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LOT 23

Grotto

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PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT MUMBAI COLLECTION

Aluminium alloy
1978
Height 12 in. (30.5 cm.)

EXHIBITED:
Pilloo Pochkhanawala–A Retrospective 1952-1984,
Gallery Chemould, Mumbai, 1984.

LITERATURE:
Pilloo Pochkhanawala – A Retrospective 1952-1984,
exhibition catalogue, Gallery Chemould, Mumbai, 1984, unpaginated, illustrated.

Pilloo Pochkhanawala is renowned for her experimental practices and exploration of metal alloys throughout her career. The current lot represents her mid-1970s experiments with mixtures of aluminium and varying proportions of nickel, silica and copper bronze. ‘Veering sharply away from the rigid architectonics of welded scrap metal into flowing sweeps of striated, scratch cast aluminium, Pochkhanawala’s enduring identity with the elemental forces of nature began to dominate her work.’ (Nikky Ty-Tomkins Seth, ‘Introduction’, Pilloo Pochkhanawala – A Retrospective 1952- 1984, exhibition catalogue, Gallery Chemould, Mumbai, 1984, unpaginated)

A Mumbai-based artist, Pochkhanawala helped bring sculpture to the fore within the painting-dominated environs of 20th century Indian art. While active in the art world from the 1950s to the 1980s, Pochkhanawala initially started with a commerce degree and a job in advertising. During a work trip to Europe in 1951, she visited several museums and discovered a connection to modern European sculpture, that she found lacking in her visual equation with paintings. ‘The paintings did not ruffle my inner composure. I was mortified by the sculptures because I was seized by the fear of the challenge of tackling something so difficult.’ (Pilloo Pochkhanawala in S.G. Vasudev’s introductory essay, Pilloo Pochkhanawala, New Delhi, unpaginated) Her sculptures ranged in scale from smaller intimate pieces to commissioned monumental public works of art. Discussing her smaller works around the time she created Grotto, she says, ‘My small metal sculptures have large-scale growth potential. After all, nature reveals its multiple patterns not only through its highest mountains, but even its smallest pebble. Every scar and scratch holds in it a tumultuous drama. It may have been a result of years of erosion or it may have been born in an instant explosion.’ (ibid.) Her works hold weighted spatial and rhythmic interests, often dipping into conscientious expressions of physical balance, texture, and line.

In the current work, multiple jagged, composite, pointed forms explode in divergent directions, seemingly random as individual elements but perfectly cohesive as a unified composition. The surface of each piece holds great importance to the artist. ‘Texture can evoke every subtle nuance of human emotions and I have used it lavishly in my Metal-Scapes. All the scars, scratches and corroded surfaces on my aluminium sculpture act as my personal signature.’ (Pilloo Pochkhanawala in S.G. Vasudev, ‘Pilloo Pochkhanawala’, Indian Sculpture Today – 1983, exhibition catalogue, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, 1983, p.31) Similar jagged compositions also appear in other mediums such as Flight, created in steel and in several drawings of the early 1970s. These drawings were never the end goal, but served as an experimental space to visualise the third dimension.

‘In so far as Pilloo Pochkhanawala’s sculptural vision has not been conditioned or circumscribed by rigid academic exercises, her art remains blessed with the freedom to explore and evaluate the various modern idioms in the context of her own search for expression, reflective of the changing phases of her thought encompassing the wider reaches of the cycle of time and life.’ (S.G. Vasudev, Pilloo Pochkhanawala, op. cit.)

Condition: The grey colours of the aluminium alloy appear darker in the original than in the catalogue illustration. The sculpture is not attached to the black stone base, which has chips and abrasions to all four corners, and further surface scratches to the top of the base. Overall good condition.

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Time, Location
25 Apr 2024
India, Mumbai
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[ translate ]

PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT MUMBAI COLLECTION

Aluminium alloy
1978
Height 12 in. (30.5 cm.)

EXHIBITED:
Pilloo Pochkhanawala–A Retrospective 1952-1984,
Gallery Chemould, Mumbai, 1984.

LITERATURE:
Pilloo Pochkhanawala – A Retrospective 1952-1984,
exhibition catalogue, Gallery Chemould, Mumbai, 1984, unpaginated, illustrated.

Pilloo Pochkhanawala is renowned for her experimental practices and exploration of metal alloys throughout her career. The current lot represents her mid-1970s experiments with mixtures of aluminium and varying proportions of nickel, silica and copper bronze. ‘Veering sharply away from the rigid architectonics of welded scrap metal into flowing sweeps of striated, scratch cast aluminium, Pochkhanawala’s enduring identity with the elemental forces of nature began to dominate her work.’ (Nikky Ty-Tomkins Seth, ‘Introduction’, Pilloo Pochkhanawala – A Retrospective 1952- 1984, exhibition catalogue, Gallery Chemould, Mumbai, 1984, unpaginated)

A Mumbai-based artist, Pochkhanawala helped bring sculpture to the fore within the painting-dominated environs of 20th century Indian art. While active in the art world from the 1950s to the 1980s, Pochkhanawala initially started with a commerce degree and a job in advertising. During a work trip to Europe in 1951, she visited several museums and discovered a connection to modern European sculpture, that she found lacking in her visual equation with paintings. ‘The paintings did not ruffle my inner composure. I was mortified by the sculptures because I was seized by the fear of the challenge of tackling something so difficult.’ (Pilloo Pochkhanawala in S.G. Vasudev’s introductory essay, Pilloo Pochkhanawala, New Delhi, unpaginated) Her sculptures ranged in scale from smaller intimate pieces to commissioned monumental public works of art. Discussing her smaller works around the time she created Grotto, she says, ‘My small metal sculptures have large-scale growth potential. After all, nature reveals its multiple patterns not only through its highest mountains, but even its smallest pebble. Every scar and scratch holds in it a tumultuous drama. It may have been a result of years of erosion or it may have been born in an instant explosion.’ (ibid.) Her works hold weighted spatial and rhythmic interests, often dipping into conscientious expressions of physical balance, texture, and line.

In the current work, multiple jagged, composite, pointed forms explode in divergent directions, seemingly random as individual elements but perfectly cohesive as a unified composition. The surface of each piece holds great importance to the artist. ‘Texture can evoke every subtle nuance of human emotions and I have used it lavishly in my Metal-Scapes. All the scars, scratches and corroded surfaces on my aluminium sculpture act as my personal signature.’ (Pilloo Pochkhanawala in S.G. Vasudev, ‘Pilloo Pochkhanawala’, Indian Sculpture Today – 1983, exhibition catalogue, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, 1983, p.31) Similar jagged compositions also appear in other mediums such as Flight, created in steel and in several drawings of the early 1970s. These drawings were never the end goal, but served as an experimental space to visualise the third dimension.

‘In so far as Pilloo Pochkhanawala’s sculptural vision has not been conditioned or circumscribed by rigid academic exercises, her art remains blessed with the freedom to explore and evaluate the various modern idioms in the context of her own search for expression, reflective of the changing phases of her thought encompassing the wider reaches of the cycle of time and life.’ (S.G. Vasudev, Pilloo Pochkhanawala, op. cit.)

Condition: The grey colours of the aluminium alloy appear darker in the original than in the catalogue illustration. The sculpture is not attached to the black stone base, which has chips and abrasions to all four corners, and further surface scratches to the top of the base. Overall good condition.

[ translate ]
Sale price
Unlock
Estimate
Unlock
Reserve
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Time, Location
25 Apr 2024
India, Mumbai
Auction House
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