TYEB MEHTA (1925-2009)
BHUPEN KHAKHAR (1934-2003)


BHUPEN KHAKHAR (1934-2003)
reverse painting in acrylic on glass
45 x 40½ in. (114.3 x 102.9 cm.)
Painted circa 1980s
Aquired directly from the artist
Ahmedabad, Visual Art Centre, 1982
Please note the correct dimensions of this lot are 45 x 40 1/2 in. (114.3 x 102.9 cm.)


"It was around the 1980s that I met Bhupen, the unassuming accountant-cum-artist. Never would have I realized how a self-taught artist could have such a flare for narrating succinctly, simply and honestly the life of a tailor or a watchmaker. Nor would I have imagined that, simultaneously in another painting, Bhupen could narrate a middle-class lifestyle full of hidden passionate urges. Such types of narrations happen only with a wise, Avant-garde, free-minded artist in search of exposing the hypocrisy within.

Impressed, Subhash Shah, my director-colleague and I invited Bhupen in 1982 to have his first solo show at the Visual Art Centre in Ahmedabad. Amongst the exhibits, I noticed an unusual narrative painted on glass. I was struck by the comprehensive way in which it depicted the entire life of a peninsula. For the first time, I could notice how Bhupen had transformed the well-structured traditional narration of the traditional Nathadwara pichhwai style of painting into a free-wheeling architectural landscape. I saw, in it, a young-newly married couple flying in the sky, overlooking the countryside: a village with temples, canteens, houses and meandering streets surrounded by river and a bridge. Though freely dispersed, they appear to connect around their motherland, narrating stories, associations of timeless, ongoing life.
Every day, seeing this work along with the pichhwai on the opposite wall, I am reminded of our saying "the only constant is change". Observing these works, I feel closer to the search I go through in my architectural planning and academic practice."

Dr. B.V. Doshi

Dr. Balkrishna Doshi, a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Architects, spent four years working with Le Corbusier as Senior Designer in Paris (1951-54), and four more years in India supervising Le Corbusier's projects in Ahmedabad. In recognition of his distinguished contribution as a professional and academician, Dr. Doshi has received several national and international awards and honours, including the Padma Shree from the Government of India in 1976, the Chicago Architecture Award in 1988, honorary doctorates from the University of Pennsylvania in 1990 and McGill University, Canada, in 2006, and was appointed Officer in the Order of Art and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication in 2009.

Dr. Doshi was also responsible for designing the Amdavad ni Gufa in collaboration with M.F. Husain, an underground art gallery in Ahmedabad.

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