The upcoming 'International Iconic' auction by Mumbai-based auction house AstaGuru will feature a medley of works by revered and iconic global artists. The auction lineup for November 28-29 represents some of the most pivotal moments in modern art history. All registered users, regardless of their geographical location, can bid in the online auction.
The collection focuses on the emergence and impact of modern art in the mid-twentieth century, including works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Fernand Léger, Bernard Buffet, Marc Chagall, and Salvador Dali. A one-of-a-kind work by famous pop artist Andy Warhol is also available. The collection also includes works by leading contemporary artists such as Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Yayoi Kusama, Robert Indiana, and Marc Sijan.
Here are the top highlights:
Baigneuse Assise or the Seated Bather by Pierre Auguste–Renoir; Estimate Rs 4,34,50,000 – 5,53,00,000
Leading the auction is lot No 8, by French Impressionist master Pierre Auguste–Renoir, who created an extraordinary artistic legacy with his fascinating canvases bearing sublime female nudes. Titled Baigneuse Assise or the Seated Bather, the circa 1915, oil on canvas creation depicts the sitter in profile with a softly defined figure against a warm abstract dominated by a brown and green background. This work was formerly in the collection of English playwright and novelist W Somerset Maugham who was also a passionate collector of Impressionist and Modern Art. The painting also featured on the cover of his book ‘Purely For My Pleasure,’ published in 1962.
Pablo Picasso; Estimate Rs 2,37,00,000 – 3,95,00,000
The reinterpretation of the female nude is one of the greatest legacies in the oeuvre of Pablo Picasso. A work by him, lot No 5, executed with coloured wax crayon on paper in 1969, is also a part of the auction. It was exhibited at Chicago-based RS Johnson International Gallery in 1971. With 2023 being the year of Picasso’s 50th death anniversary, galleries and museums around the world are gearing up to celebrate him. Added to his monumental fame, this has heightened interest in his work.
Beautiful Hours Spin Painting IX by Damien Hirst; Estimate Rs 2,37,00,000 – 3,95,00,000
Lot No 14, a work by Damien Hirst titled 'Beautiful Hours Spin Painting IX,’ was originally unveiled as the cover for the album ‘See the Light’ by British rock band ‘The Hours'. The impactful imagery rendered in a psychedelic colour composition with high-gloss paint embodies the central theme of life and death, which has been a preoccupation and inspirational subject for the artist. The elements in the work, such as the skull, and a clock in the eye socket, become a metaphor for the fleetingness of life.
‘Love Sculptures,’ by Robert Indiana; Estimate Rs 3,16,00,000 – 4,74,00,000
Lot No 30 is a rendition of famous ‘Love Sculptures,’ by Robert Indiana. First executed as a painting in 1965 and being displayed at a solo exhibition at New York’s Stable Gallery, it became a career-defining piece for the artist. Indiana created hard-edged paintings stacking each letter on top of the other in an angular, slightly tilted manner. He would then go on to use the image for various other mediums including the iconic sculptures and stamps known around the world. The image was also selected to be the Museum of Modern Art’s Christmas card, becoming wildly popular. In 1970, he created a 12-foot tall steel sculpture with the same word for the Indianapolis Museum of Art, followed by ‘Ahava’ in Jerusalem and ‘Amor’ in Spain.
Poinsettia by Andy Warhol; Estimate Rs 1,10,60,000 – 1,89,60,000
Lot No 33 is a unique work titled ‘Poinsettia’ by iconic artist Andy Warhol and marks a departure from his popular body of work focusing on the culture of consumerism. Bearing Poinsettia flowers, often referred to as the unofficial flower of Christmas, this work is an ode to Warhol’s endearment to the theme of Christmas. Resembling the Star of Bethlehem, the ubiquitous flower traces its attachment to the Christmas holiday through a 16th-century Mexican fable about a poor girl who decorated the church altar with weeds that miraculously sprouted into flowers. Sharing this festive merriment with a large legion of his friends during the early 1980s, Warhol executed over 20 paintings in different sizes featuring Poinsettia. One of these, the presented work, was created in 1983 by Warhol and gifted to his friend photographer Christopher Mako.
Universal Tarot by Salvador Dali; Estimate: Rs 19,75,000 – 27,65,000 each
A collection of such unique works by Salvador Dali will be showcased with lot No 2, 3,and 4. These works belong to a limited series of 78 custom decks of tarot cards known as Dali’s Universal Tarot. The work was first commissioned to him by Hollywood producer Albert Broccoli, and was meant to be used as a prop in the James Bond film Live and Let Die.
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