Kakhar's American Survey Officer holds $220,000 top spot at Sotheby's

A very rare and early canvas by Bhupen Khakar, 1969's American Survey Officer, is expected to provide one of the many highlights in Sotheby's Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art sale, which comes as part of New York's Asia Week on September 18.

Bhupen Khakar American Survey Officer
This painting serves as a precursor to Khakar's mature style, which earned him a strong international reputation

The work, which has never been seen at auction before, is valued at $180,000-220,000. A seminal piece, it represents a point in Khakar's career when he "developed a local and idiosyncratic language for pop art in India", according to Christie's.

With all the major auction houses presenting auctions in New York during the week, Sotheby's sale will be matched by Bonhams' Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art and Christie's Indian & Southeast Asian Art auctions on the same day.

These are the first sales of Indian art to be held in New York since Sotheby's auction of the Amaya Collection, which raised $6.7m and saw four artist records achieved, as the first major international auction of the genre.

Also featuring in the sale will be works from Maqbool Fida Husain and India's sought after progressive artists.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has long been aware of the rise of the contemporary Indian art market, which comes as a response to the thriving Chinese markets, as investors and collectors alike look for the next boom sector.

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