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Lot 183: BHUPEN KHAKHAR (B. 1934)

Est: $15,000 USD - $20,000 USDSold:
Christie'sSeptember 17, 2003New York, NY, US

Item Overview


BHUPEN KHAKHAR (B. 1934) In a Boat Signed and dated in Gujarati center right Oil on canvas 68 1/8 x 67 7/8 in. (173 x 172.5 cm.)

Artist or Maker


Bhupen Khakhar, Madrid, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Exhibition Catalogue, 6 June - 16 September 2002, p. 36, illustrated. Timothy Hyman, Bhupen Khakhar, Mumbai, 1998, pl. 26, illustrated.


PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE TIMES OF INDIA GROUP, INDIA Besides the middle class, from 1980 onwards, Khakhar began representing the largely suppressed and disregarded homosexual community. After returning from London in 1980, Khakhar openly acknowledged his own homosexuality and infused new elements into his work. "The most striking change was that his work became explicitly confessional, as often as not including a self-portrayal - sometimes approaching life-size, and frequently naked." (Timothy Hyman, Bhupen Khakhar, Mumbai, 1998, p. 68.) In the present work, Khakhar is both "the lover and the beloved." It is "sexual sleaze heightened by the performative act of transvestite masquerade. The artist is as if seeking redemption in the very narcissism of the masturbatory act, even as he is offering coy promiscuity in the manner of a harjai (a female beloved, beloved flirt) committed to the vocation of dispersing and sharing amorous pleasure." (Geeta Kapur, 'Bhupen Khakhar', Bhupen Khakhar, Madrid, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, 2002, p. 32.) Works from this period usually show the artist either naked or engaged in a sexual act. He was keen to show himself "exactly as he is, isolated yet part of a social complex." (Enrique Juncosa, 'The Integrative Art of Bhupen Khakhar', op. cit., p. 18.)

Auction Details

Indian and Southeast Asian

September 17, 2003, 12:00 AM EST

20 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY, 10020, US