Sotheby’s New York Fall Asian Art Sales

NEW YORK – Sotheby’s is pleased to announce its Fall series of Asian Art sales in New York from September 16-19, 2008: Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Including Chinese and Japanese Art from the Collection of Frieda and Milton Rosenthal on September 16th; Contemporary Art Asia: China Korea Japan on September 17th; Modern & Contemporary Art South Asia: India Pakistan on September 18th; and Indian and Southeast Asian Works of Art, Including Miniatures on September 19th. The exhibitions will be open to the public on September 12th.

Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Including Chinese and Japanese Art from the Collection of Frieda and Milton Rosenthal– September 16, 2008

Sotheby’s sale of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art in New York will feature a magnificent and extremely rare polychrome wood and gesso sculpture of Guhyasadhana Avalokitesvara, Ming Dynasty, Xuande period (estimate $1.4/1.6 million), picturing the four-armed bodhisattva engaged in mystical union with his consort, or prajna, who represents female wisdom. A circular plug on the underside of the sculpture seals an apparently undisturbed chamber, which according to CAT-scans holds scrolled consecration material within. Very few early Ming dynasty wood temple sculptures depicting deities from the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon have survived. A section of the sale will be devoted to Chinese and Japanese Works of Art from the Collection of Frieda and Milton Rosenthal, a superb selection of pieces of the highest quality featuring classical Ming and Qing furniture, Japanese 18th/19th century gold lacquer, and a striking pair of sancai-glazed pottery Earth Spirits, Tang Dynasty (est. $70/90,000). Leading the Rosenthals’ offerings is a very rare limestone Buddhist Stele from the Northern Wei Dynasty (est. $120/160,000). Another highlight of the sale is a fine and rare embroidered five-panel throne-back floor screen, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong period (est. $180/220,000). Also featured will be The Henricksen Collection of Chinese and Japanese Paintings, which is particularly strong in landscapes and flower paintings. The sale consists of 312 lots, estimated to bring $6.8/9.1 million.

Contemporary Art Asia: China Korea Japan – September 17, 2008

Highlighting the Fall sale is Zeng Fanzhi’s Mask Series (est. $900/1.2 million) a work from the artist’s mature period. The figures in Zeng’s longterm Mask series are crisply dressed and cheerfully colored, in near-empty sets that echo the clean appearance of the figures. The series features well-off young urbanites, who easily acquire a polished and stylist veneer and such accoutrements as fashionable pets, but even when accompanied they look lost and uncertain. The sale will also feature Cai Guo-Qiang’s large-scale Two Eagles (est. $380/550,000) which exhibits his fully developed skill in the use of gunpowder as an artistic medium and depicts two soaring eagles set against an expansive white sky. Also included is an innovative installation by Yang Jiechang, Eye of the Storm (est. $400/600), inspired by the great storms that devastated Europe in 1999, and one of Wang Guangyi’s hard-hitting critiques of Western consumerism and political propaganda from his Great Criticism Series: Kodak (est. $280/480,000). Also among the top lots are Tang Zhigang’s Children in Meeting Hong Kong No. 3 (est. $400/500,000) and Zhu Dequn (Chu The-Chun)’s Sommeil De La Matiére/The Sleep of Matter (est. $300/400,000). Other key contemporary artists from the region in the sale include Liu Ye, Kim Whanki, Liu Xiaodong, Zhang Huan, Yayoi Kasuma, and many others. The sale comprises 211 lots, and is estimated to bring $11/16 million.

Modern & Contemporary Art South Asia: India Pakistan – September 18, 2008

The auction will include a diverse offering of paintings, sculpture and photography. Leading the Modern portion of the sale, and the top lot, is a rarely available Tyeb Mehta, Untitled, one of the latest examples from his Falling Figure with Bird series (est. $1/1.5 million). Living in India during Partition and after World War II, Mehta experienced firsthand the violence, anguish and distress of the period, to which experts attribute his consistent illustration of struggle in his works throughout his career, and pictured movingly in this work. The modern portion of the sale also features important works by F. N. Souza, M. F. Husain, Rabindranath Tagore, Ram Kumar and Raja Ravi Varma. The Indian Contemporary portion of the sale is highlighted by Subodh Gupta’s One Cow (est. $600/800,000) and outstanding example of the rural-to-urban, local-to-global dialogue that dominates 21st-Century thinking about the art of India. Other contemporary South Asian artists highlighted in the sale include Thukral & Tagra, Atul Dodiya, G. Ravider Reddy, Meera Mukherjee, Sudarshan Shetty, and Nataraj Sharma. Sotheby’s has been at the forefront in bringing cutting-edge South Asian photography to the market, and this sale is no exception, including intriguing works by Shilpa Gupta, Rashid Rana, Vivek Vilasini, Sunil Gupta and Tejal Shah. The sale includes 127 lots and is estimated to bring $7.6/10.6 million.

Indian & Southeast Asian Works of Art – September 19, 2008

This sale features an extraordinary selection of fine Indian Miniatures, highlighted by an extremely fine, museumquality illustration from The Gita Govinda, Krishna and Radha in a Bower (est. $200/300,000), It has been suggested that the paintings illustrating this poem by the 12th century poet Jayadeva were executed by a first generation artist after the great masters Nainsukh and Manaku. The Works of Art section of the sale features a highly unusual offering from the sculptor Herbert Haseltine, a model of the monument to Jam Shri Rawalji (est. $120/180,000), a four-armed Male Deity, probably Vishnu, from the 9th century (est. $220/250,000), an andesite Head of Buddha, Central Java, 9th century (est. $200/300,000), a gilt copper Manjusri set with semi-precious stones from Nepal, 14th century (est. $60/80,000) and a copper Maitreya, from the late 7th/early 8th century ($40/60,000) from the famous Prakhon Chai hoard of bronze sculptures found accidentally by villagers in 1964 in Buriram province in Northeast Thailand. The sale includes 118 lots, estimated to sell for $2.3/3.2 million.

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