NATURE MORTE A LA CARAFE ET AU VERRE
NATURE MORTE A LA CARAFE ET AU VERRE
PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT CORPORATE COLLECTION
Oil on board
15 1/4 x 10 3/4 in. (39 x 27.5 cm.)
Signed and dated 'Padamsee / 1956' upper right
Originally purchased by a Hungarian gentleman, Mr. Gynes, for Henri Freppel, the owner of the Hotel Odeon. Gynes was a prisoner-of-war during World War II, but was treated well on account of his being a linguist. After the War, he moved to Paris and lived at the Hotel Odeon. He met Padamsee at an exhibition and the two became friends. This painting was purchased on Gynes first visit to Padamsee's studio in Paris.
Shamlal, Padamsee, Sadanga Series by Vakils, Mumbai, p. 26, illustrated.
1956 seems to be a pivotal year in Akbar Padamsee's career and both the current painting and the seated nude in the following lot come from this crucial year. Notably, 1956 appears to be the only year when the artist experimented with the still-life form. These paintings tend to depict kitchen utensils hung from hooks, or as is the case here, a plain carafe and a glass, set upon a table. The paintings, at first glance seem intimate, quietly simple compositions, yet the mundane objects that are depicted reverberate from within, in glowing tones of red and orange. 'They look more like strange instruments with which he tortures his spirit. And yet there is not even a hint of the macabre about all this.' (Shamlal, Padamsee, Sadanga Series by Vakils, Mumbai, p. 7) It is as if the artist has set himself a challenge, in which he depicts modern everyday objects, but reveals within them a hidden religiosity of nature.
Religion is certainly a theme that runs through much of Padamsee's early figurative work, as is revealed through their titles such as, Prophet (1952), Christ (1953) and Jesus and Judas (1955). In many respects, his earliest subjects seem to share themes that appeared in the paintings of Francis Newton Souza from a similar period. Such influence is natural as Souza was living in London in the 1950s and exhibited with Padamsee in Paris on three occasions in 1952. However, by the mid 1950s Padamsee's artistic interests change and his focus becomes less about what is depicted, but the manner in which he as an artist achieves that depiction. The rare group of still life paintings appear to provide him with the catalyst for this shift in artistic direction.
In a letter to his brother, Akbar Padamsee writes 'My dear Nicky, thank you for your letter. I am happy that you like the photos of my recent paintings - my work has undergone a lot of change...I myself consider my recent work - the still life - as a great step ahead. Of course I have to concretise now, all the discoveries in my future work... but I feel I am (moving) in the right direction...' (Akbar Padamsee in a letter to Nuruddin Padamsee, 6th December 1956, www.akbarpadamsee.net)
Gulam Mohammed Sheikh writes, '...Is there a place for a very personal response to paintings?...The dark contours of human beings and objects soaked in deep umbers, ochres and greys with gleaming embers of hues underneath, constantly dissolving and re-emerging in slow, imperceptible, planetary motion. Akbar's pictures caught me unguarded in my memories, each illuminating the other. Is he a painter of private, subterranean association and close interiors of experience? I wonder. His images of kitchen utensils, 'prophets', nudes and cityscapes as well as 'metascapes' appear to me as objects of close familiarity one would privately conjure and relish. Like personal belongings and acquaintances they signal exact level of temperature, texture, smell, closeness or remoteness, felt in particular circumstances.' (Eunice de Souza, Akbar Padamsee, exhibition catalogue, New Delhi, 1980, pp. 15-16)
# Import duty at 11% will be charged on the hammer price and GST will be applicable on the total amount of the hammer price plus the import duty.
About The Artist:
AKBAR PADAMSEE (b. 1928)