PROPERTY OF ZARIN WALSH
Copper sheet with wood and metal armature
Height 20 1/2 in. (52.2 cm.), height with pedestal 25 3/4 in. (65.2 cm.)
A.M. Davierwalla, Jaya Appasamy, ed., Lalit Kala Contemporary Series, New Delhi, 1971, no.2, illustrated.
'Davierwalla did not hold fast to any single material or style. In the earlier years he used stone and wood gradually trying other materials including lead, aluminium, steel and plastics. Two distinct qualities may be said to characterise his work. The first of these is that his sculptures are formed by an assemblage or putting together of units. Thus they are jointed and have a jointed character like the bodies of crustaceans and insects... In his later works Davierwalla adopts a more abstract language and works mainly in metal. These metal constructions though they seem impersonal and technological have an iconic presence. Through their geometry he achieves a certain harmony and equilibrium. Perhaps the orderliness, clean edges and restfulness of these pieces were closest to the artist's temperament. Davierwalla's art thus abandons the old narrative subjects and portraiture in favour of forms which have to be judged as works of art simply on sculptural terms.' (Jaya Appasamy, 'A.M. Davierwalla', Lalit Kala Contemporary 21, New Delhi, April 1974, p. 37)
Christian themes appealed to Davierwalla from an early stage in his career. This was partially due to several trips he made to Europe, beginning in 1950, where he was exposed to Western sculpture. Although there are several works that reference Christ themes, the Crucifixion is one that he revisited several times. The technique used for the current version is similar to the one Appasamy describes above, where pieces of copper sheet have been joined together over a metal armature to form the complete figure. Unlike later works of the same subject, the tall narrow Christ figure is depicted with angular lines and edges, especially the long arms that taper to two sharp points. The resulting leanness imbues the sculpture with a sense of lightness and movement, with the arms soaring upward and the body holding firm; a concept reinforced by Davierwalla’s grounding the body on the wooden base.
A larger version of this work (illustrated on the previous page) was created as a backdrop for a play titled Murder in the Cathedral which was being directed by Ebrahim Alkazi in 1955.
For a work by the artist in marble, see lot 22.
About The Artist:
ADI DAVIERWALLA (1922 - 1975)