AMAR NATH SEHGAL
You do not have to be a vegetarian to wish this cow an always happy life
It looks rather like a calf. Contentedly, it lies there and licks the fur for itself. Although Amar Nath Sehgal's sculpture is made of solid bronze, it appears soft and warm. One could well imagine her on a Bavarian alpine meadow, the blue-white sky above her.
The Indian artist Sehgal (1922-2007) would probably have located her somewhere in the streets of Delhi; or on the banks of the Ganges in the sunshine. She has nothing to fear here. For in India, what the name of the work of art underlines is true: cows are sacred and should therefore be treated with respect.
According to legend, the Hindu god Krishna is said to have grown up with cowherds; the Hindus call the mother of all cows Kamadhenu - the "wishing cow", because she can make the longed-for things come true. Moreover, already some Hindu deity is supposed to have slipped into the body of a cow and to have shown itself in it.
When this particularly friendly looking holiness of cow is now auctioned at NEUMEISTER in December, this is also a greeting to the ever growing circle of bidders from the Indian region. Online and by telephone, buyers from all over the world join in for auctions in Barer Straße in Munich. More and more bids from over 50 countries, especially from India and China, have been submitted in recent years. And just as these art lovers are often interested in European treasures, cosmopolitan collectors are attracted by exotic objects from other regions of the world.
The work of Amar Nath Sehgal stands symbolically for the peaceful cultural exchange across national borders that takes place at every auction. As the artist himself once put it, his sculptures should be testimonies of resistance against all evil in the world, signs of hope, connection, friendliness, vitality and humanity. His famous bust of Gandhi, which has been standing in the city park of Luxembourg since 1973, was also created in line with this ideal. What is special about it: By depicting Gandhi without his glasses on his nose, Sehgal breaks with the already iconic image we have of the leader of the Indian independence movement. No barrier clouds the viewer's view of this peace fighter's alert eyes. His facial features are so precisely and unmistakably crafted that it becomes clear: Amar Nath Sehgal, who is often compared with his British colleague Henry Moore, could do abstract as well as representational. But one way or another, each of his works - from his sculptures and drawings to his poems - expresses deep human emotions. We always recognize each other. And be it in a satisfied holy cow.