Published: September 18, 2015
NEW YORK CITY — A monumental oil on board by F. N. Souza, one of India’s most famous artists, set a new record price on September 17 at Christie’s when the 8-by-4-foot painting was bid to $4.01 million (including buyer’s premium) for “Birth.”
Painted in 1955, the pivotal year in which the trajectory of Souza’s career was defined for the remainder of the century, “Birth” represents the pinnacle of the artist’s creative output in the 1950s. The painting uniquely encompasses all the subjects that define Souza’s early practice, including the pregnant reclining nude with hairpins, the autobiographical man in a priest’s tunic, a still life on the window ledge and, beyond the window, a townscape with corniced buildings and tall steeples. The outstretched, heavily pregnant female figure seems on the brink of giving birth to her child.
The South Asian Modern and contemporary art sale totaled $8.77 million.
A complete report on Asia Week sales in New York will appear later.
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