Wanna take the Man in Pub home?

The Bonhams' sale of great masters of Asia is all set to shake the London art scene on November 22

Wanna take the <i>Man in Pub</i> home?
Mumbai-based artist-writer Bhupen Khakhar's modern masterpiece Man in Pub will now go under hammer at Bonhams’ Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art sale on November 22 in London, for an estimated value of £250,000-350,000, the highest estimated value at the forthcoming auction.

Other works to be put up for sale at the auction would include: Untitled (pre-1972), by Abdul Rahman Chughtai (1897-1975, Pakistan), for an estimated value of £18,000-22,000 and Untitled (The Jester) by Rabindranath Tagore, estimated at £30,000-50,000.

Man in Pub will come to auction fresh from a Bhupen Khakhar retrospective at Tate Modern. The piece is a prime example of the artist’s facility for presenting vulnerable intimacy with bold, colourful flair.

‘‘We are delighted to offer this hugely important and striking work by the first Indian artist to have a solo retrospective at Tate Modern. Bhupen Khakhar, until recently largely unknown outside India, has since become internationally acclaimed. This touching yet humorous piece, British in its content and Indian in its execution, is a prime example of Bhupen’s narrative and colourist skill,” said Tahmina Ghaffar, Bonhams Modern and contemporary South Asian Art specialist.

An accountant by day, artist by night, Khakhar visited the UK in 1979 (as artist-in-residence at Bath Academy of Art) and was introduced to British pubs by the British artist Howard Hodgkin. With the help of Howard Hodgkin and critic Geeta Kapur, Khakhar found fame with one man shows at institutions including Centre Pompidou (Paris), Tate (London) and later the Reina Sofia (Madrid) where Man in Pub took pride of place.

Abdul Rahman Chughtai, the Pakistani national artist, whose work will also be [ut up for auction, has been .inspired by what he labelled “pan-Persianism.” Indeed, even European Art Nouveau influenced his style. This watercolour, painted in 1972, displays this amalgamation of traditions as well as the artist’s commitment to using only the finest materials, officials at Bonhams’ Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art, said.

ritwikmukherjee@mydigitalfc.com

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