Raghav Babbar - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Afternoon Session New York Tuesday, May 16, 2023 | Phillips

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  • Raghav Babbar paints his sitters with an intense realism: serious, head-on gazes captured at proximity populate his work. Warden, 2021, is a richly textured example that exemplifies the artist’s idiom. A woman looks out at the viewer with a soft smile, a perplexing expression when paired with her only identifier, the professional title “warden.” Babbar draws his subjects from the ranks of working people living in the diverse societies of his native India. Striking intimate conversations with his sitters, Babbar’s work is deeply empathetic and sensitive. Through painting portraits, the artist seeks to impart their aura into the work, resulting in a salient verisimilitude that highlights those around us who may go unnoticed.


    The young, London-based painter received critical recognition for his 2021 solo show at Waterhouse & Dodd, New York, and has attracted attention for his works’ estimate-shattering results at auction, such as Surinder, which achieved over $450,000 at Phillips London in October and Off Duty, which at nearly $650,000 set the auction record at the time at Phillips Hong Kong in December. The present example is the artist’s first work to come to auction in New York. Babbar will have a solo show with Nahmad Projects in London this June.

    • Provenance

      Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner



signed and titled "BABBAR BABBAR. BABBAR. WARDEN" on the reverse
oil on canvas
20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.6 cm)
Painted in 2021.

Full Cataloguing

$12,000 - 18,000 

Sold for $165,100

Contact Specialist

Patrizia Koenig
Specialist, Head of Sale, Afternoon Session
+1 212 940 1279

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Afternoon Session

New York Auction 16 May 2023