For Jane and Kito de Boer, collecting Indian artworks has not only shaped their lives but it has become an obsession. The couple says, “Today our collection has over 1000 works of Indian art. Far too many to display! The moment you run out of wall space and yet continue to acquire, is the time to admit that obsession has become addiction.”
Called A Lasting Engagement: The Jane and Kito de Boer Collection, Christie’s recently announced a single owner auction during New York’s annual Asian Art Week in March 2020. The auction, touted to be Christie’s biggest single owner sale of South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art, will feature 150 artworks of India from Jane and Kito’s illustrious collection.
The couple’s private collection of modern Indian art is one of the largest till date, which includes paintings, works on paper, photography and sculptures dating back to a period of 120 years. The first artwork in this set is Ganesh Pyne’s painting- Lady Before The Pillar – which dates back to 1993 when Jane and Kito had moved to Delhi. Their second purchase in India was Rameshwar Broota’s large triptych Traces of a Man V. The de Boers call these two instances of buying Indian art, ‘getting started’ and ‘getting hooked’ phases. For the next two phases, ‘getting confused’ and ‘finding peace’, their reason to buy the artworks is a pure personal connection with the art, without any influences.
De Boers’ passion for Indian art is seen in the auction highlights, in some rare pieces of art by Ganesh Pyne from 1950s to 1990s. One can find Rameshwar Broota’s ground-breaking painting The Last Chapter from 1982. Honorary artists, Akbar Padamsee, Maqbool Fida Husain, Francis Newton Souza, A. Ramachandran, K. Laxma Goud are also exhibited in the highlights, alongside seminal representations from the Bengal School. The auction’s contemporary works feature early paintings by Anju Dodiya and Atul Dodiya, creations by Anish Kapoor, Chittrovanu Mazumdar and Hema Upadhyay.
Deepanjana Klein, International Director of the South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art department said, “The depth of this Collection is a rarity in our field. Institutional in nature and intellect, Jane and Kito collected Indian art with passion that knew no bounds.”
A Lasting Engagement: The Jane and Kito de Boer Collection will be a live auction on March 18, along with an online sale scheduled from March 13 to 20. Highlights will be available for the visitors at Christie’s India office during Mumbai Gallery Weekend, from January 9 to 12, and at the Oberoi Hotel, New Delhi during India Art Fair on January 31 and February 01.