Auction - Important painting by Akbar Padamsee coming up at Sotheby's NY

Sotheby’s NY sale of Indian and South East Asian Art on March 25 will be led by one of the most important paintings by a modern Indian painter ever to have appeared on the market. Untitled (Reclining Nude) is one of the highlights of Sotheby’s Asia Week series of auctions in New York and carries an auction estimate of $500,000-$700,000. It was acquired by the current owners from the artist over 50 years ago and has never before appeared at auction. Sotheby’s presented the painting to collectors at the recent Indian Art Summit in New Delhi – the first time it had been returned to India since 1960.

Untitled (Reclining Nude) was executed in 1960, at a time when Padamsee produced few paintings and only worked in shades of grey. It was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in Montreal the same year. The monotone of the current work gives the figure an amazing subtlety and presence, and stands in contrast to the rich colour palette of his early paintings. Described by the artist as one of his “best” paintings, Untitled (Reclining Nude) is one of only three large paintings from the important Juhu series, with the two equivalent paintings in esteemed private collections. Furthermore, this seminal work is from the same period as the 1959 painting Cityscape, which was sold at Sotheby’s New York in 2006 and holds the current record for the artist at auction.

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