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Sotheby's first India auction to be Tyeb Mehta's 'Durga' in December

It is one of most provocative portrayals of goddess Durga defeating the mythical buffalo demon, Mahisasura

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Following the opening of their Mumbai office in 2016, Sotheby's is all set to launch sales in India this December, the London-based auction house has said.

Mumbai will be established as the new selling point for the auction house.

The decision comes after the visibly growing presence of Indian collectors in Sotheby's global auctions, and the development of an increasingly vibrant domestic Indian market, says Jan Prasens, Sotheby's Managing Director for Europe, Middle East, Russia and India.

"Given these promising signs, and the projected economic growth for India in the future, it is the right time for Sotheby's to further expand the services we offer our clients in the region, and to bring our auctions directly to the doorstep of the many collectors who live there," Prasens added.

The launch will be marked by "Boundless: Mumbai", a sale featuring South Asia's greatest artists, as well as artworks by western artists inspired and influenced by the art, culture, geography and people of South Asia.

It will be led by Tyeb Mehta's seminal work "Mahisasura Mardini".

Commissioned directly from the artist in 1993, the work has remained in a private collection since.

One of most provocative portrayals of goddess defeating the mythical buffalo demon, Mahisasura, the painting celebrates hope and renewal instilled in Indian mythology and reconnects with Indian values.

The oblique allusion to the colours of the Indian flag makes it a brilliant and powerful ode to the spirit of the country.

"Tyeb Mehta's 'Mahisasura Mardini' is possibly the most important work in the artist's oeuvre. A symbol of victory of good over evil, this painting celebrates the spirit of India.

"This painting is a prelude to the artist's iconic 'Celebrations' and 'Mahisasura' series, making it amongst the artist's most significant and rarest works," Yamini Mehta, International Head of Indian & South Asian at Sotheby's, said.

The painting will be appearing on the market for the first time later this year.

With a variety of categories such as modern and contemporary South Asian art, photography, prints, and design on offer, the sale promises to be an opportunity for young and seasoned collectors to acquire museum-quality works.

The sale will be held at The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai.

First Published: Tue, April 10 2018. 16:48 IST