London: An iconic life-sized elephant in a crouched position by UK-born Indian sculptor Bharti Kher will go under the hammer at Sotheby’s and is expected to fetch Rs 6.84 crore.

“The Skin Speaks a Language not its Own” is one of the most iconic and talked-about works by Kher, Sotheby’s announced.

Awe-inspiring in its scale, detail and beauty, the life-sized female Indian elephant, will be offered in Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction on June 28 and is estimated at 700,000-1,000,000 pounds.

“This is a work which took Bharti Kher 10 months to create, every fold and recess of the sunken form is meticulously contoured by the intricately arranged patterns of thousands of bindis that organically swarm across the beast in a second skin.

“It is India’s identity in all its glorious complexities that is the hero of this masterpiece and the sculpture remains a beacon of India’s avant garde art scene at the beginning of the 21st century,” says James Sevier, director and specialist, Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Department.

Commenting on the sculpture, Zara Porter-Hill, director and head of Sotheby’s Indian Art Department, says “Despite our familiarity with elephants, nothing prepares the viewer for the emotional experience of seeing Kher’s elephant, huge and incongruous in the gallery space.

“With her head resting on her front foot, she is brought down to our level and her glassy black eye entreats a communion and proximity rarely encountered in the wild.”

Brought to its knees in a seemingly untenable position, simultaneously peaceful and painful, “The Skin Speaks a Language not its Own” is a vision that engenders extreme pathos from the viewer; is she rising or is she falling, resting or expiring, living or dying.

Kher combines two symbols of Indian culture, the ‘bindi’ and the elephant, in a powerfully emotive sculpture which leaves the viewer asking whether this is a vision of India on the rise or a country exhausted by its own rapid modernisation.

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 27th, 2010 at 12:06 am and is filed under Art News Updates. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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  1. theodore    Nov 19 2014 / 7am:



  2. ben    Dec 13 2014 / 8pm:


    good info!!…

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