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Francis Newton Souza

(Goa 1924 -  Bombay 2002 ) Wikipedia® : Francis Newton Souza
souza francis newton Head Of A Woman

Saffronart India /Feb 16, 2017
553.17 - 829.76
54,621.26

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Artworks in Arcadja
1681

Some works of Francis Newton Souza

Extracted between 1,681 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Francis Newton Souza - Untitled

Francis Newton Souza - Untitled

Original 1954
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Gross Price
Lot number: 4
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Description:
F N Souza Untitled (Mountainscape) "But for art, man would die of boredom!" Francis Newton Souza was born in 1924 in Saligao, Goa. After losing his father at a very young age and being afflicted by a serious bout of small pox, he vowed to go about life his own way. Souza was expelled for participating in the Quit India Movement while studying at the Sir J J School of Art in Mumbai. In 1947, he founded the Progressive Artists' Group along with S H Raza, M F... Signed and dated 'Souza 1954' (upper left) 1954 Pen on paper 10.5 x 8 in (26.6 x 20.4 cm) PROVENANCE: Formerly from the Family of Francis Newton Souza Category: Drawing Style: Landscape
Francis Newton Souza -  Untitled

Francis Newton Souza - Untitled

Original 1961
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Gross Price
Lot number: 14
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FRANCIS NEWTON SOUZA (1924-2002) Untitled (Lady in Tunic) FRANCIS NEWTON SOUZA (1924-2002) Untitled (Lady in Tunic) signed and dated 'Souza 61' (upper left) oil on canvas 28 x 19 in. (71.1 x 48.3 cm.) Painted in 1961 Somewhere behind any serious portrait painting there is a wish to gain command of a person [...] But in Souza you can see the real thing operating, you can see him closing in on his images as though they could save his life, or backing away from them as though they could kill him. Souza himself has said that he has made of his art 'a metabolism. I express myself freely in paint in order to exist.' A. Forge, 'Round the London Galleries', The Listener, 28 November 1957 Born in Goa, Francis Newton Souza moved to London in 1949, remaining there for almost two decades until he moved to New York, where he lived for the rest of his life. It was in London in the mid-1950s, that Souza\\\’s reputation was firmly cemented, winning him both critical acclaim and steady patronage. Widely regarded as the apex of his artistic career, the late 1950s and early 1960s saw Souza truly coming into his own. Listed among the most exciting young painters in London, this was the decade in which he embarked on some of his most ambitious and fruitful artistic projects. Painted in 1961, Souza\\\’s Untitled (Lady in Tunic) epitomises the self-assurance and dynamism of his paintings from this important period in his career. In this portrait, the subject is defined by the artist\\\’s powerful lines. However, rather than etching out singular attributes like the high-set eyes and elongated noses that were fundamental to Souza\\\’s portraits of the 1950s, here these lines create a frenzy of features. Multiple eyes and nostrils echo the rounded teeth below them, illustrating the new approach to representation and portraiture that Souza had just adopted. He explains, \\\“I started using more than two eyes, numerous eyes and fingers on my paintings and drawings of human figures when I realised what it meant to have the superfluous and so not need the necessary. Why should I be sparse and parsimonious when not only this world, but worlds in space are open to me? I have everything to use at my disposal.\\\” (Artist statement, F N SOUZA, exhibition catalogue, London, 1961) The woman\\\’s hair, worn open, frames her face as it cascades haphazardly onto her shoulders, effectively delineating her against the golden-orange background. With its decorated collar, her deep red tunic seems almost ceremonial, recalling the powerful religious and social figures Souza painted earlier to voice his fascination and conflict with the Roman Catholic Church and his general mistrust of authority. Apart from marking a very important milestone in Souza\\\’s career, and a significant transition in his artistic vocabulary, this confidently executed portrait represents the host of contradictions that Souza negotiated in his work with great skill. It is both a portrait and a symbol, controlled and abstract, static and kinetic, malevolent and sublime.
Francis Newton Souza - Untitled

Francis Newton Souza - Untitled

Original 1940
Estimate:

Price: Not disclosed
Lot number: 2001
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Description:
Lot 2001: FRANCIS NEWTON SOUZA | Untitled (Set of Two Animal Studies; one double-sided) Pencil on paper. Signed and dated 'Souza . 1940' upper right and further signed and dated 'Souza 1940' lower left on reverse; Signed and dated 'Souza 1940' upper right First work: Double-sided; laminated on one side. Minor discoloration due to age along the edges. Reverse: Two black spots in the upper right and one red spot on the paw of the lion are inherent. Second work: Laminated on one side. Minor dirt along the lower right edge. Minor brown spots along the edges are visible only upon very close scrutiny. These works are in good condition for their ages. They have not been inspected outside their frames. The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. Unframed: 7½ x 6 in. (19.1 x 15.3 cm.); 5⅞ x 7⅜ in. (14.9 x 18.7 cm.)
Francis Newton Souza - Head Of A Woman

Francis Newton Souza - Head Of A Woman

Original 1961
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Gross Price
Lot number: 21
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Description:
Head of a Woman Signed and dated 'Souza 61' (upper right); inscribed and dated 'F. N. SOUZA / 1961 / Head of a Woman'; bearing Grosvenor Gallery label (on the reverse) 1961 Oil on paper pasted on linen 30 x 22 in (76.2 x 55.9 cm) PROVENANCE: Collection of the artist Private Collection, UK Property from a Distinguished Private Collection, Dubai EXHIBITED: Indian Modernist Landscapes, 1950-1970, Bakre / Ribeiro / Souza, London: Grosvenor Gallery, 2-25 November 2016 Category: Painting Style: Figurative
Francis Newton Souza - The Deposition

Francis Newton Souza - The Deposition

Original 1963
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Lot number: 55
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Francis Newton Souza THE DEPOSITION 1924 - 2002 Signed and dated 'Souza 63' centre right Oil on canvas 138 x 170.5 cm. (54 ¼ x 67 ⅛ in.) Painted in 1963 Provenance Acquired from Grosvenor Gallery in 1998 Exhibited London, Grosvenor Gallery, The Human and the Divine Predicament – New Paintings by F.N. Souza, 31 March – 25 April, 1964 London, Grosvenor Gallery, FN Souza, Paintings 1958-1963, 3 - 19 June, 1998 Literature Studio International Magazine, London, April 1964, Volume 167, Number 852, cover illustration A. Kurtha, Francis Newton Souza: Bridging Western and Indian Modern Art, Mapin Publishing Pvt. Ltd., Ahmedabad, 2006, illustration p. 104 Catalogue Note “An Indian painter, brought up a strict Roman Catholic under Portuguese colonial rule, later a member of the Communist Party and now (1961) living in London: these are the barest details about one of the most gifted and original modern artists. Those writers on art who even today look upon all new painting as the result of age-old cultural roots, must be rather baffled by such a history, for it bears witness to a great number of contradictory influences which make nonsense of conventional ideas of tradition” (E. Mullins, ‘Preamble’’’’’’’’, Souza, Anthony Blond Ltd., London, 1962, p. 5). Notable Indian and Western critics and viewers who have followed Francis Newton Souza’’’’’’’’s almost seven-decade long career, attached great significance to his upbringing and formative years as they impacted his contemptuous and anti-clerical work vis-a-vis the Catholic Church. Souza once said, “[t]he Roman Catholic Church had a tremendous influence over me…[T]he enormous Crucifix with the impaled image of a Man supposed to be the Son of God, scourged and dripping with matted hair tangled in plaited horns” (F.N. Souza, ‘A Fragment of Autobiography,’’’’’’’’ F.N. Souza: Words & Lines, Villiers Publications Ltd., London, 1959, p. 10). These visuals stayed with him and he depicted the martyred Christ in a great number of works. His contradictory feelings about religion are best represented in a series of large scale canvases painted in the early 1960s and exhibited at The Human and the Divine Predicament exhibition held at the Grosvenor Gallery, London in 1964. Among these were two famous Crucifixion scenes and this current work titled The Deposition, all painted in 1963. In this painting, following the Gospel account, Souza depicts the scene of Christ’’’’’’’’s burial; specifically the moving of his body. Pontius Pilate had given permission to Joseph of Arimathea to take down and bury Christ's body. Joseph is the man to the left. To the right is Nicodemus. John the Evangelist holds Christ's right hand. The grieving Mary is comforted by Mary Magdalene. Noted critic, Geeta Kapur has commented on this particular work, “[h]e has painted many versions of Christ, not all of them so bitterly contemptuous and the famous painting of the Deposition is not without a tragic content. Characteristically, however Souza treats even tragedy in his own way, permitting no element of grace to enter the horrifying drama of Christ’’’’’’’’s death” (G. Kapur, ‘Francis Newton Souza: Devil in the Flesh,’’’’’’’’ Contemporary Indian Artists, Vikas Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 1978, p. 17-18). Souza’’’’’’’’s Christ was a radical departure from Western iconography; he is denied dignity and divinity. He once said that he felt the anguish of a present city inhabitant to be worse than that of Christ on the Cross, “[t]he city man that you are, your suffering is more complex than the obviously simple tortured expression of one crowned with thorns and impaled with nails” (A. Kurtha, Francis Newton Souza: Bridging Western and Indian Modern Art, Mapin Publishing Pvt. Ltd., Ahmedabad, 2006, p. 21). In this work, Souza adopts his composition from Titian’’’’’’’’s Entombment of Christ. The fact that he chose to emulate Titian is poignant. His devotion for the Venetian icon stimulated him to reproduce many of Titian’’’’’’’’s most iconic masterpieces. In both works, the entire composition is defined by the horizontal line of Christ's body. The frieze setup follows this line, concentrating our attention on the monumental figures grouped around Christ, all in the same perspective. Titian achieved this by applying a special artistic triangular technique used in ancient Greek art and revived in the Renaissance. The figures are placed with a measured correctness forming two isosceles triangles within the centre. The curving shapes of the bodies of the surrounding figures then enhanced this triangular form. This was done to draw the eye of the viewer into the action taking place within the painting. Titian’’’’’’’’s 14th century masterpiece is well-known for embodying all the key concepts that were established during the Italian Renaissance - the presence of religion, the focus on the human form and the compositional techniques inspired by age-old Greek influences. Souza, while embracing these notions, improvised upon them. In The Entombment of Christ, Titian heightened the theatrical impact with a twilight glow that added warmth to the flesh tones, while the pale figure of Christ is hardly visible in the shade. Souza’’’’’’’’s Deposition, by contrast, is cold with its excessive use of white and grey hues. The hands and feet of Christ unmistakably reveal the blood-stained nail markings from the Cross and his face bleeding from the crown of thorns. Unlike Titian’’’’’’’’s mode that depicts a Christ with an almost peaceful demeanour, Souza does not spare Christ nor the viewer the anguish and the pathos of Christ’’’’’’’’s passion. Souza’’’’’’’’s Deposition is also devoid of any detailing of the trees and sky. The space is an almost blank ground, “somewhat curiously prepared to receive a figure which remains from start to finish the prime, positive, and self-complete proposition” (Kapur, p. 36). Here one sees the influence of El Greco in a palette that contrasts rosy pastels and ghostly figures amidst a stormy backdrop. ‘… [H]e straddles several traditions but serves none.’’’’’’’’ These famous words of John Berger in the New Statesman of February 25, 1955 succinctly summate the genius of the artist and his art. In Deposition, we also see an influence of other artists. The thick black lines and feeling of compassion are reminiscent of Georges Rouault while Christ surrounded by the Evangelists and the fusion of the convoluted aspects of religion along with the sublime resonates with Spanish Romanesque or Catalan fresco paintings. Souza efficaciously took this complex and revered theme and allowed it to be truly re-born in his own expressionistic vernacular – an act that won him accolades among critics and posited him with the likes of Graham Sutherland and Francis Bacon, both of whom had depicted religious subject matter in a similarly fierce style shortly after the Second World War. The Deposition was celebrated on the cover of Studio International magazine in April 1964 along with a lead feature on Souza by art critic, Mervyn Levy. Here Levy revealed Souza’’’’’’’’s technique, “[f]or the past year or so (1964), all the artist’’’’’’’’s most important works – the large scale religious compositions, for example – have been created with the assistance of what he calls his machine” (M. Levy, ‘F.N. Souza: the Human and the Divine,’’’’’’’’ The Studio International Art Magazine, London, April 1964, p. 134). This involved drawing the first sketch/idea on a pane of glass and projecting a magnified version of it on a large canvas using a specialized projector. Souza then made a second attempt on top of this first notation. This technique allowed him to “build” his large-scale compositions, facilitating the inclusion of as many figures and objects, while being able to see the work in progression in a miniature format of the sketch as well as enlargement upon the canvas. Levy noted that this technique helped Souza to “keep the spontaneity of the original idea writhing on the canvas at every stage of the painting… It is an essential and indispensable limb of his art, one which he frequently brings into play, particularly for his more important and large scale compositions; these big works which are more likely to lose spontaneity in the normal course of events than the small scale picture” (ibid.). Levy was not the only critic who lauded Souza. At this time (1955-63), Souza held five one-man exhibitions at Victor Musgrave’’’’’’’’s Gallery One and received glowing critical reviews in highly reputed papers including the London Times, The Guardian, New Statesman, by well-known critics like Andrew Forge, John Berger, and George Butcher, who steadily defended Souza as one of the few really important living painters in England. He was also one of the five painters chosen to represent Britain at the Guggenheim International Award. Reflecting on Souza’’’’’’’’s London years, Geeta Kapur notes “[h]e was the first Indian artist to become something of a sensation in the West. For that matter, even among his western contemporaries he stood pretty high on the ladder of success, and it goes without saying that he deserved it” (Kapur, p. 11). Indeed these years demarcate Souza’’’’’’’’s skills as an artist at its zenith, in terms of both commercial and critical success. Tate Britain also acquired one of Souza's large scale crucifixion scenes from 1959 as part of their permanent collection, but it was the celebration of The Deposition in exhibitions and publications alike that denotes this painting as the pinnacle of the artist’’’’’’’’s triumphs.
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