Modernist painter M F Husain fetched Rs 2.40 crore for his Greek inspired painting, while artist duo Subodh Gupta and Bharti Kher led contemporary sale at the recent Saffronart auctions, which hammered a total of Rs 36.6 crores.
While Husain’s illustrious Greek-inspired painting “Euphrosyne, Thalia, Aglaia” sold for Rs 2.40 crores (USD 393,443) at the ‘Modern Evening Sale’, Subodh Gupta and Bharti Kher fetched Rs 1 crore each for their artworks at the no reserve ‘Contemporary Day Sale’.
The back-to-back sales, which took place in Mumbai on February 12 saw art patrons, collectors, dealers and connoisseurs come together to bid on a total of 137 art works. The sales included phone and online bidding from local and international bidders.
The ‘Modern Evening’ sale grossed a total of Rs 27,92,13,600 (USD 4,577,272) against an estimate of Rs 24.75 crores to Rs 32.9 crores (USD 4 million- USD 5.3 million).
Artist Jehangir Sabavala’s 1977 work “Cape and Promontory” achieved a price of Rs 2.04 crores (USD 334,426) which was higher than the estimated sale price of Rs 1.2 crores to Rs 1.8 crores (USD 196,725 - USD 295,085).
A work by Sabavala titled “The Flight into Egypt- I”, sold for Rs 3 crores at a Saffronart auction last year, setting a world record for the artist.
“Oasis” a 1975 work by S H Raza fetched Rs 1.86 crore. An oil on canvas by Gulammohammed Sheikh went for more than five times its upper estimate of Rs 15 lakh, touching Rs 84 lakh.
“Five artworks sold for more than Rs 1 crore each,” auctioneers said with 65 out of 70 lots being sold with an overwhelming 38 lots selling above the estimated higher price.
Meanwhile, Subodh Gupta’s “Idol Thief”, an oil-on-canvas of the ubiquitous Indian stainless steel vessels, was the top selling lot which went under the hammer for Rs 1.08 crores (USD 177,049).
His wife Bharti Kher’s “Train’D to Kill”, an artwork crafted out of concentric bindis on a wooden panel, eventually fetched Rs 1.02 crores (USD 167,213).
“All 67 lots sold within a span of two and half hours, indicating an increased buyer interest in contemporary art,” auctioneers said. Artist Ashim Purkayastha’s “Fake Feeling” sold at nearly three times its lower estimate of Rs 6 lakh.
“We had sourced remarkable works by noteworthy artists for these milestone auctions. Both our sales were met with an incredible response,” Saffronart co-founder and CEO Dinesh Vazirani said.
“We received great support from art patrons from India and all over the world, hammering a total of Rs 36.6 crores (USD 6.04 million) from both sales, against a pre-sales estimate of Rs 34.2 crores Rs 46 crores (USD 5.6 million - 7.5 million),” Vazirani said.