Works by three of India's greatest painters Tyeb Mehta, Maqbool Husain and Sayed Haider Raza - are set to make record prices at Bonhams Indian and Islamic Sale on April 23 in London.
What is particularly pleasing about these three works, is that they are all fresh to the market. It is extremely rare to find such great works which have not been seen before in the market.
All three artists were involved in establishing the Bombay Progressive's Artist Group back in 1947. The group consisted of many major artists such as Francis Newton Souza and S. K Bakre, both featured in this sale. The goal for this group of artists was to persuade an avant-garde approach to art away from the nationalistic and traditional style of the Bengal School of Art.
Lot 420, by Tyeb Mehta (India, 1925-2009) Untitled, oil on canvas, signed and dated 1978 is estimated to sell for between £400,000 -£600,000. This work, part of the Diagonal series comes from a private collection and was acquired directly from the artist in Bombay during 1980. It has never been shown to the public or been published, it is completely fresh to the market. A work from the Diagonal series has not been in auction since 2007.
This work from 1978 is an early and powerful example of what would soon be recognized as Mehta's mature style. From the 1970s onward, he would render his figures as a series of staccato sections in flat planes of color, often at odds with one another, as though they were multiple selves liberating themselves from a single body.
Lot 413 by Maqbool Fida Husain (India, 1915-2011) Untitled, 1970, oil on canvas, is estimated to sell for £150,000-250,000. It comes from a private collection, acquired in 1970 from Chawla Art Gallery, formerly known as Geeta Gallery, in the Oberoi Hotel, Delhi.
Lot 421, Syed Haider Raza (India, born 1922) Untitled, acrylic on canvas, signed and dated '87 is estimated to sell for £90,000-130,000. The picture is from a private collection and was acquired directly from Chemould Gallery in 1992.