Tyeb Mehta painting makes record as second most expensive work of modern or contemporary art


All eyes had been set on a Raja Ravi Varma portray at Saffronart’s spring are living auction on Wednesday night, yet some many others emerged as winners and own bests. A Tyeb Mehta marketed for $5,596,000 (Rs 41.97 cr), inclusive of buyer’s quality (hammer value $4,750,000). This is the greatest selling function for the artist globally in an auction. Now, it is the next most highly-priced do the job of contemporary or present-day Indian artwork.

Mehta’s Untitled (Bull on Rickshaw) (1999) is a meeting of some of his vital motifs and themes—the slipping figure, the trussed bull and the rickshaw. The bull writhes on the rickshaw, conveying a image of vulnerability, suffering and bondage. Both human and animal are yoked to their respective places in lifestyle. As Amrita Jhaveri noted in A Guideline to 101 Contemporary and Modern day Indian Artists (2005), .”..the bull, with its fiery electrical power is inescapably doomed to man’s violence. Mehta’s knowledge at an abattoir in Bombay marked him indelibly in his art, it achieves metaphoric importance — an animal in the throes of dying turns into a image for the conflicts of present day lifetime.”

MV Dhurandhar’s Untitled (Draupadi Vastraharan) (1934) was the other perform that done effectively at the auction, sold at Rs8.04 cr. Born in Kolhapur, Dhurandhar is normally assumed of as the 2nd most preferred Indian artist, soon after Ravi Varma. The painting revisits an significant scene from the Mahabharata, where Dushasana tries to disrobe Draupadi, only to be stopped by divine intervention. In the portray, the assault on Draupadi has just begun, as she pleadingly seems to the heavens for help. Krishna—who will flip her sari into an endless piece of fabric till Dushasana tires himself— seems at the rear of Draupadi like a benevolent, blue eyesight.

Untitled (Draupadi Vastraharan) (1934) by MV Dhurandhar. (Courtesy: SaffronArt)

The painting is possibly a homage to Ravi Varma, whose rendition of the very same scene from the Mahabharata was a person of the highlights of this auction. Ravi Varma’s Draupadi Vastraharan (circa 1888-90), estimated between Rs 15 cr to Rs 20 cr, bought for Rs 21.6 cr. This is the second maximum advertising get the job done for the artist. An oleograph of the exact same scene printed at the Ravi Varma Press in Malavali marketed for Rs 4.2 lakh.


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