned him the moniker ‘The Barefoot Picasso of Indian Art’ attributed to his style which reflected influence from Pablo Picasso and his atypical characteristic of foregoing footwear no matter the occasion or the establishment.
As a tribute to the master on his birthday, here are 10 things to know more about M.F. Husain:
1. His exact birthday is unknown but as a general belief, he was born on the 17th of September 1915; a date that he thought of when he applied for a passport on 1950 for the first time without having proof of his birth date.
2. He started his art career painting cinema hoardings for six annas (1/16th of a rupee) each in 1930. Working on these huge hoardings helped him use space effectively and to paint quickly and boldly on large surfaces. He also took up designing and painting nursery furniture and toys to make a living before becoming a full-time artist.
3. He sold his first painting for Rs 10 in his first show in 1934. To date, his works fetch top dollars; his most priced work sold for USD 1.6 million at an auction in 2008.
4. An extremely prolific artist, his works are estimated to be in the thousands nearing to 40,000. It is said that at one point in his career, he was producing as much as 6 artworks per day.
5. He executed a mural painting titled ‘Mahabali’ (The Great Sacrifice) on the walls of the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in New York freehand. The 21-meter by 6-meter ‘floor to wall’ mural speaks of human suffering and the environment.
6. He walked around everywhere carrying a long oversized paintbrush that had become a part of his legend.
7. One of his favorite muses was Bollywood superstar Madhuri Dixit; his adoration of the actress resulted in many works inspired by her and her films. He would later direct the film ‘Gaja Gamini’ featuring the actress in 2000. Rumor has it that he watched one of her film a total of 67 times!
8. Husain’s diverse influences both in inspiration and style acknowledged his respect and openness to ancient and new styles of painting. He used symbolization to pay homage to some of the western masters by incorporating Salvador Dali’s signature mustache, Cezanne’s apple, and Van Gogh’s chair among others in his works.
9. Aside from being well-respected and sought after, he was also multi-awarded. He was conferred the Padma Shri (1966), Padma Bhushan (1973), and Padma Vibhushan (1991) by the Government of India along with several honorary doctorates from several distinguished universities.
10. Although considered one of the greatest artists in the history of Indian art, he remained in a self-imposed exile from 2006 until his death on June 2011. He accepted Qatari citizenship in 2010.
Published June 4, 2019 (widewalls.ch) in Widewalls Editorial: Collector’s Tip
If you are a Widewalls reader, by now you know that your go-to auction house when it comes to Modern and Contemporary South Asian art is ARTIANA. This young, yet relatable Dubai-based venture is now preparing yet another sale dedicated to the masters of the Indian subcontinent and their works in a splendid variety of media.
Here we are talking about some of the biggest names of the region, including Maqbool Fida Husain, Sayed Haider Raza, Francis Newton Souza and the Progressive Artists’ Group. Highlights of the sale belong to Raza’s 1974 painting Composition (estimate US$ 14,000 – 20,000), but also Husain’s rare Raj series – from it, the sale will offer Kathak Dance Performance at the Maharaja Darbar (US$ 350,000 – 550,000) and Andy Warhol versus Marilyn Monroe (US$ 250,000 – 350,000). Make sure you also do not miss Souza’s La Place Town Square (US$ 150,000 – 250,000) and calligraphies by Jamil Naqsh.
As usual, ARTIANA will apply its No Buyer’s Premium policy (what you bid is what you pay) and will allow its buyers to “Bid Now and Pay Later”, thanks to FlexiPay. More on this can be heard from ARTIANA’s own Lavesh Jagasia, who talks to Widewalls about what makes this sale remarkable and what the buyers can expect.
The South Asia Art Auction of June 2019
Widewalls: What can you tell us about M.F. Husain’s “Raj” series, whose “Kathak Dance Performance at the Maharaja Darbar” painting is the star lot of this auction? Why is this work seminal?
Lavesh Jagasia: M.F. Husain painted images from the colonial period in India in the late 1980s. This series of paintings which we came to know as the Raj series, is the artist’s memories of the British rule in erstwhile India. This work is seminal as it was painted when Husain first worked on this series and created fine works during the period.
Husain grew up with this imagery and chose to portray the lighthearted moments of the British rule rather than the somber. This satirization and refusal to historicize subjects gave him the freedom to portray the confluence of cultures in a humorous but nonetheless edgy way and distinguished his art from other artistic attempts to portray the specific time period. Furthermore, the lot highlights an important aspect of Husain as an artist – that is his portrayal of India’s varied artistic tradition as a continuum. By focusing on Kathak, a form of Indian Classical dance, and juxtaposing it with the subject of the Raj we can clearly see Husain’s interest in merging dance, visual art, and history in his work.
Widewalls: What about “Andy Warhol versus Marilyn Monroe”? Could this be considered a nod to Western art?
LJ: Besides his own surroundings, M.F. Husain was updated on international trends and icons of Western Art. In this particular image from The Lost Continent series, he acknowledges the impact of big personalities and their iconography in the popularization of the arts, and in his own unique visual language expresses his take on it as an artist of the world.
In this painting, besides paying tribute to another great artist, Husain delves into the commercialization of the arts through Andy Warhol’s fascination with Marilyn Monroe and his usage of screen-prints to extend the reach of his art. The work, both inquisitive and allegorical, poses questions to the onlooker regarding the popularity of Warhol’s art; either due to his commercial printing method or the usage of a popular icon that made it sought after. Aptly titled, Andy Warhol versus Marilyn Monroe, Husain explores the relationships between consumerism, fame, and sensationalism in this piece.
Widewalls: The sale will also offer calligraphies of the recently deceased Jamil Naqsh. Will the artist’s market soar after his death, in your opinion? What has your experience on such cases been so far?
LJ: Yes, we are offering 3 lots from this series, each lot comprising of 4 calligraphy works by Jamil Naqsh from his Painted Word exhibition of 2013. The works composed of Islamic calligraphies, use words and phrases with profound religious meaning in the Muslim faith, rendered in the late artist’s unique and modern style.
Typically the expectation which has also been our experience is that the prices do move up as the works tend to become rarer due to the demise of the artist. A sudden increase in prices usually only happens when an artist dies unexpectedly, in other cases of artists who passed away due to old age, this has already been factored in by the art market hence the firming up of prices of their artworks happens gradually over a period of time.
Why You Should Buy With ARTIANA
Widewalls: What does the FlexiPay bring to your buyers?
LJ: There are multiple benefits buyers can get through our FlexiPay – ‘Bid Now Pay Later’ scheme as long as the clients have been pre-approved for this facility.
All items offered in our auctions are eligible for deferred or installment payments under the installment scheme, which allows buyers to pay for artwork in installments ranging from 3 months to 24 months at a service charge of 1 percent a month, subject to paying a minimum 20 percent of the price as a down payment.
Buyers have access to a higher Loan-To-Value (LTV) ratio of up to 80% of our lower estimate value as compared with up to 60% of our appraised value on all external art assets with the arrangement fee of 2% of the advance amount waived for Buyers at our auctions.
Charges for evaluation, storage, and the conservator’s inspection report are complimentary for all ARTIANA clients.
Widewalls: How would you describe the process of gathering masterpieces of South Asian Art for an auction like this? What are the challenges? What is a must?
LJ: The biggest challenge is putting together a good selection of works for the catalogue, this is a combination of a treasure hunt and provenance checking on the shortlisted entries.
Another challenge is explaining to the prospective consignor that our one-sided 20% commission, which is deducted from the Winning Bid price is in effect actually less than them paying a lower sellers commission, and the auction houses then charging an additional 20-30% as Buyer’s Premium. In our case, the total transaction cost is reduced to almost half in comparison to our competitors. The usual response we hear is that the Buyer’s Premium is being paid by the Buyer for which we have to then explain that it still is part of the total price paid and usually all additional costs are factored in by prospective Buyers and their Bids are placed accordingly.
Whilst authenticity and quality are key to the items being offered, one has to make these works available at fair estimates, simultaneously meeting the sellers’ expectations.
Widewalls: What’s next for ARTIANA?
LJ: After our launch in March 2016, ARTIANA experienced a steady increase in sell-through rates through the years by maintaining our bi-annual South Asian sales and cementing our presence in the South Asian auction calendar.
With our expanding client base and continued diversification across collecting categories, clients can look forward to rare pieces and a wide range of artworks in our future auctions. After our inaugural international sale, Art Beyond Borders last March, we are planning to launch sales of Rugs and Carpets, Prints and Multiples, followed by an African Art auction in the latter part of the year.
ARTIANA, UAE’s first home-grown auction house for art and luxury collectibles, is offering 50 artworks from the Indian subcontinent in their South Asian Art auction on June 13 to June 17. Showcasing a broad and inclusive range of fine works in various media such as oils, acrylics and paper works, the auction features work by masters and leading contemporary artists from the region including M. F. Husain, S.H. Raza, F.N. Souza, and Jogen Chowdhury among others.
The collection also includes exceptional paintings by members of the Progressive Artists’ Group and their associates, providing a glimpse of the formative period in the development of Indian modern art. These include S.H. Raza’s 1974 painting, Composition, which is part of the culmination of the artist’s period of experimentation before the Bindu; an exceptional work by F. N. Souza from 1955, the apex of his artistic career, titled ‘La Place Town Square‘; and Ram Kumar’s semi-abstracted landscapes.
The collection will be sold through an online auction at www.artiana.com from June 13 (6:00 pm) through June 17th (9:00 pm) UAE time with a No Buyer’s Premium policy in an essentially ‘What You Bid Is What You Pay’ format. FlexiPay which allow 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, and viewings can be arranged by prior appointment. 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 email@example.com.