Saffronart&’s Evening Sale, its biggest art auction of the year, takes place in the Capital today (8 September) at the Hotel Leela Palace. The auction features 87 lots valued at a total of Rs 62-87.8 crore. The sale focuses on Modern Indian art, with important works from the post-Independence years, when India&’s leading artists created some of their best and most significant paintings. 

Leading the sale are exemplary paintings by Akbar Padamsee and V S Gaitonde. Padamsee&’s Greek Landscape (1960), an imagined cityscape painted in a palette of varying intensities of grey, entering the auction market for the first time, at an estimated  Rs 7-9 crore. 

“Everything starts from silence. The silence of the brush. The silence of the canvas. The silence of the painting knife. The painter starts by absorbing all these silences,” is manifested in Untitled (1970), an oil on canvas painting that he created during his most lyrically abstract phase. The top lot on auction, it is estimated at Rs 10 – 15 crore. 

Further highlights include paintings by S H Raza, K G Subramanyan, Nasreen Mohamedi, Gulammohammed Sheikh, and Gaganendranath Tagore, among others. For the first time, Saffronart also offers works by Sir Jacob Epstein, G M Solegaonkar, A A Raiba, Prodosh Dasgupta and Ila Pal, providing greater insights into the scope of Indian Modernism.  The auction will be held at The Leela Palace, New Delhi on 8 September at 7.30 pm. 

Sabyasachi Ghosh is an Agra-based artist as also an avid biker in his spare time. It is from these travels that he picks up subjects and situations for his art. Passionate and impulsive, Sabyasachi&’s works as of now may be dividedinto a few different categories. The show commences with a series of people juxtaposed on what appears to be a crumpled canvas. There is also the bubble series, both of which make him proud. A free soul, he experiments with textures, “trying to blur the line between the figurative and the abstract”. 

His subjects are simple, everyday situations and people. A herd of buffaloes bathing in The Merry Bathers, a Tug-o-war among neighbourhood players, a few children riding a horse, are all happy subjects to depict, as are impressive ones like the Marwari Horse, the burqa-clad women riding a scooter, or even the black and white pair of dogs, patiently waiting their turn. 

In replicating the physical attributes, the buck stops there. The works have nothing more to offer by way of character, region, or mannerisms. Also, at times it is difficult to understand the reason for what he does. For example, why does the artist choose to place images across the crumpled canvas, which apparently serves no purpose. 

The artist, however, is a good draughtsman, and it is probably only a matter of time before process acquires purpose and content is enriched more by essence than by appearance.