London auction offers works by Sadequain, ‘Pakistan’s Picasso’

BureauUpdated: Saturday, June 01, 2019, 03:09 PM IST
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London: Seven paintings by Pakistani artist Sadequain, who earned international fame when he was chosen to illustrate a book by French Nobel Laureate Albert Camus, is coming up for sale at Bonhams London April auction.

Sadequins’s works are key items in the Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art section of Bonhams Indian and Islamic Art sale on April 8, the auction house said in a statement today.

The value of Sadequain’s work has rocketed over the years says Nour Aslam, a specialist in Contemporary Asian Art at Bonhams, the international fine art auction house.

“When Sadequain’s works were placed in auction in the early 1990s, the pieces were selling for around 1,000 pounds. In March 2008, we made an auction record for the artist by achieving 150,000 pounds (USD200,000) for one of his paintings,” Aslam said.

She adds “This is, by far, the best selection of Sadequain’s works to come to the market for a while. They are of great quality and fresh to the market.

“All the pieces are pivotal works and they have come in from countries across Europe as well as Pakistan. Clearly, his appeal in the international market has consistently been strong and continues to grow.”

Two of the works had been earmarked for an exhibition in Paris which never took place, which has become known as “The Lost Exhibition”, th auction house said.

The first is Sadequain’s, “Judgement in Paris”, oil on canvas and dated 1967, which is estimated to sell for 45,000-65,000 pounds and comes from a private collection in Germany.

During his time in Paris, Sadequain began to assimilate new methods and combined the practice of calligraphy with Cubism and Surrealism. He was influenced by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon and Fernand Leger influenced his style during this period. The artist was constantly compared to Picasso by the French establishment.

The second from the Lost Exhibition is titled “Two Figures,” painted in 1966 and estimated at fetch between 20,000 to 30,000 pounds.

A third painting of the seven in the sale is one from a collection considered one of the best in Pakistan.

The picture titled “Imagination” painted in 1968 is estimated at 25,000 to 35,000 pounds.

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