Manjit Bawa's Untitled (Durga) tops Asian art sale at Christie's

Untitled (Durga), a painting by Manjit Bawa, proved the headline lot of Christie's Asian Modern and Contemporary Art sale in New York on September 17.

The work achieved $425,000, towards the higher end of its $380,000-450,000 estimate.

Durga Bawa Christies
Bawa is best known for his depictions of figures from Indian mythology

Bawa (1941-2008) worked as a printmaker after completing his studies in London during the 1960s and 1970s. He later returned to India and began painting figures and scenes from Hindu mythology.

Bawa commented on his reasons for choosing this theme in an interview with friend and author Ina Puri: "They remain to me basically mythical icons - as Durga, Kali, Shiva, Krishna or even Heer-Ranjha, Mirza-Sahiba or Sohni-Mahiwal.

"In my world of imagination they are very real. I have known them from childhood tales and fables narrated to me by my father.

"As I grew up, I met them again in literature, music, poetry and art. What else can I paint? Or draw?"

The lot depicts Durga, an alternate form of the goddess Shakti, who is commonly depicted mounted on a lion.

The sale formed part of New York's Asian Art Week, which has included a sale at Bonhams featuring acclaimed Indian artist VS Gaitonde.

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