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Traditional, Modern & Contemporary Indian Art Traditional, Modern & Contemporary Indian Art F N SOUZA (1924 - 2002)
Illustrated in F.N Souza - Words & Lines, published in 1959
Acquired by the collector, at the suggestion of M.F. Husain, thence by descent in his family.
The most stunning aspect about Souza's works is the successful marriage of Western and Indian Aesthetics. Souza's art remained indebted to the ingenious manipulation of flat surfaces sited in Indian miniature paintings as well as the treatment of voluptuous sensuality evident in the temple sculptures of India. In the 1958 ink and charcoal work the figure's eyes are as deep set as they are wide-eyed executed with such exaggeration as to exemplify the way Souza infl ected his subjects with a great deal of character. The face also looks impassive, suggesting this is a gentleman who keeps to the norms of polite society.
The 1959 image of the lady, another ink and charcoal piece, is significant since Souza had a predilection for female nudes; however this one stands out as not being of that inclination. She has a distinct Western infl uence to her dress, perhaps pointing again to his Christian roots. The long features are almost Modigliani-esque. The wide-brimmed hat, again points to the subject being perhaps of respectable social standing.
All three (including lot 21) of the works are distinctive in that way that puts them in the pantheon of great Indian modernist works. Significantly, they were created in jute which is a rare and out of the ordinary practice, lending these pieces a special indescribable but arresting quality.