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.
With a career spanning over 40 years, in a period of enormous cultural and historical changes in his native Uzbekistan, Bakhodir Jalal is considered one of the leading figure of art in Central Asia.
He is credited for the reinvigoration of the mural genre and in helping shape a new cultural and artistic landscape. While his influences range from architecture, mosaics, nature, as well as from more formalist elements of Western modernism, Jalal’s art practice is firmly rooted in his national heritage. He produces works that merge various techniques reflecting his country’s ancient traditions, culture, and socio-political climate.
As with his abstract works, “Memory of the Land” is characterized by its intricate details depicting mythological stories and fantasy worlds from his imagination. He used fluid forms and colors replete with traditional Uzbek ornamentation and textile motifs to express himself. Speaking about the influences on his work, Jalal says, “My father worked in an ikat factory, and those beautiful textiles opened my eyes to color and texture at an early age. I was also inspired by the beauty of the landscape…”
Sakti Burman is a figurative artist for the most part, but the association of his figures defies the general norms and logic of reality. Apart from his drawings, Sakti paints mostly in three mediums – oil, watercolor, and pastel. While his oils are generally jubilant and vibrant, his watercolors are somewhat restrained which can be attributed to his treatment of space. This technique which developed towards a synthesis of naturalness and the abstract helps him create a minimal yet surreal environment.
“In his watercolors, he transforms vacuity of the space into a divine light of the sky through the treatment of his figurative forms. The second characteristic of his watercolors is the use of texture especially his signature pointillist. But the transparency and subtlety of application of chromatic points bring out a different character in his watercolors. The smudgy display of minute chromatic points intermingling with very tiny yet crafty non-chromatic voids displayed by the whiteness of paper creates a wave that dilutes the naturalness or reality of the environment and transposes the characters in the pictorial field to a different conceptual environment and helps to bring down the divine on the earth and elevate the mundane towards a noble sensation. This nobility is the essence of his expression.” (Mrinal Ghosh, The Divine Desire: Paintings of Sakti Burman, Aakriti Art Gallery, Kolkata, 2015, pg.5)
Khaled Ben Slimane is a renowned sculptor and painter whose artistic practice comes from his quest for spirituality. His creative pursuit spanned the gamut of exploration; from time, the universe, space, and the mystical quality of symbols and signs. He reutilized traditional ways and materials such as canvas, bronze, wood, paper, and ceramics.
Hailing from Tunisia, he’s one of the numerous artists from the region that explored the precise dimension of signs and symbols, drawing from Berber motifs and the rich Islamic heritage. Traditionally, the symbols were painted on walls of villages and homes for their healing quality and to embody magical attributes that guard against evil and misfortunes.
By invoking their aesthetic qualities, using them in organic compositions or expanding on their mystical properties, he combines traditional symbols from the Berber culture with Andalusian themes to create abstract work that references the past and present.
Here, employing graphism Slimane synthesize new symbols from old forms to produce new meanings in a distinctive style reflective of his interest in different cultures. Also present in this work are his signature elements – the calligraphy that gives movement to his work and the repetitive colors – ochre and gold which were inspired by the masters he worked with in the past and contribute to his overall composition.
Ablade Glover is one of Ghana’s acclaimed artists and regarded as a seminal figure on the West African art scene. Having been trained in Ghana, Britain and the United States, his artistic exploration conveys aesthetic acculturation of complex African representations fused with western modes of artistic expression.
Glover preferred to work on urban subjects like market places, lorry parks, shanty towns, urban spaces crowded with ordinary people, and studies on the women of Ghana showcasing the visual richness of the continent while linking modern Ghana with the mythological past of the African tradition.
The current lot is a vibrant oil painting, part of Glover’s profile series which illustrates Ghanaian women in profile, rendered in hues of yellow. Part of his signature is the depiction of the woman in a stylized yet recognizable rendition of reality, swirling between abstraction and realism. Also evident is the “wet into wet” technique using thick application of paint that results in a textured finish that Glover is known for.
Movement and energy are emphasized in the vigorous palette knife application and the thick impasto that he employs in his works. Gestures are transformed into jagged lines accentuated by frenzied pop of colors to emphasize a sense of activity and motion, while his choice of colors reflect the bright colors and textures of Ghanaian fabric and textile. An element of pointillism is also present in his work where you have to stand back from the scenes, in order for the shapes, tones, and colors, to blend into each other.
“Glover’s paintings radiate both movement and color. Using a palette knife in place of a brush, and starting with simple shapes, his paintings accumulate weight by a process of repetitive strokes, which create surprisingly dynamic images out of seemingly static planes. What appears to be a brilliantly executed abstraction at close quarters suddenly comes into a magical focus on retreat from the canvas, and a seemingly chaotic tangle of colors[…]” (Africa Now! Emerging Talents from a Continent on the Move exhibition catalogue, Washington DC, 2007, p.102)
Bobur Ismoilov is one of Uzbekistan’s premier artists, His works explore the depths of human nature and are deeply rooted in the Uzbek culture. He takes components from theatre, illustration, opera, ballet, and video installations for his oil-on-canvas creations.
Ismoilov has a deep affection for the theatre, particularly since it dates from antiquity in Uzbekistan. He directed the musical play “The Tricks of Nasreddin” at the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet (1997) and worked at the Republic Puppet Theatre and the Theatre of Drama from 1997 to 2000. Having had this background from the performing arts, some of his works drew inspiration from theatre including the present work. Explaining the symbolism of his work Ismoilov alluded, “I paint from my heart and soul. The scenes reflect episodes around me. There is no particular philosophy in what I show — it is only the world around me!”
Drawing inspiration from ancient histories, early Byzantine art, medieval tapestries, and mythology Timur D’Vatz produces dreamlike creations featuring the timeless metaphor of hunting.
He used the motifs of dogs and falconers to emphasize the ancient theme of a hunt. Here, he depicts the figure of a hunter with the pointed hat of a magician or shaman ready for the sacred ritual. The gold colored hunting robes emphasize the idea of the ceremony while the birds of prey perched on the arm and the dog posed with overarching necks give a sense of movement gutepotenz.de. The concept, widely held among hunting people and often found in prehistoric art referred to them as the master of the animals.
Early Russian icons influence the elongated forms of the figures as seen here. The use of golden colors reflects the traditional gold ornamentation of Uzbekistan. D’Vatz masterfully merges the ancient culture and traditions of Central Asia to create a powerfully iconic image.
The paradoxes that exist in the relationship between man and nature lies at the heart of Manu Parekh’s Banaras. As a continuation of the artist’s fascination for the intriguing contradictions that lie within the holy city, issues of mortality and the temporal nature of all existence are referenced in his colorful landscapes.
On his Banaras inspired paintings, Manu Parekh said, “I had always wanted to create a truly Indian landscape, and in Banaras I found the inspiration and the symbols to create one. A darker landscape, but with patches of brightness; fearful, crowded with uncertainties but full of faith. A landscape with both bright colors and solemnity; teeming with human energy yet with underlying quietude. I was painting, perhaps, the riddle of faith, by simultaneously depicting incompatible experiences.”
A common motif of his Banaras is the ubiquitous temples and shrines. The lights emanating from them provides Parekh the imagery and symbols to create dramatic compositions. To frame a slight change in the mood, he depicts Banaras in different lightings and seasons. Aptly titled, the current piece is Manu Parekh’s depiction of the Banaras landscape in the monsoon season.
ARTIANA’s upcoming online auction of Classical, Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art on December 6-10, 2018 highlights this distinct work of Maqbool Fida Husain. This new-to-market work based on the Mahabharata is the most valuable lot in the upcoming sale, both in terms of price and history behind the artwork.
For decades, MF Husain had been a leading, almost magical figure in the Indian art scene. Known as the “Picasso of India”, his works have defined modern Indian painting and helped in creating a niche for Indian art, not only in the society of art but also in the prestigious art markets of the world. Enormously prolific, Husain, created works that could be caustic and funny as well as serious and sombre.
Among his best-known works are based on the Mahabharata. The Hindu epic narrates the founding of ancient India culminated by the Kurukshetra War fought between Pandava and Kauravan cousins in a dynastic struggle for the throne of Hastinapura, the seat of the Kuru clan. The present work portrays Lord Krishna and the Pandava prince Arjuna before the commencement of the climactic war. Arjuna stands at the chariot holding the Gandiva (bow) and his arrows. Lord Krishna, symbolized here by the abstract hand bearing the Sudarshan Chakra, was Arjuna’s charioteer and guide. Initially hesitant to go to war against his own kin, friends and teachers, Arjuna is persuaded otherwise by Lord Krishna. The dialogue between them formed the Bhagavad Gita, one of the most important texts of Hindu philosophy.
Accentuating the violence that forms the central core of the epic, the composition is dynamic. The strong influence of Indian folk art is indicated by the division of planes which may have been derived from the narrative style in Rajasthani miniature painting. Notably, present in the painting are all of Husain’s popular symbols; the tiger, the horses, the Sudarshan Chakra, and the mudra. His signature style and engagement with the folk elements is also evident in the sharp use of colors, simple design and broad shoulder attributed to the Basholi period. By predominantly using shades of red, black and brown, Husain conveyed the violence and frenzied energy of the war while palpable movement is conveyed through the stance of the horses and the charging tiger; enhancing the mood of the whole painting.
Husain’s treatment of the Mahabharata series is considered far more abstract in form yet has more narrative elements than the rest of his works. Most of them were done by Husain in early 1971, when India is on the brink of war with Pakistan and the Indian Emergency was on its way. Referencing the Mahabharata, before the start of the great war, Arjuna turns to Krishna for advice. Krishna advises him about the nature of life, ethics, and morality when one is faced with a war between good and evil. As with the great thinkers inspired by the epic including Husain himself, the allegory of war might signify the war constantly going on within man between the tendencies of good and evil yet it might also reflect the social and political landscape of the period. The ambiguity of Husain’s visual language allows for pluralistic readings much like the Mahabharata itself.
Husain unveiled his Mahabharata series as a thought provoking body of work as well as a timely reminder of the horrors of war. By transforming the mythic tragedy into a powerful contemporary statement, he evolved the language of his art to reach out to people in a culturally comprehensive way. An important tribute and reinterpretation, Husain uses this particular scene to explicitly call for reflection and in a way offer rationale and clarity in the midst of confusion and divisiveness.